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9 Reasons You Should Become a Commercial Pilot

View from airplane cockpit

Thinking about becoming a professional pilot? There’s a lot of good reasons to get started right now.

I am writing this post from the perspective of someone who worked as a pilot, left the industry for five years, and returned to working as a professional pilot recently. This break has allowed me to realize the value of what this career has to offer.

1) The view

The views I am treated to each day from the cockpit are once-in-a-life views for most people. I remember watching the northern lights from a high altitude one night and just being in awe of the beauty.

2) You’ll See the World

If travel is your thing then you’ve come to the right occupation. Some pilot jobs don’t travel as much. But many jobs allow pilots to see a great deal of the world. I remember not appreciating the value of getting to see and experience different areas and cultures before working as an airline pilot. But now that I’ve tasted this I don’t want to go back.

3) No Two Days Are the Same

Far too many jobs become monotonous. The lack of variety makes work feel like a trap. Pilots enjoy a great deal of variation in their work. Each day presents a different set of challenges that require creative solutions.

4) Feeling of Accomplishment After Check rides

Pilots are tested frequently. Both when they are starting out and getting their licenses and ongoing through their career. Pilot check rides can be stressful for some, and there is a great deal of studying and work that goes before each test. However, it is a great feeling of accomplishment after passing each milestone.

5) Work Stays at Work

Pilots are professionals. But they are one of the few professional jobs that don’t take their work home. This greatly improves quality of life as stress levels decrease and pilots are able to pursue other passions and interests, or just get to relax a little bit more.

6) Changes Your Approach to Life

Airline pilot taxiing an airplane

Pilots are taught systematic approaches to decision making. They practice this frequently in both training and when flying. This translates to most of our life. It becomes easier to be decisive in every day life, and most pilots become confident and comfortable in making decisions.

7) You Will Be Challenged In Your Career

The continual training and checking keeps pilots actively engaged with their career. Even senior pilots stay current on changes as they come. You will not be bored working as a pilot.

8) Your Coworkers Will Share Your Enthusiasm

Aviation is addicting. Most of the people that are in aviation are passionate about it. Being surrounded by other people that share in your passion increases the fun in each work day. And having people serious about their occupation makes for more professional coworkers.

9) There is a Pilot Shortage

There is a significant shortage of pilots around the world. There is a general upward trend on pilot pay that should continue to increase for at least a few more years. There is more job security from being in demand. And this shortage makes finding new jobs kind of fun with having employers compete for your attention. When I decided to return to flying I was offered five jobs in a week!

Greg started his professional pilot journey in 2002 after graduating from Embry Riddle. Since that time he has accumulated over 8,000 hours working as a pilot. Greg’s professional experience includes flight instructing, animal tracking, backcountry flying, forest firefighting, passenger charter, part 135 cargo, flying for a regional airline, a national low cost airline, a legacy airline, and also working as a manager in charge of Part 135 and Part 121 training programs.

Greg Thomson