Home > Uncategorized > What Are Your Expectations in Getting a Job As A Pilot Job?

What Are Your Expectations in Getting a Job As A Pilot Job?

What Are Your Expectations in Getting a Job As A Pilot Job?In July 2013, The Federal Aviation Administration said it was making final a rule that says all commercial airline pilots hired by U.S. carriers will be required to have at least 1,500 hours of flight time.
The Air Line Pilots Association, which praised the new rule, said it goes into effect Aug. 1.

“The rule gives first officers a stronger foundation of aeronautical knowledge and experience before they fly for an air carrier,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in the agency’s announcement. “With this rule and our efforts to address pilot fatigue – both initiatives championed by the families of Colgan flight 3407 – we’re making a safe system even safer.”

Before, a first officer had to have only a commercial pilot license, which requires a minimum of 250 hours of flying. The new rule requires the ATP license and the 1,500 hours. In addition, the FAA now requires a pilot to have at least 1,000 as an airline first officer before flying as captain. The minimum age for an ATP license is 23 years.

After finishing flight training, we all have one thing on our minds. Landing that first job! Below is an article that lists some of the things you can expect before hearing the word “Hired”.


Everyone seems to get VERY hung up on this one. There is more to an airline than their hourly pay rate. While doing your research be sure to look at more than just the hourly pay rate. Some companies have better contracts than others. For example some companies simply pay you X to fly from here to there because it takes 2 hours. If your flight taxis out and sits on the ramp for 5 hours, too bad, you are only getting paid for 2 hours. Other companies will pay you “block or better”. This means that you are guaranteed 2 hours of pay and if you go over that, they will pay you for the length of time you have to sit on the taxi way and the flight time. Duty Rigs are another thing you should check for in their contract. Every airline that I know of only pays it’s pilots when they are actually in the cockpit with the door shut. Is this company going to make you show up to work at 6am to fly to some po-dunk airport and sit around for 5 hours before flying to your next destination? If they do this to you, are you going to get paid at least X hours for the day? I don’t know about you, but when I have to go to work, I like being paid for my time! I’d rather not sit around in some airport terminal and not get paid. Other companies pay their pilots a yearly salary no matter how much or how little they fly.


Where will you start and end all of your trips? Are any of their bases close to your home or will you need to move or commute? If you plan to move, make sure you factor in how much moving will cost you and how much housing costs in the city you are moving to. If you choose to commute, you need to consider things like paying for a crashpad at your new base. Airport parking fees at your home airport. What companies have service between your home airport and your new base? How frequent are the flights between those two airports? Does your company have jumpseat agreements with the companies that service those airports? How competitive will your commute be? (how many other pilots will be trying to do the same commute you are) Commuting will let you live where you want but it also means you will use a lot of your days off getting to and from work. When the weather is bad and the flights are over sold, this can really take a toll on your stress level. You might have to leave home at 6am to wait around at the airport all day to catch a flight to your base. Then after you get to your base you might not start work until 8pm and you don’t get done flying until midnight. Obviously this makes for an extreemly long day! (the same can be true for getting back home after you are done flying)

Another hot topic area is how quick is the upgrade? Typically upgrades are faster at companies with a lot of movement. You need to ask yourself, why does company A have so much more movement than company Z? Is it because other airlines are hiring their pilots so quickly or because people don’t like working there? Generally it’s because people can’t stand working there. The choice you have to make is if you’d rather have a decent quality of life for a longer time or get the quick upgrade and hate your quality of life.


Almost every company offers some sort of flight benefits. Some are better than others. Almost all of them are space available reservations. This means that you can go for free or relatively cheap as long as there are seats available. Yes, this can be a great deal, but can also be a huge headache. I’ve gotten on the first flight of the day many times, but I’ve also sat around the airport from 6am until 9pm trying to get on a flight only to be turned away. Tickets are so cheap these days, if I need to get somewhere, I don’t bother trying to ride on my flight benefits and I just buy a ticket instead.


Yes, I know you are young and don’t need to worry about retiring for at least 30+ years. The question you need to ask yourself is: How old do I want to be when I retire and how comfortable of a retirement do I want to have? I’ve flown with other pilots that have no clue what they will do when they retire because flying is all they know and they don’t have very much money in their retirement funds. If you start saving for retirement early on, those funds will grow over and over again and you will have a very comfortable retirement. Some companies offer matching contributions which is basically FREE money! You should at least contribute at least that much per paycheck that way the company is giving you the maximum FREE cash possible!


Do you have any idea what SJS is? Shinny Jet Syndrome! There are so many people who come out of flight training that have SJS it’s pathetic! Don’t go fly for some company just because they have brand new shinny jets! You paid a lot of money and spent a lot of time to get to where you are today. Just because XYZ has 50 brand new CRJ-700’s or EMB-170’s on order, that does not meant they are a great company to work for. Do your homework and you will be a lot happier with your decision!

Types of flying

This comes down to what type of person you are. Do you like the scheduled routine and like knowing when you start work and when you will finish? You will fly to the same airports over and over again, but you’ll know all the routes and won’t have to worry about landing somewhere you are unfamiliar with. This type of flying is usually with a hub and spoke carrier. Are you the type of person who likes variety in your life? There are companies out there where you’ll hit different airports all day instead of the same ones over and over. How many days would you like to work in a row? Some comapnies do all day trips where you start and end your trips at your base every night. Other companies have 2 day, 3 day, 4 day trips, etc. Some places even do 18 day trips where you work 18 days straight (with breaks on the road) and then you are off for the remainder of the month. These are all things to think about before you narrow down your job search. Options: Airline or Freight carriers tend to be hub and spoke always going to the same airports during your trips. Fractional Ownerships, corporate or charter companies usually don’t go to and from a hub all the time. They have a lot more variety in their schedules.


This is a big area that you should put a lot of research into. A contract can make or break your decision to work for a company. Would you rather work for a company that has 10 guaranteed days off per month or one that has 15 guaranteed days off per month? Some companies have that quick upgrade time, but guess what, you are going to work your tail off! When you first get started in the aviation world, you will probably want to fly, fly, fly, but after the luster wears off, you’ll want more days off! For most people, that’s what it’s all about. Get the most time off and make as much money possible. Other things besides days off to consider are things like seniority or merit based systems. Seniorty is good because it forces the company to give pilots perks in seniority order. Such as bidding your schedule based upon how long you’ve been at the company, who upgrades and in what order. If you are on a merit based system, you better be ready to suck up a lot! If you don’t, you will more than likely be passed over for the bosses kid or someone else who does suck up.


Will you be paid during training? Will the company put you up for your training or will you have to rent a place to stay during training?

Training contracts –

I love this one! Some companies have them and some don’t. If a company requires you to sign a training contract before they will let you work for them, that should be a HUGE red flag! Normally this means that people hate working here or there are better places to work so they get some experience and leave. The only way the company can keep people is by holding them to these expensive training contracts ($10,000 – $15,000 is pretty average). Companies that are good places to work won’t require you to sign one of these because they aren’t worried about you leaving. Source

Distributed by Viestly

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