Archive for the ‘Aviation Jobs’ Category

Business Ideas For Commercial Pilots

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

business ideas for commercial pilots - Cessna Caravan

The Cessna Grand Caravan is popular with aerial tour operators

Good pilot jobs in today’s economy have become harder and harder to find. Landing a major airline job is difficult and applicants face lots of competitors who have been waiting in line a long time for each opening. Many new pilots have to settle for low paying entry level jobs and sometimes even need to find additional non-aviation jobs to pay the bills. Some wonder if there is anything they can do to build a profitable business in the aviation industry. There are many options available to the commercial pilot who is willing to put in some capital and a little risk. Here’s a few business ideas for commercial pilots.

Charters, Tour Operators, and More

One option in pursuing a business is to purchase your own planes and provide chartered flights for business, individuals, or celebrities. There are some businesses or executives that will hire one charter business to be their permanent carrier. With time and marketing, the number of clients looking to hire you could grow. Other pilots might start a tour business flying over scenic locations. With an aircraft, or a fleet of aircraft, there are many other options that can be pursued which include air taxi, agricultural spraying, flight instruction, emergency search and rescue, etc.

Banner Towing

Marketers out there still love to hire pilots to tow banners in front of large crowds of people or during events. Typically these pilots fly low and slow in a single engine airplane. Banner towing is a great way to build up hours to transition into agricultural flying as well. Towing a banner does require some extra skill especially when taking off and landing the aircraft.

Aerial Photography

The advancement of cameras combined with social media on the Internet has created the opportunity for many amateur and professional photographers to make a living in aviation. Pilots can either work for hire or can do their own photography/videography from the air.

Even though times are tough as a pilot there are options for the spirited entrepreneur. Whether you invest funds and time into a charter business, banner towing, aerial photography, or many other options, there are those waiting for your services and expertise.

As an author, Jordan McPelt writes about various subject matter including aircraft, pilots, business, airport safety, and low profile airport barricades. Learn more about airport safety and airport barricades at

find a school button

Piloting Is A Career With Plenty Of Room For Growth

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
American Airlines jet on the groundBy Paul C. Guerrier

The airline industry is booming, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at job growth numbers these days. Both the airline and air shipping industries need a substantial number of new pilots, and that need is expected to grow over the next fifteen years both in the U.S. and abroad. It’s a double-edged sword though since airlines aren’t always profitable.

Digging Into Pilot Salaries May Spur Growth

It’s unfortunate, but the airline industry has been cutting back on pilot salaries for a while to keep airline ticket prices low. The cuts have been so severe that some experts say that the glory days of being a pilot are all but over. Those cuts may force some pilots to seek other jobs or retire. Because of this, the airline industry could face shortages.

While no one is attracted to a job with the lowest wages, those wages are unlikely to remain low during a pilot shortage. When pilots start leaving the industry, there’s a break-even point. Airlines need a certain number of pilots to run their airline. When that threshold is hit, expect salaries to climb. If a young pilot times it right, he could get in on the ground floor of a new hiring wave with a decent salary.

The Airline Industry Projects Growth

Boeing has forecast that it needs another 466,650 more commercial pilots by 2029 – a truly staggering number of pilots. Forty percent of those pilots are needed in the Asia-Pacific region. More than 97,000 will be needed in North America. It’s not a mystery to major airlines what will be required in the future.

Some airlines are expected to increase reliance on technology, rather than human beings, but there will always be a need for a human pilot to oversee flight operations. Many of the new pilot opportunities will be in Asia – especially China. While the economy isn’t growing as much as it was two years ago, China is still seeing a demand for increased travel.

Retirement May Spur Growth

Retirement is a reality in the airline industry. At age 65, pilots must retire by law. This fact alone serves as a warning to many airlines who have older pilots. In the 1980s and 1990s, being a pilot was pretty glamorous. That’s when airlines received the bulk of their now-veteran pilots. Today, those same pilots are approaching retirement. That former hiring boom is turning into a retirement boom – and a supply problem.

