Posts Tagged ‘airline pilot jobs’

What should I study to become a pilot?

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

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The question comes up over and over, “I’m not good at math, but I want to be a pilot, what should I study in college?”
There is no right or wrong answer to this question…at least not in the sense that you might be thinking.  Perhaps because the question itself is flawed.  The real question should be, “How am I going to go about making my dreams a reality?”


Answering this question is going to take some soul searching.  First you have to determine what your dreams are.  Then, you have to determine what the steps are to achieving your dreams.  And the most important step, of course, is to start taking action.

Let’s go through this step by step:

1. What are you passionate about?

If you think you might be passionate about flying, you need to get specific and clear on what your ultimate goal is.  In other words, what type of pilot do you want to be and why?

If “money” or “status” are high on the list of reasons why you want to fly – you need to do some more soul searching.  Passion lies beyond material things – it’s something that you would do even if you didn’t get paid for it. The type of flying is also important – airline flying, for instance is different than corporate flying, different than military type flying, different than cargo flying, etc.  Find out what type of flying would suit you best.

2. Depending on the type of career you want, you now have to figure out a road map to get there.

Find companies offering the types of career you want or individuals who already have the type job you want.  Figure out what the requirements are.  College degree? Any special certifications?  For instance, most airlines require a college degree – they don’t specify what type of degree.  This is probably due to the fact that today’s aircraft are so sophisticated that they do most of the work for you.  If you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide, you have the required math skills required to be an airline pilot.

Other type of pilot careers may require more advanced degrees, e.g. Test Pilots usually have engineering degrees.

3. Take massive action.

Once you know the requirements, find out where get them.  Research schools, talk to others who have already achieved some level of success, and then act.  If you’re still not sure what to choose as a field of study in college, check out this article that will give you plenty of ideas.

Article Author: Ruth Morlas is dedicated to helping others reach their dream of becoming a pilot.  For more information visit

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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

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Thousands of Airline Pilots Jobs Worldwide

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

As Asia’s demand for air travel grows, so does its need for pilots.  With the purchase hundreds of new commercial aircraft, Asia’s demand for new pilots is so great, they are looking for experienced U.S. Pilots to fill the gap.  And, Asia is willing to pay them in upwards of $200,000 per year.

According to the report by CNN, Asia predicts a shortage of 9,000 pilots per year through the year 2030.  There are a number of reasons for such a drastic shortage.  First, it takes about two years to simply start a flight school in Asia.  That problem is compounded by the fact that there are only twelve (12) flight schools in Asia where there are 240 million people.  Additionally, if you add in the amount of time it takes to become a qualified commercial pilot, with experience, you can begin to see why Asia is looking to the U.S. for experienced pilots.

But what does this mean for the younger U.S. pilots who want jobs with a U.S. carriers?  It means jobs opening may increase over time as some of the more experienced pilots opt for going the Asian route.  Good news for everybody who wants to be a pilot.

Check out Aviation Schools Online for the most comprehensive directory of professional pilot training programs on the web.

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Apple iPad: Making Its Way to a Cockpit Near You

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Photo courtesy of Brandon Farris, copyright 2011,

The next time you fly, Apple’s innovative tablet device could play a significant role in your trip. Since receiving approval from the FAA, the Apple iPad has become very popular with US airlines. According to recent reports, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines are eying the device for replacing paper charts, maps, and flight manuals.

Alaska Airlines has begun phasing out their paper flight manuals in favor of the PDF copies on the iPad. The devices will only initially replace the paper flight manuals, some 40 or more documents weighing almost 25 pounds, but the airline is considering also replacing charts and maps. The iPad is considered a Class 1 electronic device under FAA regulations and must be stowed during takeoff and landing, but otherwise it is a big hit with the airline.

The airline says adopting the iPad will save 2.4 million pieces of paper. According to their estimates, the cost of outfitting every pilot with an iPad will be offset by lower paper and printing costs as well as fuel savings from the weight reduction.

Following on the heels of Alaska Airlines, American Airlines has begun a six-month test of the iPad as an electronic flight bag. The testing currently consists of flights along two international routes out of Los Angeles.

While Alaska Airlines’ adoption of the iPad is more widespread, the American Airlines tests will replace both flight manuals and navigational charts and maps. If the tests work well, the airline intends to phase out the 35 pounds or more of paper manuals and charts that pilots must lug to and from the cockpit every day.

The test is a result of an initiative spearheaded by the Allied Pilots Association. The association called for electronic flight bags to replace pilots’ big black cases and it happens that the iPad might do the trick.

