Program & Course Information
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.
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.
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|