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How do I find a job as a pilot?

How do I find a job as a pilot?

It's not hard to see why working as a pilot appeals to many and we’ll show you just what it takes to do this highly-skilled, cosmopolitan job with every bit of the prestige, aplomb and status it brings. If you’re a natural leader with excellent technical skills, and the savoir-faire to deal with any situation, then read on now.

So what kind of person do I need to be to work as a pilot?

Pilots need to be calm, disciplined, adaptable, dedicated and quick-thinking leaders with high standards and higher technical abilities. Not only this but you need to love your work or, at the very least, have a tremendous work ethic. Like doctors or programmers, you’ll have to study throughout your career to keep up-to-date; this is no fly-by-night gig.

Regulatory requirements for pilot jobs

Good GCSEs and A Levels in Maths and Physics are a definite. Aviation degrees aren’t strictly necessary but they will help. Before you pay for any training, make sure you’re fit to work with medical certification.

Then, you’ll need to secure the appropriate licence. There are a real range of these out there and they vary from country to country and from industry to industry, so find out what you need for your area. Moreover, a minimum number of flight hours of at least 1000 hours in the sky is essential (this varies with the licence). The usual checks you might expect are there too: background checks, drug tests and a DBS certificate.


After securing your work, you’ll have 6-monthly tests and, if you want to progress onto other types of plane or carrier, you’ll need to rack up that real-life air time to upgrade your capabilities.

What kind of pilot work is there? What is a pilot job like?

As for types of plane, there’s well over 100 short-haul and long-haul destinations you could fly to. You might work on turbo props, regional jets, business jets, passenger lines, or commercial lines, amongst others.

On the job itself, there’ll nearly always be two pilots flying – the main pilot and the supporting first officer. Pre-flight work involves checking flight plans, calculating your fuel needs, doing your safety checks, and acknowledging passengers as appropriate. During the flight, you’ll be flying the plane (taking turns as needed), making sure you adhere to regulations, talking to air traffic control and reacting to environmental changes as appropriate. Post-flight, there’s a logbook to fill out as well as a post-flight report.

What’s the career progression for pilots?

Progression routes vary greatly but there are some similarities. From entry-level, you’ll progress to First Officer. Then, you can move up to Senior First Officer to Captain or to working on a larger and more complex aircraft. As your career goes by, you may move laterally into training, management or accident investigation work.

A new First Officer can expect to start at around £21,000 p.a. ($34,000) and, with more experience, the pay moves into the £36-48,000 ($58-77,350) bracket. Captain salaries range vastly from a tasty £57k ($90K) to a whopping £97K ($150K), depending on what (and for whom) you fly. Pension schemes are available alongside allowances and discounts so shop around when considering applications!

This sounds fantastic! Let me at ‘em!

Ready to get applying? You’re in the right place. Go now to our search page and refine your search to find just the right work for you. If you fulfil the necessaries and know that you’re the right sort of person for the job then the sky’s your limit (ahem…)! Have a peruse of our database now, put out some feelers and best of luck to you!

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