With weight savings, reduction in document production expenses, and near instantaneous updates, it is clear that the iPad’s use as a cost-effective electronic flight bag in commercial cockpits will only increase. In fact, it would come as no surprise to find that other carriers are looking over the shoulders of Alaska Airlines and American Airlines taking notes as those carriers begin to adopt the device.

What’s your take? Do you think the iPad makes a great, cost-effective electronic flight bag or are we setting ourselves up for Angry Birds and dead batteries at 30,000 feet?

Find flight training schools in your area.

American Airlines pilots to try out iPads as flight bags
Alaska Airlines Pilots Go Lean And Green With iPads
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

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FAA: The Aviation Industry Is Positioned for Growth

Friday, March 11th, 2011
Horizon Airlines DHC-8-402Q

The aviation industry is set to grow says the Federal Aviation Administration - Horizon Airlines DHC-8-402Q

Unemployment, deteriorating assets, reduced travel accounts and budget conscious consumers may have contributed to the economic downswing, but long-term, the aviation industry is set to grow says the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

According to FAA Administrator Randy Babbit, changes are expected over the next several years due to rapid growth of international markets and large airports. In addition, the departure of smaller regional jets is anticipated with the continuing trend of larger regional jets to replace the fleet.

The FAA has pushed back, the announcement in the FAA Aerospace Forecast Fiscal Years 2011-2031, for one billion passenger flights to occur in the year 2021 to 2023. In spite of a reduction in passengers, air travel remains valuable to the public over the long-term.

Even during this period of economic recovery, environmental issues, fuel prices, declines in general aviation (GA) aircraft shipments for a third year running and major economic impact on the business jet market warrants caution over the forecast.

Economic maturity is encouraging growth in business aviation over the long-term. An anticipated increase in GA hours is at an average of 2.5 percent annually through the year 2030 in conjunction with a growing fleet. Stability depends on continuing growth in advanced productivity, the labor force and capital shares.

The average growth rate of commercial aircraft is forecast at 150 aircraft or 1.8 percent annually from 2009 to 2030. The number of mainline carrier passenger jets is forecast to increase by 40 aircraft in 2011 since decreasing by 17 aircraft in 2010 and 129 aircraft in 2009. This increase will average 85 aircraft annually from 2010-2030. The FAA is confident in strong growth in the active GA fleet. This may be due to product offerings, business jet aircraft demands, foreign demand and importance of corporate safety and security measures.

The conversion of the United States aviation system from radar to satellite-based systems, through the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), helps passengers reach their destinations faster and safer with increased capacity. “We are already seeing the tangible safety and efficiency benefits of NextGen,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “Only a modernized air transportation system will be able to keep up with our forecasted demand.”

After implementing NextGen throughout their network, Southwest Airlines estimates a savings of $60 million on fuel costs. This advanced technology benefits all by reducing noise, fuel, delays and emissions.

Sources: (pdf download)

Author Bio:

Bethany Harris is a freelance writer whose work appears in online publications such as Compuquotes, MadeMan, Clariity and others. She writes for commercial and private clients on various topics that include insurance, health conditions, safety, education, legal, and business. Harris holds an Associate of Arts Degree in Communications and a diploma in Human Relations & Public Speaking. Contact her at

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New Flight Training Rules Could Create Pilot Shortage

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

A proposed rule that would require airline pilots to take a nine hour break between shifts, and 30 consecutive hours away from flight duty each week, is evoking widespread concern within the airline industry.

Representatives from several major airlines contend that the rule would create a severe pilot shortage and force them to recruit several hundreds more pilots at an enormous cost to their operations and to the industry in general.

The proposed rule stems from a bill called the ‘Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Act’ (H.R. 5900) that was passed by Congress last July and signed into law by President Barack Obama in August 2010. The bill is designed to enhance aviation safety by requiring airlines to ensure that pilots and other cockpit crew members are adequately rested before they start a shift.

In addition, the bill also requires airlines to only hire pilots who have a minimum of 1500 hours of flight time. The statute also mandates more comprehensive background checks and stricter flight training regimens for pilots and other cockpit crew members. Under H.R. 5900, airlines have until August 2013 to ensure that their pilots and co-pilots have an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate with at least 1500 hours of total flight time.

Airlines such as Southwest and American Airlines have complained that the rules sets standards that most airlines would be hard pressed to meet. They have argued that the requirements would cause pilot shortages because there wouldn’t be enough pilots that are qualified under the new standards.