New pilots are needed, but not just any pilot will do. Airlines have quite a problem to solve. Older pilots have much more experience than new pilots. What’s needed is a gradual integration of new pilots, accompanied by seasoned veterans, to ease the industry into a new era.

The Air Shipping Industry

FedEx, UPS, and other air freight companies are doing more business by air these days. Even with the cost of fuel, consumer demand and increased online shopping is pushing the industry to put in more flight time. While fuel costs push companys’ profits down, the fact is that these same companies still need pilots to fly their aircraft and deliver goods.


About the author – Paul C. Guerrier recently completed his flight certification. He loves writing about his aviation hobby, and he blogs for a number of different websites in his spare time. Looking for an internationally recognized flight training program? Click here.

find a school button

New Way To Find Airline Jobs – ATP Launches

Thursday, February 21st, 2013 logo


ATP (Airline Transport Professionals) recently launched its new website which promises to help pilots find airline jobs and airlines find pilots. The new service is available to all pilots at no charge and is available now at

ATP’s new service is unique in the industry because instead of including only pilots who may already have all of the required prerequisites for an airline job, keeps track of a pilot’s progress and notifies potential employers automatically when a pilot makes a significant achievement like earning a type rating, for example. Pilots seeking jobs are encouraged to add their profiles to the site and to continually update their experience information as new licences, ratings, and endorsements are earned. chartATP says one of the advantages to using is that pilots “gain the advantage of establishing a relationship with their target employers as they work toward meeting hiring minimums”.

According to an ATP press release, “With concerns of hiring shortages, solutions for finding good quality pilot candidates are needed. Many airlines are unable to  see candidates until they have met hiring minimums and send in their resume which delays finding eligible pilots and prohibits a forward-looking hiring process. pilots can be viewed and their progress tracked by airline recruiters, simultaneously allowing recruiters to solve for future supply and demand constraints.”

“ includes a proprietary tracking program of flight times of pilots, giving airlines accurate projections of when pilots will meet minimums and be eligible for airline new-hire classes.  Many recruiters find that data in their files of potential candidates is outdated and misrepresents the real status of pilots seeking employment. Pilot pool gets airlines access to the most relevant pilot profiles for recruitment and relationship-building so airlines can meet their hiring needs over a longer term time horizon.  Along with this, ATP provides partner airlines with a dedicated representative to assist with workflow integration.  Partner airlines who use can be assured that the information they are receiving about candidates through is up-to-date.”

“Today ATP’s Airline Career Pilot Program prepares pilots for airline careers with nationwide flying experience in multi-engine aircraft. In partnership with the leading regional and national airlines, ATP offers its students an airline-sponsored career track from zero time to 1500 hours, with CFI job placement and airline employment. ATP flies over 9,000 hours to provide more than 350 FAA pilot certificates every month across 28 locations nationwide.”

find a school button

Wall Street Journal: Airlines Facing Pilot Shortage

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
United Boeing 777 - are the airlines facing a pilot shortage?

Photo © copyright Brandon Farris


In an article published November 12th, The Wall Street Journal cited multiple conditions that appear to be leading to a very real pilot shortage in the next few years.

“U.S. airlines are facing what threatens to be their most serious pilot shortage since the 1960s, with higher experience requirements for new hires about to take hold just as the industry braces for a wave of retirements.”

Upcoming forced retirements, a slowdown in new pilot training, and a new 1500-hour requirement for airline operators look like the combination for the “perfect storm,” creating a lack of pilots.

“This is going to come to a crisis,” said Bob Reding, recently retired executive vice president of operations at AMR Corp.’s American Airlines and now a consultant to FlightSafety International Inc., an aviation training provider.

Added Kit Darby, a consultant on pilot-hiring trends: “We are about four years from a solution, but we are only about six months away from a problem.

Estimates differ on the problem’s magnitude. Airlines for America, a trade group of the largest carriers that collectively employ 50,800 pilots now, cites a study by the University of North Dakota’s aviation department that indicates major airlines will need to hire 60,000 pilots by 2025 to replace departures and cover expansion.

Mr. Darby’s firm calculates that all U.S. airlines, including cargo, charter and regional carriers, together employ nearly 96,000 pilots, and will need to find more than 65,000 over the next eight years.”

