This article was written by Marissa Davis.
Marissa works with X-naut, a company that designs effective air cooling cases for iPads to prevent them from overheating.
Like many children, the younger version of you dreamt of flying alongside your favorite superheroes. The difference between them and you, though? You were serious. So serious that you are now considering a career in the aviation industry. And instead of merely flying beside your favorite superheroes, you’re ready to become one yourself by mastering the skies.
The good news? The demand for pilots is on an upswing, with the job outlook between 2019 and 2029 being 5% faster than average. In addition, the median pay for a career in this field is more than $121,000 per year.
The reality is, though, that although piloting can be a thrilling, lucrative, and stimulating career, it requires a high degree of responsibility from day one. For this reason, it’s critical that you have several piloting tools in your arsenal as you embark on your upward journey in aviation. Here is a rundown on five important things to consider if you are interested in a career in the aviation industry.
Extensive Education and Physical Requirements
One of the most important things to consider before you pursue a career in the aviation industry is the high level of education required to don the pilot’s uniform.
For instance, to be a commercial pilot, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree, preferably in an area such as aeronautics or aviation. Be sure to complete a degree program that the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, has approved. Then, you’ll need to earn commercial pilot licensure by completing at least 250 hours of documented flight time. You can complete this flight training through an FAA-approved flying school or a degree program.
Testing and Physical Requirements
As an aspiring pilot, you’ll also need to ace a written test, as well as a rating exam, focused on instrument flying. Additional requirements for future pilots include passing a physical test, which includes demonstrating that your vision can be corrected to 20/20 as needed. In addition, your hearing must be great, and you can’t have any physical handicaps that may interfere with your job.
Keep in mind that after you’ve landed a job with an airline company, you’ll likely be required to complete an extra six to eight weeks of flight training, including 25-plus flight time hours. However, it may behoove you to seek a job with a regional airline company or small commuter company, as this will give you more hands-on experience before you pursue a position with one of today’s major airlines.
Also, when you are hired as a pilot, you should be prepared to complete regular training at six-month intervals to maintain the piloting license that your job requires.
Aside from merely flying a plane, the pilot’s role is filled with multiple hidden processes that you should also be aware of. For instance, you’ll need to make sure that all information regarding your route, the weather, your aircraft, and your passengers are accurate.
Fortunately, iPads can help with navigating through airspaces and improving your cockpit management abilities. Be sure to also bring along an iPad Cooling Case to keep your iPad from overheating, particularly during lengthy flights. Additional iPad accessories that you may find helpful as a pilot include a case designed to protect your iPad when you’re on the move.
Keep in mind that the job of a pilot can also cause extreme fatigue. For instance, if you plan to fly on global routes, you will experience jet lag or fatigue stemming from flying through multiple time zones for several hours. This is a major factor to consider before embarking on this career path.
Importance of Networking
Yet another important thing to consider as an aspiring pilot is that networking will be central to your success in the aviation field. For this reason, you may want to join an aviation club—such as the Air Line Pilots Association, International club while in college. This will help you to forge network connections that may open doors for you further down the road.
Value of Humility
Finally, before you take steps to become a pilot, make sure that you’re willing to admit the mistakes you make and be humble about them. Because you will make mistakes—some big, some small. Being able to fess up about a mistake, learning from it, and moving on is critical for demonstrating the maturity needed to be a successful pilot.
Tap Into the Benefits of a Career in the Aviation Industry Today
If you’re serious about entering the aviation industry, now couldn’t be a better time to keep your head in the clouds as you embrace the open skies. With the right combination of education, motivation, the right tools at your fingertips, and a willingness to constantly learn, you can easily experience for yourself the exhilaration that comes from being in the cockpit day in and day out.
Follow the tips above to start on the path to becoming a successful pilot, and see for yourself why the sky truly is the limit when it comes to achieving your future career goals.
Do you have additional tips on preparing for a career in aviation? Would you like to connect with pilots who are currently flying and working toward their career goals? Comment below, and share your thoughts with us!