An airline pilot is one of the most exciting careers in the world. It offers adventure, and the opportunity to travel and meet many interesting people. An airline pilot is also a career of incredible responsibility. You are responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars of aircraft, and hundreds of lives. Any misjudgment or carelessness puts all this at risk. A career as an airline pilot requires a huge investment and a tremendous commitment.
The first step in becoming an airline pilot is the private pilot’s license. This gives the holder the right to fly, but not to work as a pilot. The candidate must complete the commercial pilot pilot’s license to work.
A job as an airline pilot will not be the candidate’s first job. Most airlines require at least a few thousand hours from an applicant. That means the would-be airline pilot must have “sub-goals” and work their way up.
A lot of pilots begin their careers as flight instructors. This gives one the pleasure of training people to become pilots, while building hours quickly.
Another step is in charter flying. Charter pilots fly twin-engine piston or turbo-prop aircraft to destinations usually within a few hundred miles of their airport. Some individuals become a charter pilot as their first flying job; others become a charter pilot after flight instructing or working on the ramp.
After getting the necessary qualifications, interviews and tests, one is ready to join the airlines. The first position will usually be on an A320 or a B-737 as a first officer doing local or short-haul routes. Depending upon the airline, the individual can work their way up to fly larger aircraft such as the A380 or B-777, on international routes. After 5 or 10 years one may have the ability to work their way up to Captain. This is the ultimate flying job!
An airline pilot gives the individual the opportunity to travel to many interesting places, both while on duty and on holidays. It is a career of adventure with great benefits. Unlike so many jobs where it is the same thing every day, an airline pilot provides new and different challenges every day. A career as an airline pilot demands a huge investment, and a huge commitment. A lot of effort is required to get one’s self to the level of airline pilot. An effort well worth it!