Read the full Wall Street Journal article here

If you’re interested in becoming a pilot, check out our pilot training resources.

Related articles:

find a school button

Recalled Airline Pilots Face Tough Re-Evaluation Interviews

Thursday, October 18th, 2012
commuter turbopropBy Angie Marshall, Cage Consulting

Several airlines are in the process of  ‘calling back’ airline pilots who were hired several years ago but never given a class-date.  That means it is now time for the often misunderstood and neglected Re-Evaluation Interview.

Many things can change in a few months, much less a few years. Your potential employer will review your qualifications—both personally and professionally—in order to remain confident that you are still the right person for the job.

The first rule of interviewing remains true for the Re-Eval Interview: it is your responsibility to present your information in the clearest manner possible.

Towards this goal take the time to review:


  • How much time have you flown since your last interview?
  • If you have NOT flown, what is your reason?
  • If you have any problems with check rides since your initial interview you must be able to explain the problem and why it occurred. It may also be necessary to provide a written addendum (written explanation about the reasons and outcome of the check ride).
  • Be able to list your job titles/dates of employment for the jobs you have held (especially) since your initial interview.
  • If you have been unemployed, be able to clearly explain the circumstances.
  • If you had an opportunity to upgrade BUT DID NOT, you must be ready to explain why you passed on the opportunity.
  • If you received a driving violation, FAA accident/incident/violations, job suspension or termination or any other ‘negative’ in your life you must be ready to explain the situation to the employer.
  • One-hour basic brush-up.
  • Assistance with preparing addenda for Special Concerns.





A Re-Evaluation Interview (or any interview for that matter) is not the time to discuss the difficulties and unfairness of your work situation. Everyone has their story but if you use this venue to vent you will find yourself without a job offer!

REMEMBER! Every person you come in contact with during your pre-employment process could have input into the hiring decision. Be clear, be courteous and be kind to everyone. Good luck!

Cage Consulting Re-Evaluation Interview Prep Services

Cheryl Cage & Angie Marshall
Cage Consulting, Inc.

find a school button

Is Accelerated Pilot Training Right For You?

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
757 landing at sunset

Accelerated pilot training can get you here, faster.


We’ve posted another great article on pilot training. If you’re interested in flying for a career, this one is a must-read. Here’s a quick look:

Is your flight training goal to start a flying career? If so, an accelerated flight school may be just what you’re looking for. Imagine, if you will, learning to fly, starting with no experience, in a few short months and starting the aviation career you’re dreaming of rather than years of training once a week or less for the same thing. At the right flight school, this is easily possible, because accelerated training programs allow your training to progress faster, more efficiently, and save you money….

Click here to read the full article:

See our Featured Flight Schools directory here:

find a school button

Community College Adds Pilots Training Programs

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Students in New Jersey now have another option for starting an aviation career thanks to new programs at Atlantic Cape Community College.

On June 26, the Atlantic Cape Community College Board of Trustees voted to add two new aviation programs to the college’s tuition and fees schedule for the next school year. The programs include an instrument pilot course, which costs $12,000 and a commercial pilot course, which costs $21,000.

At the completion of the programs students will receive an associate in science degree in Aviation Studies. The goal of the program, which also offers a professional pilot option, is to prepare students to transfer to a four-year aviation degree program. To that end, Atlantic Cape Community College has signed articulation agreements with several colleges to ensure a smooth transfer for their students.

With the professional pilot option, students will graduate with a Commercial Pilot Certificate and instrument rating. To take advantage of this option, students must apply for the program, meet all FAA requirements for commercial pilot training, and have a second-class medical certificate.

The degrees require 66 credit hours, which cost $300 in addition to the flight training fees. These fees cover the colleges program costs, while the flight training fees cover flight training costs at Big Sky Aviation of Millville, which is the college’s training provider for these programs.

These two programs are a great addition to the large number of aviation programs available throughout the country and are very competitively priced. They will be a huge benefit to the students of Atlantic Cape Community College and those in the surrounding area who may have been considering a career in aviation.

