View random article

How Do I Become a Pilot?

The life of a pilot can be incredibly exciting and rewarding. The job is prestigious, and only those who are serious about flying and committed to fulfilling precise requirements will earn a career as a pilot. With that said, the first step toward becoming a pilot is asking, "How do I become a pilot?"

What Being a Pilot is Like

Pilots fly helicopters or airplanes and usually carry people and cargo through the air. Certain pilots do police work, rescue hurt and endangered people, or test new airplanes. Pilots carefully plan before ever leaving the ground. They must make sure the plane is properly working, the baggage is loaded carefully, and the weather is going to permit flying. Once they decide the best route, height, and speed they should take and have all passengers and cargo on board, they may take off. The takeoff and the landing require a pilot to be trained professionally. Flight can be easy or difficult depending on the weather. Pilots constantly monitor gauges in the cockpit and must be ready for any problems that occur in the air. Hours depend greatly on the company, but many pilots only work ten to fifteen days a month. Pilots do not take their work home with them, and they normally receive reduced rental and hotel fees.

How To Become A Pilot

The following steps are extremely basic, and more advanced studies depending on educational route will be necessary to become a pilot. The steps an individual takes depends on what type of pilot he or she decides to strive to be.

1. The first step in becoming a pilot is earning a college degree. Almost all positions a pilot will apply for demand a bachelor's degree. This degree should be a Bachelor's of Science in the field of aviation.

2. The second step is to attend flight school and earn a pilot certificate. A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved school is best when looking at flight school options.

3. Most pilots will need a First Class medical certificate from an FAA medical examiner. This should be earned during flight school.

Before even being able to apply for jobs, pilots will need to complete a minimum amount of flight hours. During flight school, aspiring pilots will have the option to perform flights and take on school jobs as stepping stones in their career path. The job field is difficult to get into right now, and pilots should do anything they can to stand out on a resume.

Job Opportunities and Salaries

Pilots with the correct requirements fulfilled will have job opportunities as pilot instructors, airline pilots and copilots as well as positions in the United States Air Force. On average, airline pilots and copilots make around $100,000 per year. Pilot instructors make close to the same on average. These salaries have small variations in the Air Force. These, however, are salaries within a few years experience, and pilots who stay with one company for 10-30 years can expect an increase to over $300,000 a year. Retirement packages and benefit packages are usually generous.

Featured in Technology