Typically, commercial pilots are responsible for flying an aircraft. Along with fixed schedule flights, they could fly charter flights, crop dusters, emergency airplanes, and rescue operations. Job responsibilities for this career include ensuring that the weight of the airplane is balanced, communicating with air traffic management, controlling and operating the airplane, monitoring indicators, navigating the aircraft, and implementation of emergency procedures if necessary.
Commercial pilots should first train as private pilots, which enables them to learn the fundamentals of flying before progressing into more complex planes and situations. Private pilot training may include instruction from a certified professional and solo flight clinic.
Prospective commercial pilots must log at least 250 hours of flying time to become accredited. Within those hours, prospective pilots need to complete required tasks and fly in various settings. Pilots are analyzed on physical and mental strengths and skills. Certification is needed to work for commercial airlines. Essential skills include communication, superb eyesight, bodily health, and aeronautical knowledge. In 2015, airline and business pilots earned a median annual salary of $102,520 based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Now, let us check out the career steps for licensed commercial pilots.
Your Career Steps
Step 1: Meet Basic Prerequisites
So as to get a commercial pilot’s license, applicants must be at least 18 years old and able to communicate effectively. They need to pass a physical examination that involves a vision evaluation, in addition to have logbook endorsements from a licensed instructor to confirm their level of knowledge and be able to demonstrate aeronautical knowledge.
Step 2: Train as a Private Pilot
Prospective pilots can train as private pilots initially to learn the fundamentals of the practice of flight in addition to more about plane operations and maintenance, airport communications, and maneuvering. Some flight schools provide recreational or private training classes as requirements for commercial pilot training. This allows pupils to progress through the necessary levels without attending many sessions.
Step 3: Log Flight Hours
They need to spend 250 hours flying in a variety of scenarios, such as solo and as the pilot-in-command; complete tool training; and pilot a plane with gear that is designated. Flying cross-country in the day and night conditions, in addition to completing a predetermined number of takeoffs and landings are also general requirements.
Step 4: Pass Required Tests
To be able to become certified, commercial pilots must pass the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) technical evaluation, which can be administered by a registered official. The test requires candidates to do many different operational tasks, demonstrate their capacity to satisfy industry standards, and exhibit proficiency in flying. They need to also pass a written examination to demonstrate their knowledge of navigation, security, and regulations.
Step 5: Pursue Additional Certification
Applicants will have to become licensed as an airline transport pilot so as to work for commercial airlines. They’ll have to be at least 23 years old, possess at least 1,500 hours of flight experience, and pass FAA examinations. Individual airlines may need additional education and experience, which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes may have a bachelor’s degree or at least two years of faculty experience. The BLS’ 2014-2024 employment outlook information showed that jobs for commercial pilots were expected to rise by 10%.
To recap, with private pilot training, flight hours, and ATP certificate, a commercial pilot can make about $103,000 a year to fly aircrafts for many different purposes.