Furthermore, they are a great template for other community colleges to consider when adding degree programs. They allow the school to do what they know best, while contracting with a flight school to perform the flight training. This benefits the college, which can offer in-demand aviation degree programs, the flight school, which has a new source of regular students, and the students, who can get a great head start on a career as a professional pilot.

For more information on flight training and choosing the right school, check out our Flight Training Resource Center or find flight training near you.

Source: Future Pilots Can Learn at Atlantic Cape Community College
This article was written by Matthew Everett, a private pilot, aviation writer, and frequent contributor to You can follow him on twitter @leaving_tf or find his blog at

find a school button

Foreign carriers offering lucrative contracts for U.S. pilots

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Due to booming economies and rapid expansion of commercial aviation, foreign airlines are offering lucrative contracts to combat a shortage of qualified pilots.

For pilots, or aspiring pilots, who won’t mind working overseas international airlines are in a bit of a bidding war.

With the consolidation of several U.S. carriers, the job market for airline pilots isn’t as attractive as it once was. Pilots face a long climb to the top and compensation along the way can pale in comparison to what foreign carriers are offering.

Due to booming economies in places like China, commercial aviation is rapidly expanding and facing a very real shortage of qualified pilots. This has resulted in foreign carriers offering signing bonuses, housing, and other attractive bonuses to experienced pilots.

A report from the Civil Aviation Administration of China indicates a need for more than 15,000 additional pilots by 2015. Since Chinese airlines are having a hard time filling the need domestically, they’re looking overseas to fill the need.

According to an industry analyst, these deals may not be as attractive to pilots at major U.S. carriers who are well compensated, but rather the large contingent of highly experienced regional airline pilots who feel limited by their prospects for advancement.

A first officer with plenty of experience may be waiting quite a while for a captain position at a U.S. airline, but in China the same first officer’s upgrade can come right away accompanied with twice the pay.

Pilots seeking overseas work can negotiate directly with the foreign airlines or through a recruitment service which matches pilots and airlines and handles the negotiations. Some of these companies currently have listings for hundreds of positions.

Deals like these are great for both pilots and foreign airlines as they provide lucrative contracts to pilots who are filling the needs of the airlines. Perhaps more importantly, they are also good for aspiring or furloughed airline pilots in the U.S. who could leverage these contracts to accelerate their domestic job prospects.

Flight training in the U.S. is still more affordable and quicker than in other countries, but pilots’ job prospects are often weakened by lack of experience in larger jets. Since many foreign airlines are offering to pay for type ratings, many U.S. pilots will see an increased demand for their skills back home after only a brief contract overseas.

For more information on flight training and choosing the right school, check out our Flight Training Resource Center or find flight training near you.


U.S. pilots find high demand, high pay overseas

China Lures U.S. Pilots Tired of 14-Year Wait for Airline Captain’s Seat

This article was written by Matthew Everett, a private pilot, aviation writer, and frequent contributor to You can follow him on twitter @leaving_tf or find his blog at

find a school button

Aspiring Pilots Need To Know And Practice Airline SOPs

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
A Virgin America airliner climbing out

Photo courtesy of Brandon Farris

As airline pilots, we are directly responsible for, and are the final authority for, the operation of our aircraft. This includes the aircraft and everything in it, crew, passengers, and cargo. The Captain (Pilot in Command) has the final authority over all other assigned crew members from the time they report for duty until the termination of the flight. This also includes transportation to and from the layover facility. To those outside the airline industry, this may seem like an enormous amount of responsibility. It is, but fortunately, almost everything we do is covered in our Flight Operations Manual (FOM). This manual spells out the steps to be taken in a wide range of situations. Within the FOM, the normal operation of the aircraft is covered in the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

The SOPs are set up to cover every phase of a flight. These phases of flight include:

• Preflight
• Start
• Before Take Off
• Take Off
• Climb, Cruise, and Decent
• Approach
• Go Around and Landing
• Parking and Post Flight

Flow patterns are used by the Captain and First Officer to configure the aircraft systems for flight in an organized manner without the use of a checklist. These flow patterns a practiced over and over by pilots until they become part of our muscles memory. We almost instinctively are able to complete the required flow for a particular phase of flight. After the flows are complete, a checklist is used to recheck those items most critical to safe flight. Examples include: fuel on board, weight and balance, route of flight, flap setting for take off.

