Considering a Career in Aviation? 5 Tips to Help You Get a Head Start
Flying for a living can be a fulfilling and interesting career that comes with plenty of prestige and benefits. If you’ve been thinking about becoming a pilot, you might still be in the initial research phase of trying to find out what’s the process entails. Surprisingly, flying an aircraft as actually easier than you might expect and the prerequisites for becoming a pilot are within reach for most reasonably responsible people who have a decent understanding of math and physics. Still, a few pointers can definitely help you skip some of the uncertainty that you’ll inevitably encounter in the beginning. With that said, check out these five tips to prepare yourself for a career as a pilot:
1. Know the Cost
First and foremost, it’s important to note that becoming a pilot is going to cost some money. More specifically, the average pilot pays about $63,000 to $80,000 on their training and certification. Then you have to cover the insurance, travel expenses, and other additional costs in choosing a career as a pilot. However, before you run away clutching your wallet, it’s worth noting that there are ways to cover the cost of training without paying upfront.
2. Understand the Licensing
Now that you know what you’re up against in terms of the cost, it’s time to decide what kind of license you want. The three main kinds are Private Pilot License (PPL), Commercial Pilot License (CPL), and Aircraft Transport Pilot License (ATPL). The PPL is the easiest and cheapest to obtain but you’ll need a CPL to fly for commercial airlines. Eventually, if you want to become a Captain you’ll need to obtain an APTL.
3. Opt for Modular Training Courses
Committing to the entire cost and course of study involved in your training can create quite a burden on your finances and schedule. Many students have made the mistake of taking out huge loans to cover the full cost of their training. Opting for modular training gives you the opportunity to gradually work your way into the career without signing your foreseeable financial future away.
4. Do Your Flight Training Through an Airline
If you really want to take the most economical approach to becoming a pilot, try to do your flight training through an airline. You’ll be able to fly in the cockpit with the pilots and watch them work during your training. Plus, the airline will usually provide training loans that can be paid back gradually through your salary. Since scholarships aren’t usually available to cadets, making entry with an airline is the next best option in the field of aviation.
5. Visit Flight School Exhibitions
Flight school exhibitions are events where you can be introduced to the staff of various flight schools in one place. These events are held at large convention centers and will make it easier for you to compare many different flight schools in-person rather than depending on what you’ve read online. Plus, some of the best flight schools are in attendance, so it’s a good way to filter out the less established schools that you might’ve otherwise settled for.
You Can Recoup the Training Cost in a Year
When you consider the fact that the average pilot earns an annual salary of about $77,000 and higher-paid pilots can make as much as $150,000, the cost of training doesn’t seem so bad anymore. Plus, flying a plane is a lot like driving a car, riding a bike, or steering any other piece of equipment – it becomes almost second nature once you get the hang of it. So, the job is fairly relaxed as well once you’ve gained some experience.