The hours were inconsistent, the schooling expensive, the training difficult and the pay not-so-great.
That is no longer the case.
The pilot shortage has created a rare opportunity for career-changers and those entering the workforce the likes of which have never been seen in the aviation industry.
So how did all this happen, and what exactly do the changes look like?
What is the Pilot Shortage
To mitigate this, a new pilot will need to be made every 15 minutes over the next 2 decades.
To make matters worse, hardly anybody wanted to start a career as an airline pilot after 9/11. That lull in trained pilots is finally starting to hit. Just as a record high number of pilots were posed to leave the industry, a record low number were entering it.
All of this comes together to create the perfect storm (or perfect opportunity if you want to be a pilot). More pilots are retiring than ever before, less pilots are staged to come in, and air travel is increasing.
In short, the airlines are becoming desperate for pilots. In fact it’s already hit the regionals hard. As a result the pay, benefits and sign on bonuses for pilots at the regional level are higher than ever.
The Opportunity for Pilots
The trends in air travel are just one factor that contribute to pilot hiring. Retirement numbers have a huge effect on the number of pilots that need to be hired each year.
Therefore, the increase in the need for pilots is often greater than the increase in air travelers. This is evident from the numbers that were being touted just a month ago.
Of course this number also has the potential to increase as airlines try to become more attractive to pilots.
Airline pilots are going the way of many other trades. So much demand and so little supply is turning this career into a viable high-paying job for people of all backgrounds.
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
Liz Brassaw is a first officer for a regional airline and the former Chief Pilot and Chief Flight Operations Officer for Thrust Flight. She holds an ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI, AMEL, ASES with over 2,500 hours of flight instruction given. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the Utah Valley University School of Aviation Sciences. She’s passionate about flying and enjoys instilling that love in the instructors on her team and the new students she trains.