Standardized Training

The concept of Standardized Training as applied to aviation operations is the main reason why the safety record for airlines is so outstanding in this country. The process starts with the aircraft manufactures, mainly Boeing and Airbus. A set of operating procedures are developed by the manufacture for each model of aircraft. When an airline orders and takes delivery of the aircraft, they can choose to use the company procedures, or tailor them to suite their specific operation. Most airlines choose to use a variation of the manufacture’s procedures. In any case, the procedures adopted by the airline will be standard for all pilots flying that aircraft type.

Once a pilot completes the airline’s FAA approved training program, he/she is a competent member of the flight crew team. Two pilots that have never met are able to safely operate the aircraft in the highly complex Air Traffic Control system. Each pilot knows what to do and what to say at the appropriate time. Every action and verbal communication are the same.

Young pilots that aspire to a career with the airlines should seek out training programs that teach Standardized Training and Standard Operating procedures. Flows, checklists, and verbal callouts can be developed for single-engine trainers as well. These procedures can be used from your first flight to completion of your commercial rating. Your transition to the airlines will be that much easier with this training mindset.

This article was written by Michael Moore, an A-320 Captain, aviation writer, and frequent contributor to You can follow him on Twitter @michaelflies or find his blog at

find a school button

Five Aviation Careers You May Not Have Considered

Thursday, April 5th, 2012
Turbine aircraft engine

Aircraft mechanics work on turbine engines like this one. Photo credit: Benedeki

The field of aviation offers many jobs other than the obvious careers as pilot or flight attendant. Many supporting positions are available inside and outside of the terminal, so there may be a job for you in the industry that you haven’t even considered yet! Here’s a rundown of five alternative careers in aviation. Do any of them strike your fancy?

Ticket agents perform more duties than just issuing tickets. They confirm reservations, help passengers at self-service ticketing kiosks, make boarding announcements, help passengers board the plane and confirm seating assignments. They must be able to work with minimal supervision, handle point-of-sale transactions and know geography. They should be able to handle up to 100 pounds frequently during their work shift. Ticket agents should be well-groomed and pleasant. A college degree is preferred, but a high school diploma is usually the minimum requirement for this job.

Aircraft fuelers prepare the planes for flight. They might be responsible for filling the fuel truck and fueling the planes. They might position cleaning gear and power carts. They have to lift long, heavy fuel hoses while standing on a ladder. They deal with hazardous materials on a daily basis. An aircraft fueler must be able to climb a ladder up to thirty times per shift. They work varying shifts as needed. Fuelers must have a valid driver’s license and a high school diploma or equivalent.

A ground attendant handles all sorts of issues. They’re constantly dealing with passengers who have questions or problems, so they must be friendly problem solvers. A ground attendant might have to explain missed connections, answer inquiries regarding airfares, find lost baggage and help those with disabilities get around the terminal by wheelchair. Ground attendants must be able to stand or walk for their entire shift. A high school diploma is required.

Cargo or baggage handlers are responsible for loading and unloading baggage. They must handle the cargo safely and in a timely manner. They work outside on ramps and are exposed to good and bad weather. They load heavy luggage and spend their days stretching, bending and lifting. They also operate trucks, conveyors, fork lifts and baggage tugs. High school graduates are preferred.

Aircraft mechanics examine and repair aircraft. Aircraft mechanic training is required for this position due to the importance of the job. Aircraft mechanics must be able to work on many types of aircraft and helicopters. They’re in charge of maintaining hydraulic systems, airframes, avionics equipment and instrumentation. They might specialize on one part of the plane, such as the engine. They must be able to work with little supervision. Safety and speed are important in this position.

So what do you think? Do you know anybody whose abilities and personalities fit well with these careers? If so, let them know! Airlines are always hiring!

This article was prepared and submitted by Philip J Reed on behalf of Redstone College, which offers an aircraft mechanic training program. Please visit their website for more information, or leave a comment below.

find a school button