ForBestAdvice.comJobs - How to Become an Airline Pilot
Major World Market Graphs at a Glance How to Become an Airline Pilot
How to get a job flying airplanes
Major World Market Graphs at a Glance


The FAA's rules for getting a pilot's license (certificate) differ depending on the type of aircraft you fly. You can choose among airplanes, gyroplanes, helicopters, gliders, balloons, or airships. If you are interested in flying ultralight vehicles, you don't need a pilot's license.

The first step is to get a private pilot's license.  With this you may pilot an aircraft anywhere in the United States and carry passengers. A Private Pilot may not be paid to fly an aircraft (to ferry an aircraft from one location to another, for example), nor carry passengers or cargo for hire or compensation. However, you may share certain expenses with your passengers (with some restrictions).

There are many more pilots than there are pilot jobs. This means there is intense competition for the available positions, and the pay rates are kept low by the excess supply. In addition, most of the desireable jobs require experience flying turbine (aka jet) aircraft, so civilian-trained pilots are at a disadvantage to pilots from the military.

Due to the high cost of getting hours on jet aircraft, the least expensive way to get a good job with a major airline flying jets is to have the military to pay for your training.

Army Warrant Officers  pilot UH-60 Black Hawk, CH-47 Chinook, OH-58 Kiowa Warrior and AH-64A Apache helicopters — some of the most exciting, technologically advanced aircraft anywhere — on combat, rescue and reconnaissance missions. You'll gain these piloting skills in the Warrant Officer Flight Training (WOFT) program. After successfully completing nine weeks of Basic Combat Training (BCT), you will attend WOCS for six weeks and then go directly to the flight-training program. Requirements are a high school diploma with age between 18 and 33.

Navy Pilots fly some of the most innovative and high-tech aircraft in the world. They take part in important missions ranging from intelligence collection to combat operations. A bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university is required to become a Navy Pilot or NFO.

US Air Force Pilots must complete a bachelor's degree program at a community college or university. The next step is earning a commission as an officer (a Second Lieutenant to be precise). You have essentially four choices: The US Air Force Academy (4 years of marching, looking good), The US Merchant Marine Academy and accepting your commission in the Air Force, ROTC (4 years of wearing uniforms to class and saying very un-pilot-like things like "AirPower," marching and well groomed haircuts), OTS (12 weeks of early mornings, vaguely annoyed instructors and a decent salad bar). Your choice: you'll earn a commission no matter which way you go.



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