All About Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers
Career Description Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft, usually on scheduled air carrier routes, for the transport of passengers and cargo. Requires Federal Air Transport Pilot certificate and rating for specific aircraft type used. Includes regional, National, and international airline pilots and flight instructors of airline pilots.
Life As an Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer
- Start engines, operate controls, and pilot airplanes to transport passengers, mail, or freight, adhering to flight plans, regulations, and procedures.
- Check passenger and cargo distributions and fuel amounts to ensure that weight and balance specifications are met.
- Conduct in-flight tests and evaluations at specified altitudes and in all types of weather to determine the receptivity and other characteristics of equipment and systems.
- Make announcements regarding flights, using public address systems.
- File instrument flight plans with air traffic control to ensure that flights are coordinated with other air traffic.
- Choose routes, altitudes, and speeds that will provide the fastest, safest, and smoothest flights.
What Every Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer Should Know
When polled, Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Related Job Titles for this Occupation:
- Captain/Airline Pilot
- International First Officer
- Aircraft Pilot
- Navy Fighter Pilot
- Co Pilot
Job Outlook for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers
There were about 84,000 jobs for Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 3.5% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 2,900 new jobs for Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer by 2026. The BLS estimates 8,100 yearly job openings in this field.
The states with the most job growth for Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer are Florida, New Jersey, and Georgia. Watch out if you plan on working in Wyoming, West Virginia, or New Hampshire. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
What is the Average Salary of an Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer
The average yearly salary of an Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer ranges between $65,690 and $208,000.
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers who work in Michigan, Nevada, or Oregon, make the highest salaries.
How much do Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers make in different U.S. states?
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What Tools & Technology do Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Microsoft Visio
- SBS International Maestro Suite
- RMS Technology Flitesoft
- MJICCS PilotLog
- Nimblefeet Technologies Captain’s Keeper
- Electronic aircraft information databases
- Polaris Microsystems CharterLog
- AirSmith FlightPrompt
- Skylog Services Skylog Pro
- doXstor Flight Level Logbook
- Notam Development Group Airport Insight
- Pilot Navigator Software Load Balance
- Polaris Microsystems AeroLog Pro
How do I Become an Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer?
What education is needed to be an Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer?
How many years of work experience do I need?
Who Employs Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers?
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers work in the following industries:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
Featured Aviation Technology / Pilot Schools
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