Several have argued that the rule would force them to spend hundreds of millions of dollars more on salaries, flight training and other expenses. American Airlines for instance, has suggested that the rules would significantly decrease the amount of hours its pilots could fly, thereby forcing it to hire an additional 2300 pilots. Such an undertaking would cost the company an additional $500 million in expenses annually, American Airlines has claimed. Southwest too has publicly proclaimed similar concerns with regard to the proposed regulations and has argued that the rules would result in a massive pilot shortage across the industry.

The bill was passed in the wake of the February 2009 crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 in Buffalo, New York. The crash killed 50 people, including two pilots, two flight attendants and one off-duty pilot. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) later attributed the cause of the crash to pilot error most likely stemming from fatigue. The NTSB determined that neither the pilot nor the co-pilot had adequate rest before starting their shift.

H.R 5900 requires the Federal Aviation Administration to develop rules to meet the intent behind the law. The FAA began work on developing the rules last August. It released an initial set of proposed rules last year and received public comments on it through November 30, 2010. The FAA is expected to complete review of the comments and issue its final rules sometime in the first quarter of 2011.


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Airline Pilot Hiring: Carriers Offering Incentives For Jobs Abroad

Monday, February 14th, 2011
Pilot Jobs Abroad Increasing

Opportunities for pilots abroad continue to grow – photo courtesy of and copyright 2011 Brandon Farris

The sky ahead seems to be clear for an aspiring airline pilot. Flying is a challenging task and not everyone is successful at it. There are many physical and mental challenges that serve as roadblocks. If one is up to the challenge,  he/she can fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a professional pilot.

U.S. airline companies are now expanding and they are hiring pilots from abroad, and some foreign airlines are hiring American pilots too. Emirates, Korean Air, Cathay and JAL are a few airlines reaching out to U.S. pilots. When companies run out of skilled and experienced pilot candidates, they hire foreigners. Education and experience are the two main attributes a pilot needs to fly successfully.

Anyone who hopes to fly professionally needs to begin training early. In order to fly commercially, pilots must be 18 years of age or older and have at least a high school education. A bachelor’s degree is also required if he is looking to work in one of the regional or major airlines. Flight hours logged is also an important aspect of applying for airline jobs. A person who has logged 600-700 hours of flying can apply for a job at most of the regional airlines. However, new legislation may up flight time requirements to 1500 hours. Flight time requirements are significantly higher at the major airlines, so pilots need to plan on “paying their dues” to get a position in the cockpit of a major airline.

Commercial pilots need to have corrected vision to 20/20, must be outgoing, have the heart and determination to put in long hours without complaining, and possess excellent concentration and multitasking skills.

Airlines are expanding worldwide and many have vacancies for those seeking jobs abroad. In addition, American pilots taking jobs abroad may find many benefits not available in the U.S. market. Apart from salary, the other benefits of the job can include stays at luxurious villas or apartments, five star hotel stays during trips, medical insurance coverage and flight discounts for family and friends. The salary range is also very extensive. Depending on experience and seniority, airline pilots typically earn between $25,000 and $160,000 annually.

Airline job seekers will be asked to provide a recommendation letter. Getting admission to and graduating from any world-renowned flying academy has its own perks. If an applicant graduated from a flying academy, the academy could help with building flight hours as a certificated flight instructor.

Explore our Featured Flight Schools and Academies here


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Wisconsin College Adds Aviation Minor

Friday, January 14th, 2011
Pilatus PC-12

Photo courtesy of Brandon Farris, copyright 2011,

A small, liberal arts college in Wisconsin, Lakeland College, recently announced plans to launch a four-year undergraduate minor in aviation.

The program will begin in the fall semester and consists of 31 credit hours of work. The required course work includes ground school classroom instruction and flight instruction at Sheboygan County Memorial Airport or Austin Straubel International Airport.

Lakeland and Frontline Aviation, based in Green Bay, partnered to create the program, which is the first of its kind in Wisconsin. While the partnership does come at a down time, experts are predicting an upswing in aviation jobs for which graduates of such programs will be perfectly positioned. The program at Lakeland is designed to provide students with the education and flying skills required for those jobs. The program is also designed to allow area students to obtain their pilot ratings and a four-year degree without having to endure transferring from a smaller two-year school.

The commercial aviation sector has seen more than its share of job loss and pay cuts recently with pilots losing out in major airline mergers and flight schools closing because of rising insurance and training costs in the face of a reduction in applicants who can afford flight training. Fortunately, industry experts see light on the horizon. They are calling for a shortage of pilots in the next few years as the federally-mandated retirement catches up with many airline pilots.

