Veterans with a passion for flying can now soar into the wild blue yonder with extended benefits through the GI Bill 2.0 as part of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010. Previously vocational and flight-related training were not covered, but now such training will be covered when the law goes into effect on October 1, 2011.
In October veterans enrolling in flight schools will be able to receive direct payment through the Post-9 11 GI Bill. It is recommended that veterans who choose to pursue flight training attain a VA Certificate of Eligibility to determine how much military education benefits they may receive to put towards flight training. Regardless of VA reimbursement, veterans are responsible for fees associated with flight training programs.
Veterans who successfully complete an aviation training program will be a part of a growing selection of career opportunities. Flight-related careers are expected to show at least a 12% growth through 2018 according to US Bureau of Labor statistics. Job opportunities may include air cargo carriers, regional airlines, air taxis and low-cost carriers.
While college degrees and commercial pilot license are required for most flight-related jobs, military pilots have an advantage in the face of tough competition. Pilots can also start their professional flight careers working as flight instructors. This allows for the accumulation of flight hours and additional experience that will make veterans pursing aviation careers more attractive for lucrative jobs with commercial airlines.
The average wage for commercial pilots can range from approximately $73,000 to $117,000, depending on experience and specific flight-related job. Veterans can get more information on the Post-9 11 GI Bill at military.com or through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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