The Growing Demand for Airline Pilots
Regardless of the trends in the economy, there are always sectors of the job market relatively unaffected by ebb and flow of recessions and inflation. For example, recent health care legislation has put a strain on the current staffing of health care professionals in the United States, so it has become a promising field for many entering the workforce. It may surprise you to learn that airline pilots are also in high demand and the urgency is expected to increase in the coming years, thanks to the expansion in air travel since the 1980s and the dwindling pool of trained pilots.
What’s causing this shortage in airline pilots and what could be driving the difficulties in meeting the demand?
Baby Boomers and Millennials
A significant number of active pilots are reaching retirement age. Recent reports show that within the next ten years, up to 42% of current pilots are expected to retire. The new hire rate to replace aging pilots hasn’t kept pace with these statistics. There are already multiple employers competing for a relatively limited pool of professional pilots, so this shortage will become even more pronounced in the future.
Many pilots obtain their training through the military, but even the armed forces are facing a similar predicament with fewer people opting to join despite the draw of benefits like flight training. Now that fewer people are choosing the military route to garner flight experience, flight schools are growing in popularity. Not unlike private colleges, flight schools require financial and time management commitment that can be a concern for many.
The salaries for pilots today are relatively competitive. Like any job, tenure and the complexity of the role will dictate pay, so bigger aircraft or longer routes will translate into higher salaries. Supply and demand drive both the economy and pay, so the projected shortages and the growing number of companies that are starting to rely on pilots will ensure that their pay scale stays healthy. Also, government agencies oversee the industry to protect the pilots, so there are many guidelines in place like limiting flight hours within specific time frames.
The aviation field has grown by leaps and bounds. Within the United States alone, there are so many organizations that need pilots beyond typical commercial airlines, which themselves are already quite varied based on the range of aircraft and routes. Some examples of occupations include the fire department, military, agriculture, shipping, instruction, etc. There are also private companies and international airlines that vie for well-qualified pilots which put an additional strain on the existing pool. With such long-term and diverse career potential, becoming a pilot is a solid option. Flight schools like Fly Aero Guard are a valuable resource that can help you discover if flying is the right path for you.
Once you’ve decided to pursue a career in aviation, flight school can help you discover the types of aircraft and roles that suit you. There may be opportunities you never realized existed for pilots beyond the traditional positions. Also, many flight schools work directly with recruiters, so the students have an added advantage once they obtain their pilot license. The cost and rigors of flight school are one of the realities of becoming a pilot. But then, going to the right school with the right instructors will pay off in the long term by getting your foot in the door of an exciting and sought-after profession.