When we think of pilots, most of us get an image of an airline pilot in our heads. While the career as an airline pilot is certainly one of the most glamorous and top choice career option for most professional pilots, many choose to join one of the many other options available to them that can be equally rewarding and fulfilling.
With the increase in air traffic, there has been a significant increase in the number of organizations such as corporations and private entrepreneurs buying their own aircraft for the use of their top executives and themselves.
With new dimensions that the growing economy brings comes a whole new spectrum of air transport requirements, promising several new jobs and career options in aviation.
Here are some of the few career options as a pilot:
1. Airline Pilots – fly for the airline industry worldwide, both major and regional airline carriers.
2. Corporate Pilots – fly the high end, newer corporate airplanes for the rich and wealthy.
3. Military Pilots – fly the state of the art, top of the line military aircraft.
4. Cargo Pilots – fly for the big and small cargo airlines, and cargo carriers, like FedEx, UPS, DHL, Blue Dart, etc.
5. Air Taxi and Charter Pilots – fly for growing line of air taxi and charter operators worldwide.
6. Ferry Pilots – fly as a ferry pilot for aircraft manufacturers and then there are a lot of aircraft ferry companies available too, to go deliver the aircraft to its new owners.
7. Patrol Pilots – fly for a news group to report traffic, police chases, etc, or fly for aerial surveillance companies, like pipeline patrols, oil well patrols, etc.
8. Flight Instructor Pilots – a career option of choice for someone like me. Teach others how to fly, and get paid for it.
9. Emergency Pilots – fly for the air ambulance operators (big and small), helicopters and airplanes.
10. Law Enforcement Pilots – most law enforcement agencies now have an aviation wing. And a lot of them hire pilots to fly their aircraft.
11. Aerial Firefighter Pilots – this is mostly a contract and seasonal job, but you may want to combine this with some other job, like a full time firefighter job, or a military reserve pilot job, or a flight instructor job, then you can have the best of all the worlds.
12. Aerial Crop-duster Pilots – you spray agricultural chemicals for the agriculture industry, and sometimes even for the local government bodies (pest control etc).
13. Test Pilots – fly for various aircraft manufacturers, both transport and general aviation, and thousands of other companies, training centers, etc as a test pilot.
14. Aircraft Salesmen Pilots – many aircraft sales businesses, including general aviation aircraft manufacturers hire pilots to work as sales-people so they can go and demo the aircraft to prospective customers.
15. Government Pilots – probably one of the largest employer of pilots. In addition to all of the above, consider flying for the DGCA, Customs, Border Patrol and many other agencies and there are even overseas deployment possibilities.
16. Contract Pilots – fly for government contracting corporations and you can pick and choose just about everything in your pilot career.
17. Aviation Universities and College Pilots – many aviation educational institutes hire pilots and flight instructors to teach in their aviation degree programs.
18. Astronauts – space travel is not limited to NASA only anymore. Civilian spacecraft are in the near future (well, they already are) going to be affordable to common people, and you can fly those cool high tech vehicles back and forth from earth to space all day long. Something to really think about.
When you are a pilot, even sky is not the limit for you anymore!