Discover How to Become an Airline Pilot Here

Airline Pilot: A Quick Look
Median Salary$118,140 or $90.45 per hour
Entry-level EducationBachelor’s Degree from an accredited school
On-the-job trainingSome, but basic flight training typically occurs in prior jobs
Primary employersAirlines
Number of positions (U.S.)75,700
Job Growth (2012-2022)1% (Incredibly slower than average)
New positions (2012-2022)800

Airline Pilot Job Description:

How to Become an Airline Pilot

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The typical airline pilot job description contains the following responsibilities and tasks: ensuring the safety and security of the airline, piloting commercial airliners, communicating with air traffic control, monitoring airplane gauges throughout the flight and ensuring safety, and much more. An airline pilot typically needs a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. They also typically need previous experience flying planes commercially. Pilots earn an excellent salary, although they typically work weekends and evenings which may be considered undesirable schedules by some individuals. This career field is not expected to grow much in the upcoming years, so job availability will be limited and competition will be high. Want to learn more about the airline pilot job description?

Airline Pilot Salary:

As of May 2014, the median annual airline pilot salary was $118,140 or $90.45 per hour according to the BLS’ latest data. The highest earning 10 percent of airline pilots earned annual salaries of $187,200 or more. The lowest earning 10 percent of airline pilots earned annual salaries of $64,780 or less. Pilots start out earning lower salaries and gradually earn more each year that they work. They also may be able to earn more working per diem or overtime. The most senior pilots become captains and they tend to earn the highest salaries. Continue reading to learn more about the airline pilot salary. You may discover more about the Airline Pilot salary below in our report

How to Become an Airline Pilot:

Do you want to know how to become an airline pilot? You can learn all about it here! To become an airline pilot, you must earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Additionally, airline pilots must earn a commercial pilot’s license from the FAA and an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate. In order to become an airline pilot, pilots typically need prior experience working as a commercial pilot. Prior to that, many pilots are trained by private flight instructors or take classes at flight schools. If you would like to learn more about how to become an airline pilot, continue reading! Check out our comprehensive guide to discover more about how to become an Airline Pilot.

Airline Pilot Job Outlook:

According to data from the BLS, the flight attendant job outlook is projected to grow by 2% between the years 2014 to 2024. This rate of growth is much slower than the average rate of growth for all professions in the United States. As of 2024, there should be approximately 100,100 flight attendant positions in the U.S.

The airline pilot job outlook is projected to grow by 1% between 2014 and 2024 according to the BLS. The rate of growth for this profession is notably slower than the average rate of growth for all profession combined in the United States. By 2024, it is estimated that there will be approximately 76,500 airline pilot positions in the United States. If you want to learn even more about the airline pilot job outlook, be sure to continue reading our guide.

Airline Pilot Salary

The annual average airline pilot salary is notably higher than the average salary for all occupations in the U.S. combined. BLS data gathered in 2014 indicated that the median annual income for an airline pilot was $118,140 or $90.45 per hour. The median value is different than the average salary although the numbers can be close in some situations. The median value indicates the middle salary value for all airline pilots employed in the United States. What this means is that half of all airline pilots make more than $118,140 and half earn less than that totally annual salary. The airline pilot salary tends to be higher than the annual commercial pilot salary. The median annual wage for a commercial pilot was $75,620 in 2014. An airline pilot salary may differ based on various factors that influence annual income. As pilots gain experience and spend more hours flying, they tend to earn increasingly higher salaries. Pilots who are promoted to captains tend to earn the highest annual salaries. The more time pilots spend away from home or working undesirable hours or days, the more they earn.
  • The lowest earning 10 percent of airline pilots earned an annual salary of less than $64,780
  • The highest earning 10 percent of airline pilots earn annual salaries of more than $187,200
  • Pilots earn more as they become more experienced and if they work undesirable hours, on holidays, etc.
  • Pilots start out earning low salaries but their pay gradually increases over time
Salaries may also vary based on where a pilot is based out of. Pilots who are based out of metropolitan areas typically earn more than those who are based out airports in more of rural areas. Also, the larger the airline company the higher salaries may be. Pilots who have previous experience in the military are also highly desirable and therefore very well paid. Those who have military experience may automatically start out at high salaries rather than having to work their way up to the higher income brackets.

