Life As an Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer
Occupation 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: What Do They Do?
- Inspect aircraft for defects and malfunctions, according to pre-flight checklists.
- File instrument flight plans with air traffic control to ensure that flights are coordinated with other air traffic.
- Confer with flight dispatchers and weather forecasters to keep abreast of flight conditions.
- Work as part of a flight team with other crew members, especially during takeoffs and landings.
- Contact control towers for takeoff clearances, arrival instructions, and other information, using radio equipment.
- Choose routes, altitudes, and speeds that will provide the fastest, safest, and smoothest flights.
Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer Skills
These are the skills Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers say are the most useful in their careers:
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.
Types of Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer
- Fighter Pilot
- Charter Pilot
- Co Pilot
Is There Job Demand for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers?
In 2016, there was an estimated number of 84,000 jobs in the United States for Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer. 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.
Salary for an Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers make between $65,690 and $208,000 a year.
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?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
Tools & Technologies Used by Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers
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 to Become an Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer
What education is needed to be an Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer?
What work experience do I need to become an Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer?
Where do Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers Work?
The table below shows the approximate number of Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers employed by various industries.
Image Credit: Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol via U.S. Air Force photo
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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