Airline Pilot: Things To Know (Explained and Solved)

If you’ve always had your head in the sky, a job as an airline pilot might be perfect for you.

Flying is something that has captivated humans for millennia, and modern technology gives us the means to make this dream a reality.

We can now use airplanes to fly us to even the most remote locations in a few hours.

In this article, we will discuss the most popular questions relating to being an Airline pilot.

What is it like being an Airline Pilot?

Being an Airline Pilot is an exciting and rewarding job, being paid to travel around the country or the world.  Training to become a pilot can be extremely time-consuming and expensive. However, once you become a pilot you get sheer exhilaration and excitement of flying, visiting interesting places, and above-average wage.  

Being an airline pilot requires a lot of training, skill, and perseverance.

It is a job, unlike any other, and it requires your utmost devotion to the profession.

If you’re looking to enter this career path, but aren’t sure what to expect, don’t fret.

As a pilot, one of the most exhilarating feels can be watching the ground grow more and more distant as the plane peels away from the Earth.

Once the cockpit door shuts, nothing is stopping you from taking off into the bright blue sky.

However, that isn’t all that there is to be an airline pilot. There are many responsibilities and duties to fulfill.

Furthermore, while the job is fascinating, you need to consider the pay, the working hours and other factors.

However, we can agree that being an airline pilot is one of the most prestigious jobs.

Not only is it exciting, but it’s a rewarding job that gives you immense opportunities to learn, grow, and expand your horizons.

Keep reading below to learn just what you should expect if you become an airline pilot.

Is being an Airline Pilot a hard job?

To qualify and become an airline pilot is hard and expensive.  Operating a commercial jet requires years of flying experience and extensive aeronautical knowledge to become a competent pilot. Pilots need skill and confidence to take the responsibility of conducting safe flight

While being an airline pilot is a fantastic job to have, pilots also need to face challenges.

For pilots, the most significant challenge can be being responsible for the lives of hundreds of passengers on board.

Flying an airplane is no easy task, and it can be nerve-wracking at times.

Flying isn’t always smooth-sailing, and at times the weather conditions or airplane conditions can make it extremely hard to control the aircraft.

At times, pilots need to put their own needs aside and focus on landing the plane safely.

It can include flying for long hours with no breaks, sometimes even without food or sleep.

So, while being an airline pilot has its perks, it also has its challenges.

Are Airline Pilots in demand?

Yes, with airline projects globally expanding, there is an immense demand for airline pilots.

The job outlook for aspiring pilots looks good, with an expected growth of 5% until 2029, faster than average.

Many reasons contribute to this projected increase.

One crucial factor is that many airline pilots are now close to retiring.

It opens up new job opportunities for aspiring airline pilots across most companies.

The pilot shortage will still be in effect once the pandemic ends, and once airline schedules are back on track, aspiring pilots can gear up for job interviews.

Is being an Airline Pilot a stable job?

An airline pilot is a stable career, and once you have all your qualifications, you can be sure that you won’t need to struggle for a job.

Furthermore, many pilots have long contracts and work with several companies for most of their careers.

The pilot shortage was only caused by the fact that most previously employed pilots across all airlines were retiring.

So, once you’ve finished your training, you can be sure that you’ll have a long and illustrious career as an airline pilot.

Do Airline Pilots work long hours?

There’s no way to sugarcoat this. At times, yes airline pilots need to work incredibly long hours, depending on where your flight has to go.

However, there are often co-pilots on board, and they can take turns alternating when the flight is exceptionally long.

Even in these long flights, pilots need to devote their fullest attention to ensuring they’re flying safely, making the job challenging.

Do Airline Pilots go home every night?

Yes and No.  Short-haul flights airline pilots go home every night, while long-haul pilots stay overnight at a hotel. 

Short-haul pilots generally start and finish at their allocated base.

It means that they get to go home every night and don’t have overnight stays.

However, if there are any technical or weather-related issues, they may have to stay the night.

However, long-haul pilots have a much different job description.

Long-haul pilots typically have a flight duration of more than six hours.

As a long-haul pilot, you get to fly all over the world, but you don’t get to go home each night.

As a long-haul pilot, one trip can take a few days or even weeks sometimes. So, be prepared to spend a lot of time away from home.

Do Airline Pilots get weekends off?

Just as some airline pilots don’t get to go home each night, some airline pilots don’t get weekends off either.

Airline pilots – both short and long haul – need to work not just on the weekends but also on holidays.

However, instead of getting the weekends off, pilots can pick flight schedules of their liking.

It means that pilots can choose two work for two full weeks, and then select a more extended holiday.

However, when it comes to picking flight schedules, the senior pilots get the first picks.

The days off that pilots can depend on the seniority of the pilot and the airline.

Some airlines offer their pilots more flexible working schedules.

Do Airline Pilots make a good wage?

Yes, Airline Pilots do make a good wage. For all the long hours that pilots endure, they get to take home quite a fat paycheck at the end of the day.

The average wage for airline pilots is around $130,059, and as your seniority grows, you can get the chance to make even more. However, many benefits come with working as a pilot.

Your family members can get tickets at a fraction of the cost, and you get insurance for your vision, life, health, and dental work.

Furthermore, you also get paid vacation, which increases as you put in more years into your work. All this can let you have significant savings.

Final thoughts

As a pilot, you get the opportunity to work in an exhilarating profession that comes with various benefits.

If you’re willing to put in the long hours and deal with the responsibility on your shoulders, this is a profession you will enjoy being a part of immensely.