How to Become an Airline Pilot

Would you like to learn how to become an airline pilot? If you would, continue reading to learn more. We break it down for you. Typically, the minimum education level necessary to become an airline pilot is a bachelor’s degree. The bachelor’s degree must be from an accredited college or university. The subject in which the perspective pilot has earned a degree does not matter. However, they must earn a commercial pilot’s license as well as an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (the FAA). Pilots must have years and many hours of flight experience before they will be considered for a position with a major airline. Those who have experience flying planes for the military have a much better advantage over job seekers who do not have the same level of experience. Newly hired airline pilots undergo a moderate level of training while on the job. This training must be in accordance with the Airline Transport Pilot (or the ATP). During the training, newly hired airline pilots receive between 6 to 8 weeks of ground school training. They then spend 25 hours of in-air flight training. Pilots must undergo periodic physical examinations, training sessions, and more. They must also practice specific flight maneuvers. To become an airline pilot, the following licenses and ratings must be earned: Student Pilot Certificate, Private Pilot License, Instrument Rating, Commercial Pilot License, Multi-Engine Rating, and finally Airline Transport Pilot Certificate. Pilots must pass written exams while on the ground as well as in-flight exams. Pilots typically earn Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) ratings after they earn their commercial certificates. To become an airline pilot, the following licenses and ratings must be earned: Student Pilot Certificate, Private Pilot License, Instrument Rating, Commercial Pilot License, Multi-Engine Rating, and finally Airline Transport Pilot Certificate. Pilots must pass written exams while on the ground as well as in-flight exams. Pilots typically earn Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) ratings after they earn their commercial certificates. In order to qualify for a commercial pilot’s license, individuals must be 18 years of age or older. When just starting out, student pilots must document their time spent flying in a logbook. Specific medical and physical exams, written exams, and flight exams must be completed and successfully passed.

Airline Pilot Job Description

  The job of an airline pilot is exciting, rewarding, and at times stressful. The airline pilot job description includes a variety of responsibilities and tasks including: ensuring the safety and security of the airline, flying the commercial airliners, communicating with air traffic control, monitoring the airplane throughout the duration of the flight, ensuring the safety of passengers, and more. Responsibilities are generally the same, but they may vary slightly from one flight to the next.

An airline pilot job description commonly contains these job responsibilities:

  • Check the airplane for before and after each flight to rule out any issues with the plane
  • Check the fuel level before and after each flight
  • Ensure that the weather conditions are safe for flight
  • Communicate with air traffic control
  • Check to be sure that the airplane is at the proper weight prior to departing
  • Monitor various functions and levels in the plane throughout the flight (altitude, fuel level, engine function, etc.)
  • Respond and adapt to changing condition (such as weather, emergencies)
  • Safely fly the airplane
Pilots must be able to work well with others as they must coordinate various procedures (specifically taking off, landing, and flying during tumultuous and rough weather) with other pilots and employees on the flight. The captain typically works closely with a co-pilot. The co-pilot may need to take over for the captain at various times throughout the flight or if the captain would have a medical emergency. Airline pilots must spend time planning out their flights and ensuring that the airplane is safe and ready for flight. For these reasons, the job of an airline pilot can be very stressful and demanding.

Airline Pilot Job Outlook

Between the years 2014 and 2024, the airline pilot job outlook is projected to grow by approximately 1% according to the BLS. This is much slower than the projected rate of growth for all occupations in the United States. By 2024, it is anticipated that there will be 76,500 airline pilots employed in the United Sates. As of 2014, there were 75,700 airline pilots employed in the U.S. It is estimated that 800 new airline pilot positions will be created between 2014 and 2024. It is anticipated that there will be a lot of competition for airline pilot positions due to a high demand that exceeds the number of vacant positions. The majority of job opportunities that become available will come from pilots retiring from the workforce. It is anticipated that many pilots will retire between the years 2014 and 2024. Pilots are required to retire by the age of 65. Pilots who are seeking positions with major airlines can anticipate the highest level of competition. Pilots who have the most experience are more likely to be offered vacant positions with major airlines. Also, pilots who have experience flying highly-powered airplanes are more likely to be hired than those who do not. Pilots who come from the military are at a much greater likelihood of being offered a position with a major airline than job applicants who do not have a military background. Those who are seeking positions with regional airlines will face less competition. Also, in the coming years the overall number of flights will likely be lowered to cut costs and increase profits for airline companies. This, in turn, would also decrease the number of flights and as a result the demand to employ airline pilots.

 

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