Airplanes and jets rule the travel industry, as they are the most efficient and effective way to travel long distances. This makes pilots who fly these vessels invaluable; however there still seems to be a growing need for them. But why is that? There is no shortage of jobs available to pilots, so it should be lucrative career move.
In order for someone to become a pilot there is an extensive amount of training and schooling needed, and even more so for commercial jets. Over the past few decades the industry has changed drastically. Events such as 9/11 changed the security and training requirements of pilots as well as the financial situation of many airlines. These new security and training regulations now imposed a rule that more than tripled the flight-hour requirement for co-pilots and made 1,000 hours of co-piloting mandatory for all pilots. Hourly training sessions are not a cheap expense either, so drastically increasing the number of flight-hours needed for a pilot certification also inflates the investment cost necessary for this specific career path.
In addition to paying for training courses, a pilot needs to have a college degree unless he or she came from the military. While the military provides a college education and flight training for a fraction of the cost, the military also requires you serve for a predetermined number of years. There has been a significant drop aspiring pilots joining the army, which may be linked to this reason. While the costs would be lower via the military route, in order to fly commercial planes a military pilot will still need to log, and pay for, a certain number of flight-hours to become certified. If a pilot chooses to get a college degree and supplement it with flight training, the costs can be astronomical. Essentially, no matter what route a person takes becoming a pilot is an expensive investment.
With how much time, effort and money it takes to become a certified pilot, the promise of a high-paying salary should make it worth it. While pilots in general make a decent living, many are realizing there are other career paths that pay just as well but require a lot less training. For example, pilots and co-pilots average around $61 per hour, and while this is a very livable salary there are other jobs in the aviation field that do not require the training costs but have a comparable salary. For example, air traffic controllers have an average hourly wage of $58 per hour and some don’t even need a bachelor’s degree.
Pilots can make anywhere from $65,000 to $250,000 per year. If you are a pilot or co-pilot on the top end of that salary range then your investment in your training and education is worth it. But what if you are on the low end? It is this fear that is deterring people from entering the aviation field as a pilot or co-pilot.
The need for pilots is steadily increasing with the commercial demand for travel. Certain airlines have introduced new affordable training options in hopes of alleviating some of the financial burden to make the pilot career path more appealing to the younger generations.