3 Steps to Begin an Aviation Career (and Why You Should Start Today)

To fly is to soar. Ask a teenager just getting their license and first car, and you might hear them mention the freedom driving provides. Flying, in some ways, offers even more freedom. With a plane, crossing vast stretches of untamed wilderness or scaling past mountains is no challenge at all. And if you’re bored with your job or considering what career you should pursue, consider earning your pilot wings. It’s an amazing experience that can truly change your life.

For some, the challenge of learning to fly is what’s most appealing. It takes considerable skill, coordination and training to operate an aircraft. But once you’ve mastered the basics, flying is relatively easy and enjoyable. The learning curve and extensive training also mean that a career in flying can be lucrative, rewarding, and prestigious.

Wondering if flying is right for you? Let’s look at some of the most pertinent questions and cover how to become a pilot.

1. Am I too old (or too young) to be a pilot?

Probably not. Legally, you can’t get your pilot license until you’re 17, at the earliest. As for a maximum threshold, you can earn your license at any age. However, commercial airlines typically require pilots to retire at 65. Of course, by 65, most folks are looking to retire and enjoy their golden years.

2. Am I skilled and smart enough to fly a plane?

If you can drive a car, there’s a very good chance that you can pilot a plane. To be clear, operating a plane is much different from driving a car. However, many of the underlying skills and competencies are closely related. That said, you’ll need to practice and study a lot before hitting the skies.

3. Will I have to go back to school to become a pilot?

In short, yes. You’ll need to earn your private pilot’s license before you can start flying solo. After that, you’ll want to get your commercial pilot’s license if you’re interested in pursuing a career in commercial flying. The good news is that many flight schools across the country will help you achieve your goals.

Also, flight school is quite hands-on. So even if you’re not a bookworm, you might find that you enjoy flight school quite a bit.

4. Is Making a Career Change To Become a Pilot Expensive?

Commercial pilots at the top airlines make quite a bit of money. In fact, captains at the best airlines can make more than $175,000 per year. That said, you will have to invest in schooling, and if you leave your career to pursue flying, you’ll also have to set aside your wages.

5. Is a Career as a Pilot Right for Me?

That’s for you to decide! However, many pilots find careers in flying to be exciting, challenging, and financially rewarding. If you’re considering a change, or are looking for an adventure, consider becoming a pilot. Changing careers to fly planes takes effort, but the rewards are well worth it.


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