Becoming a pilot: get off to a flying start


Being a pilot is what many young boys and girls dream about. After all, it’s still one of the few jobs that many admire, even if flying has become such a norm these days. But while you may fancy yourself behind the controls of a big jet, have you got what it takes to make a successful career out of it? Below are a number of things you need to be thinking about when trying to turn your pilot dreams into a reality.

Do you truly want it?

You may have fallen in love with the idea of becoming a pilot, but do you truly want it as a full-time career? You need to look beyond the exterior glamour; it’s hard work! You’ll have to prove that you have the skills and knowledge to perform the job safely and consistently.

Don’t just go for it on a whim. Go for it because it’s what you genuinely see yourself doing, and ensure you do everything you can to make it happen. Passion, combined with ability, will help you maximize your chances of landing a career in the skies.

Test yourself out

A great way of testing whether you have the aptitude and ability to fly a plane is by studying for your private pilot license. You can do this at a local airfield or regional airport. Go online and search for training schools.

You’ll take lessons with an instructor and need to do lots of homework, before being allowed to go solo and to take your test. It’s not cheap, but if you have the funds available, it’s an option worth considering before you set your sights on a commercial career. It could also help you when you apply for commercial training courses and work with the airlines.

Can you afford it?

While some airlines may offer incentives and support for pilot cadets, these are not as plentiful as they once were. So, it is more than likely that you will find yourself in a position where you need to fund your commercial flight training. This is a lot more expensive than a private pilot’s license. Have a look at what courses available, and sources of funding you may be able to access. Sometimes, you can get credit and then pay it back in installments through your salary in your first flying job.

Challenging work

Flying a pilot is challenging work, and you will be expected to maintain your skills and commitment throughout your career. You’ll be subjected to regular tests in flight simulators to ensure that you know all the procedures, including the emergency systems and protocols. Yes, it’s hard work, but the rewards can be amazing. You can travel the world and take real pride in the job you do. It can bring a complete sense of satisfaction.

If you need some advice on whether it’s right for you, ask anyone you know already in the industry. Or, you could look out for airline and airport open days to pick up some information.

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