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Automotive Technology, Aviation & Engineering Pathway

Program & Course Information

Automotive Technology, Aviation & Engineering Pathway

Aviation Flight Technology

What Pilots Do

Airline and commercial pilots fly and navigate airplanes or helicopters. Airline pilots fly for airlines that transport people and cargo on a fixed schedule. Commercial pilots fly aircraft for other reasons, such as charter flights, rescue operations, firefighting, aerial photography, and crop dusting.

Work Environment

Pilots spend a considerable amount of time away from home because flights often involve overnight layovers. Those who fly international routes may experience jetlag. Many have variable schedules.

How to Become a Pilot

Many pilots learn to fly in the military, but a growing number have an associate or bachelor’s degree from a civilian flight school. All pilots who are paid to transport passengers or cargo must have a commercial pilot’s license and an instrument rating.


In May 2010, median annual wages of airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers were $103,210, and median annual wages of commercial pilots were $67,500.

Job Outlook

Employment of airline and commercial pilots is expected to grow 11 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Quick Facts: Pilots
2010 Median Pay $92,060
Entry-Level Education Pilot’s License
On-the-job Training Moderate-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2010 103,500
Job Outlook, 2010-20 11% growth rate

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