I read an interesting article in the US World and News Report recently; it was titled “The 50 Best Careers in 2011”. Not surprisingly, one of those Top 50 Careers is flying professionally as a Commercial Pilot.
For pilots, airlines aren’t the only game in town” is how the article on Commercial Pilots begins. It then goes on to discuss a lot of alternatives to flying for a living outside of the Airline Industry, some of them high paying positions as well as some that list average
pay but are extremely interesting and rewarding.
“In 2009, median income for commercial pilots
was $65,840, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.” That statistic was
mentioned next and may fly in the face of some news reporter’s accounts of
earning a living in aviation. Of course, the goal most pursued is the prospect
of flying the biggest airliners for the biggest salaries. There will be a lot
of those opportunities as well for those who have the solid fundamental flight
training necessary to pursue those jobs.
The article goes on to rank commercial
aviation as one of the next decade’s most rapidly expanding areas of
employment: “Employment in this field is expected to grow 19 percent through
2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. An estimated 7,300 new jobs
will be added. With mergers and cutbacks in the industry, a lot of furloughed
pilots are currently competing for jobs. But that should ease as the economy
improves, air traffic picks up, and a lot of aging pilots retire.”
The article ends with the type of advice we
always try to give here: Real advice from real people on
how to land a job as a commercial pilot as related by someone who has been
“I got my commercial certificate, then my flight instructor
certification. So I was teaching, and making a living flying a Cessna 172 with
a traffic reporter. That added up to about six hours of flying every day. I
also flew a nighttime cargo route between L.A. and Sacramento, then flew an
on-demand passenger charter. By the time American Eagle hired me in 1999, I had
2,500 hours of flying time. If you’re not coming from the military, that’s a
typical sort of progression.” — Dave Ryter, American Eagle pilot and
chairman of Air Line Pilots Association education committee.
This path to success is being taken every day by aspiring commercial pilots who have made a career in aviation by taking the most direct route to the cockpit of commercial aircraft: getting the best flight
training available so that they can quickly advance their careers and achieve their career goals.