Aviation Career Insights: Pilots
You might know that you want to become a pilot or you may already be qualified, but often it can be difficult trying to imagine what the lifestyle is like and how to actually achieve that. You may not always have access to someone who has been through the process, so we have interviewed a Senior First Officer for a large, luxury carrier in the Middle East to give you a little insight to what it is like being a pilot.
What motivated you to become a pilot?
I was first passionate and motivated by aviation and aircraft when I was a child. Being raised close to the airport fascinated me.
How did you become a pilot? (how did you qualify, what was the process?)
I became a commercial pilot in 2010 but I started learning to fly in 2005 and completed all my training in 2009.
I completed what is often referred to as modular training. This meant that I studied at various schools throughout the UK and USA during those 4 years to gain my commercial pilots licence. I was fortunate enough to keep my employment as an Aircraft mechanic throughout the training process so I could use my earnings to pay for and cover my pilot training costs.
What do I enjoy most about being a pilot?
The view, and being able to see the sun every day I go to work. Flying over the Himalaya Mountains one week and North Pole the next is amazing.
What does an average working week look like for a pilot?
As a long-haul pilot. I work about 7 or 8 days per month. This is usually 3/4 flights and some trips can last 2/3 days at a time. Ranging from Los Angeles to Shanghai.
What is it like working for your chosen airline?
I work for a large carrier in the Middle East. It has been a great opportunity to fly around the world and learn to fly a new aircraft type.
I fly the Boeing 777 as a senior first officer.
What advice would you give to others looking for a career as a pilot?
For the young school leavers looking for a career as a pilot I would suggest researching all the commercial flight training organisations in the country or continent you are seeking employment. This will ensure you gain the licence required to fly aeroplanes in that region of the world.
Keep an open mind. Integrated schools are expensive but you will qualify for a junior position flying commercially within 18 months.
The modular training route could take longer but may save you money if funding the training from your own pocket.
For any older aspiring pilots. I would recommend gaining your Private pilot’s licence initially, get the ground exams out of the way and keep up the momentum with all the required licences. Don't let anyone or any company tell you that age is against you. I know pilots who got their first job at 50 years old......!
Does this sound like a lifestyle built for you? If so, apply for pilot jobs today at AviationMatch and start your dream career in aviation.
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