Who Has The Best Pilot Job? (Some Insights In Career Flying)

We Have The Capacity To A chieve The Impossible
Eddie Richenbacker Quote. “The Will”

With all the different kinds of flying jobs worldwide, did you ever wonder, Who Has The Best Pilot Job? After all, there are so many different ways you can make money flying airplanes, maybe some flying jobs are better than others. Have you thought of them all?

Who Has The Best Pilot Job?

I don’t think there’s a real clear answer to this question. Some Pilots feel as though they have found the best position and they are happy, while others always seek to better themselves by finding a job that pays more with less time on the job and of course great benefits. 

1. Types of Pilot Certificates. The BEST flying jobs!

There are 5 types of Pilot certificates,

Student Pilot. This certificate is the beginning of it all and the result should be a sport, recreation, or private certificate. These are not sufficient training to get paid so if that’s the goal then you must acquire more certificates and ratings.

You may split expenses with passengers so in essence you are paid.

Commercial Pilot. 

This is the certificate that allows you to charge for your services and find employment in the aviation sector. From here you may choose a variety of jobs.

The time has never been better to find a job flying. 

Never before in aviation history have there been so many opportunities. If your desire is to start training and complete training with an Airline, a job interview or possibly a First Officer position is yours.

Airline Transport Pilot. 

The last of the FAA Certificates on your quest for an Airline career is the ATP. It is not a guarantee that you will get a job since the training doesn’t stop. You will be learning your whole career.

Regional Airlines and Cargo carriers also require an ATP, but they do hire people with just a Commercial Certificate.

2. Flight Instructor.

Here is a time-honored position of authority. Instructors are the backbone of aviation.

You can teach with a Commercial certificate and an instrument rating so it is a good place to be to gain the hours you need for the ATP and additional ratings.

And you gain an abundance of experience by building time. But you need more for the next steps that your journey requires unless you choose to remain an instructor.

After all the median pay is $70,000.00 plus. Flight Instructors are the mainstay of Aviation.

I am a firm believer that when you choose a flight instructor they should be someone you connect with. The instructors will leave you with lifelong teachings and memories. So if you choose to be an instructor be a darn good one.

I really think that choosing to fly with more than one instructor is a great idea. You learn a lot more from the diversity. Your primary instructor is the key to your success, but use anyone you can if there is more than one instructor.

I am sure this is one of the best flying jobs around. There are a lot of people making careers in this part of the industry. What flies your kite?

3. Charter/Corporate Flying.

The life of a career Charter Pilot is a difficult one since there may be no set schedule. But it can be fun and adventurous.

Larger charter companies will usually be well staffed so having available pilots will allow you to be assigned set schedules. A smaller operation may expect you to be able to fly anytime.

I once flew for an operation that placed me in a situation that required me to fly at any time so duty was 24/7 because of a lack of qualified Captains. I was required to have my designated rest as required by regulations but I also was always on call. That made my personal time quite compromised.

You may also find yourself being required to stay at locations until the client is ready to fly home so it can be long and boring.

There is the challenge of flying to different destinations which is really a fun experience because you will be called upon to fly to places like major airports or small rural locations so a well trained and experienced pilot is mandatory.

The pay for a good company is most times quite attractive especially if you’re employed by a large corporation or a wealthy individual. Charter companies are a bit more conservative and your salary may be less than the median line for a well-qualified pilot.

You may find yourself flying some very nice and sometimes new equipment in either segment so be prepared for lots of study. Flying new airplanes is very cool.

4. The Airlines Have The Best Flying Jobs?

I don’t have to wonder about flying for passenger Airlines much because it’s a short story.

Once you have the job it becomes just a job in my opinion. It is fun flying to all the places your airline flies but after a visit, it is just another stay at a Hotel. There is no time to do anything except eat and sleep.

Especially when it’s a 4 A.M. wake-up. And off to the Airport.

If you do not live at your base you must commute to work. And then there is always the need for the expense of a crash pad at the base. It’s much better to live near your base.

The very best reason to fly for a Major Airline is the money. Slim at first but it gets better and better. Plus you meet a lot of people. Big dollars bring a nice lifestyle.

Seniority brings better pay and upgrades are inevitable and you can see the world if you choose to.

3. Cargo Carriers. Might Be The Best Flying Job!

The absolute best flying job, in my opinion. That’s because I don’t like dealing with the public. Packages never complain or become ill. You just choose your schedule and fly and just as in any airline the best runs are grabbed by the senior pilots and the low seniority gets what is left.

You may be lucky enough to fly 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. Split schedules are horrid.

I had one company that gave me 5 days on and  5 off so I spent 2 days commuting which only gave me 3 days home and that was atrocious.

My best cargo job was 5 days a week but only 3 hours a day for a regional carrier at night and I was home all day, I lost my mornings only because I did not get home until 2 AM.

It made a perfect balance.

4. Ambulance Pilots And Helicopter Pilots.

Air ambulance pilots can have some really good paying jobs with reasonable schedules but some do require a pilot to be at the aircraft during the duty cycle.

You may or may not fly all the time so it can be very boring sitting and waiting for a call. Most companies I looked at wanted you to bunk in the hangar so you would always be ready and close for a call. After all it is a medical emergency.

You may find a job close to home which makes it appealing but the pay might not be what you could earn elsewhere. Being at home counts for a lot happier days.

5. Agriculture Pilots May Have The Best Flying Jobs.

Here is one of the more demanding flying jobs around but can be a very well-paid one.

It is not a glamour position and it’s really dangerous but this is an area of need.

Final Thoughts.

Which place you choose for your career is entirely up to you.

No matter what choice you may make does not require a signature in blood. You can change your mind or your current company might furlough you thereby forcing your hand.

Your dream job might turn out to be something you never considered. Part 91 jobs can really be fun because you have fewer rules to deal with. I suggest reading FAR parts 91, 135, and 121. Check them out here. 

Related: Are Flight Instructors In Demand?( 5 Teachable Truths.)

Please leave comments or questions. I would appreciate the input and I will answer any questions.

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