Job Profile: Airline Pilot

What is an airline pilot? The answer may seem simple but, in fact, the job of an airline pilot is much more complicated than what many individuals believe. The fastest way to travel from one place to another is through the air. Airplanes are amazing vehicles that can travel quickly and safely, high above the ground in order to move people and cargo from point A to Point B. Airplanes are complex and sophisticated machines, though, and they require well-trained and experienced people to operate them properly. An airline pilot is the individual in charge of flying an aircraft from one location to another. Pilots enjoy one of the most interesting careers in the world. Those who work for the major airlines can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per year if they have been flying for several years, and many pilots only work for 8 to 14 days out of each month. They hold job titles such as Airline Pilot, Captain, Co Pilot, First Officer and Flight Engineer, and they are some of the most respected individuals in the travel industry.

Degrees and Experience Needed

Becoming an airline pilot is not easy. Many people who become pilots experience flight training as part of a military commitment that can last for eight years. Others must pay for expensive flight training from out of their own pockets. Most pilots are also required to hold a bachelor’s degree in any subject to ensure a well-rounded level of intelligence and education. Additionally, they are expected to receive intense training in the field of general aviation. Typically, only the best and most experienced pilots are hired by the major airlines. The number of jobs available is incredibly small compared to the number of qualified applicants, but pilots who feel that they are qualified are encouraged to continue applying for airline jobs as they gain additional education and experience.

How Much Does an Airline Pilot Make?

Starting wages vary for new airline pilots, but they can range between $25,000 and $50,000 per year. Those who have a decade of experience with a particular company can earn as much as $300,000 annually. On average, though, pilots who work for major airlines earn approximately $100,000 per year. Pilots who achieve higher levels of education can earn more income, but experience and level of employment are the most crucial factors when it comes to salary.

Future Prospects

The last decade has been difficult for airline pilots, but things seem to be changing. Air travel is becoming more popular again, and as new carriers compete with established airlines, prices become more affordable for travelers. This creates a higher demand for air travel which means that more pilots must be hired. Although the future looks positive for airline pilots, it remains likely that only the most experienced and highly educated pilots will be able to compete for the highly coveted airline jobs. The answer to the question, “What is an airline pilot?” might seem simple, but the job is more complicated and multi faceted than most people realize.