What does a Pilot do?

Pilots transport, people, military, private goods, commercial products, and other types of cargo including mail on airplanes, helicopters, and other aircraft. Pilots work for a specific airline, the military, or as independents or with private aviation companies. They are often part of a flight crew with a captain and a first officer or copilot. The trio works together to fly and navigate the aircraft safely.

Pilots perform regular inspections of the aircraft, paying attention to factors including fuel, equipment, and aircraft navigation systems. Pilots operate aircraft safely and maintain professionalism at all times. They monitor weather conditions and communicate with air traffic controllers throughout the duration of the flight and stay in close communication with copilots and flight crew. Pilots update and reassure passengers and crew should an emergency arise, and they determine the safest routes when they analyze flight plans prior to takeoff. Pilots must anticipate potential issues and maintain professionalism when emergencies arise, and they remain up-to-date with aircraft advancements and equipment. Pilots need a bachelor's degree in aircraft operations, aviation, aeronautical engineer in, or related fields; pilots also must complete two months of ground training and are required to complete more than 1500 hours of flight experience.

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Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7

Common Skill Sets

Part 121
Master of towing
Part 91
Aircraft Systems
Security Clearance
Security Plan

Pilot Seniority Levels

Senior Pilot
Staff Pilot
30% made the transition
General Manager
31% made the transition
See Career Path

Pilot Salaries

Average Base Pay

$105,314 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Median: $105K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Pilot jobs

Pilot Interviews