Additionally, niche pilot careers like corporate charters or law enforcement aviation are starting to get more attention from schools. By combining a four-year degree in criminal justice and flight training, a student would be well positioned to pilot aircraft for a law enforcement agency like U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Unfortunately, cost is going to play a huge role in deciding the viability of the new program. Lakeland officials estimate that students will have to pay $27,000 for the program, which takes them up to their flight instructor certificate. Most of the program costs go to pay for aircraft rental which is about $125 per hour at Frontline Aviation.

The bottom line is that Lakeland students now have one of the most affordable flight training programs at their disposal. They will graduate with a four-year degree ready to move into a flight instructing or entry-level commercial flying job. Within a short amount of time they could be well on their way to an ATP rating and the right seat of a commercial airliner as hiring increases at the airlines.

For more information on flight training and choosing the right school, check out our Flight Training Resource Center or compare flight training in Wisconsin.

Source:Undergrads earn degrees and wings
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

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New Pilot Fatigue Regulations Meet Criticism

Monday, November 29th, 2010

New pilot fatigue regulations have been criticized on both sides.

In the aftermath of the crash of Colgan Air flight 3407, the FAA was tasked with developing new regulations to prevent pilot fatigue. After embarking on a lengthy process including a thorough review of scientific studies, the FAA has released their proposed new regulations. Unfortunately, the new regulations are meeting criticism from all sides as both airlines and pilots disagree with certain elements.

Captain Chesley Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles, who landed their severely crippled Airbus in the Hudson River, spoke out against the new rules at a news conference last week. They said that the new rules were fundamentally flawed and that they should be changed “to protect the safety of the flying public.” Both were especially critical of the change in regulations that allows maximum daily flight time to increase from eight hours to 10 hours. “We’re here to tell you that you cannot reduce pilot fatigue by increasing the amount of time a pilot is at the controls,” Skiles said.

On the other side of the argument, the Air Transport Association, which represents airlines, has protested the new regulations proposed by the FAA on the grounds that they would “create onerous and duplicative regulations.” Additionally, the ATA indicated that implementing the regulations would put airlines on the hook for more than $20 billion dollars in the next decade, more than 15 times the cost estimates provided by the FAA.

There are some supporters of the new regulations such as the Air Line Pilots Association, who were supportive of the FAA’s proposal, which they say is “sorely needed” and based on the best available research. The ALPA expressed a concern that airlines would argue against the change on the grounds that costs would be prohibitive and indicated they felt actual costs incurred would be manageable.

The regulations, while indeed sorely needed and based on the latest research, do contain a few concerning changes. Their are several areas where the new regulations seem to contradict their intention are in the sections concerning duty time. Namely, the FAA has allowed maximum flight time to increase and they mandate only nine hours between shifts, which does not allow enough time for a full eight hours of sleep in addition to routine morning tasks like eating and commuting to work. While the public comment period is closed, we can still hope the FAA considers the concerns voiced and reconsiders some of the new regulations.

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

Sources: FAA’s Fatigue Rules Critiqued
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

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Reader’s Digest Offers Inside Look at Airline Pilot Jobs

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

In recent articles, Readers Digest is offering an inside look at airline jobs.

Reader’s Digest is running a couple of articles that should be of great interest to future airline pilots. The magazine interviewed 20 pilots and flight attendants and condensed their responses into 3 articles: 50 Secrets Your Pilot Won’t Tell You, 13 Things Your Flight Attendant Won’t Tell You, and 10 More Things Your Flight Attendant Won’t Tell You.

The articles are excellent reading for any air traveller, but should really interest those seeking jobs with the airlines. They offer a real inside look at pilot and flight attendant jobs from the people that know them best: pilots and flight attendants.

Several of the “secrets” told by the pilots aren’t particularly surprising, like scheduling and pay troubles, given the amount of press those issues have gotten lately. One pilot in particular indicated that he didn’t appreciate passengers complaining to him about other aspects of the airline experience, because his “retirement was taken to help subsidize your $39 airfare.” Take that as you will, but it says something about the current state of many airlines-no area is safe when it comes to cost-cutting. Some of the cost-cutting that goes on at some airlines, as indicated by the pilots in the article, is mildly concerning. Namely the thought that airlines are cutting fuel margins close enough that deviations are sometimes required due to fuel.

While the rest of the content in the articles is informative, the final tip offered by a pilot in North Carolina completely sums up the airline pilot experience. The pilot states, “Here’s the truth about airline jobs: You don’t have as much time off as your neighbors think you have, you don’t make as much money as your relatives think you make, and you don’t have as many girlfriends as your wife thinks you have. Still, I can’t believe they pay me to do this.”

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

Sources: Pilots, FAs Vent To Reader’s Digest and 50 Secrets Your Pilot Won’t Tell You
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

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