Airline and Commercial Pilots: Career, Courses, Training, Jobs & Growth Prospects

Willingness to work with complex machines, interest to study STEM related subjects for example university programme in aviation, ability to stay calm and cool in most challenging environment, high level of logical and communication skills and good level of physical fitness are some mandatory requirements to become a pilot. You can fly small machines or large aircraft if you pass the Flying Training programme.
Job of a pilot is challenging, you need to stay away from family and friends for weeks but at the same time you will enjoy free flying to different destinations and meet new people, learn new culture, enjoy variety of foods while at the same time enjoying handsome salary perks and allowances. You can chose to become military pilots, corporate pilots, regional airline pilots, commercial pilot, independent aircraft owner/operators, and private pilot instructors. There might be more designation types.

Role of Airline and Commercial Pilots

  • Use computer skills to check weather and flight plans
  • All aircraft logs are reviewed and perform pre-flight checks
  • Oversee the push back and then taxi to the runaway
  • Contact the control tower for takeoff and arrival instructions
  • While flying, monitoring aircraft systems
  • Communicate with the FAA and the company
  • Navigate the aircraft, using cockpit instruments
  • Ensure a smooth takeoff and landing

Skills of Airline and Commercial Pilots

Communication skills: Pilots must speak clearly when conveying information to air traffic controllers. They must also listen carefully for instructions.

Detail oriented: Pilots must watch many systems at the same time. Even small changes can have significant effects, so they must constantly pay close attention to many details.

Monitoring skills: Pilots must regularly watch over gauges and dials to make sure that all systems are in working order.

Problem-solving skills: Pilots must be able to identify complex problems and figure out appropriate solutions.

Teamwork: Pilots work closely with air traffic controllers and flight dispatchers. As a result, they need to be able to coordinate actions on the basis of the feedback they receive.

Work Schedules of Airline and Commercial Pilots

Airline pilots fly an average of 75 hours per month and work an additional 150 hours per month doing nonflight duties. Pilots also have variable work schedules, according to which they work several days in a row followed by several days off. Flight shifts also are variable, because airline companies operate flights throughout the day. Flight assignments are based on seniority. Pilots spend a considerable amount of time away from home because flight assignments often involve overnight layovers-sometimes up to 3 nights a week. When pilots are away from home, the airlines provide hotel accommodations, transportation to the airport, and an allowance for meals and other expenses.

Some Job Titles

Pilot, Captain, First Officer, Line Pilot, Charter Pilot, Check Airman, Flight Operations Director, Helicopter Pilot, Commercial Helicopter Pilot, EMS Helicopter Pilot (Emergency Medical Service Helicopter Pilot)

Where to Study

Generally a bachelors degree in Aviation is expected. However there are many routes and study programmes to get Flying Training and work as Pilot. To find a suitable study programme go to University Hub

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