What is a Pilot

Pilots fly, control, and navigate airplanes, helicopters, and every other type of aircraft. As a pilot, you are expected to select efficient and safe flight routes. You are also responsible for performing pre-flight and post-flight aircraft inspections. One of your duties also includes determining risks that could or may occur. It is also expected that you keep accurate records for compliance purposes sake. Ensuring the comfort, safety of the crew, aircraft, and also passengers is also part of your responsibility.

Being a pilot requires meeting a lot of qualifications. You may have to receive training in the military. Educationally, the requirement is two years of college coursework, including math, English, aeronautical engineering, and physics. Though, most employers prefer to employ candidates with bachelor's degrees. If you want to work as a pilot, you will need a commercial pilot's license. Also, you must be at least 18 years of age, have flight experience of 250 hours, and must not be physically handicap. Ability to communicate, interpersonal skills, adaptability, task management, team spirit are skills you need to have to be a successful pilot. The average salary per year is $140,340.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a pilot. For example, did you know that they make an average of $37.49 an hour? That's $77,975 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 7,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Pilot Do

There are certain skills that many pilots have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, problem-solving skills and quick reaction time.

Learn more about what a Pilot does

How To Become a Pilot

If you're interested in becoming a pilot, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 59.1% of pilots have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 10.2% of pilots have master's degrees. Even though most pilots have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a pilot. When we researched the most common majors for a pilot, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on pilot resumes include master's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a pilot. In fact, many pilot jobs require experience in a role such as captain. Meanwhile, many pilots also have previous career experience in roles such as cashier or flight instructor.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

Average Salary
$77,975
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
1,648
Job Openings
resume document icon

Don't Have A Professional Resume?

0 selections

Pilot Career Paths

Top Careers Before Pilot

Top Careers After Pilot

Pilot Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Create The Perfect Resume

Our resume builder tool will walk you through the process of creating a stand-out Pilot resume.

resume icon

Average Salary for a Pilot

Pilots in America make an average salary of $77,975 per year or $37 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $118,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $51,000 per year.
Average Salary
$77,975
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Pilot? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
See More Salary Information

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Pilot Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Pilot. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Pilot Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Pilot resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Pilot Resume Examples And Templates

Pilot Demographics

Pilot Gender Statistics

male

66.1 %

female

29.5 %

unknown

4.3 %

Pilot Ethnicity Statistics

White

85.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.5 %

Unknown

2.9 %

Pilot Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

47.3 %

French

11.7 %

German

5.7 %
Job Openings

Find the best Pilot job for you

0 selections
0 selections
Show More Pilot Demographics

Create The Perfect Resume

Our resume builder tool will walk you through the process of creating a stand-out Pilot resume.

resume icon

Pilot Education

Pilot Majors

20.4 %
19.5 %

Pilot Degrees

Bachelors

59.1 %

Associate

14.9 %

Masters

10.2 %

Top Colleges for Pilots

1. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,306
Enrollment
9,394

2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,094
Enrollment
32,974

3. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

4. Baylor University

Waco, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$45,542
Enrollment
14,159

5. University of Minnesota - Crookston

Crookston, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,822
Enrollment
1,834

6. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

7. Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,105
Enrollment
13,729

8. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

9. Siena Heights University

Adrian, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$27,124
Enrollment
2,035

10. Arizona State University at the Polytechnic Campus

Mesa, AZ • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,840
Enrollment
4,495
Show More Pilot Education Requirements
Job Openings

Find the best Pilot job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Online Courses For Pilot That You May Like

Part 1 FAA Private Pilot Ground School (Part 61)
udemy
4.4
(575)

Introduction to flight training, Aircraft Structure, Systems and Flight Instruments...

UAS FAR 107 FAA Drone Exam Preparation - INCLUDES NEW RULES
udemy
4.2
(280)

Prepare to pass the FAA knowledge test for UAS Remote Pilot Certification (RPC)...

UAS/Drone Remote Pilot Test Prep for Part 107
udemy
4.7
(1,458)

Drone License Made Easy (updated 2021)...

Show More Pilot Courses
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Pilot

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 13.6% of pilots listed pic on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and problem-solving skills are important as well.

  • PIC, 13.6%
  • Flight Operations, 11.7%
  • Pilot-In-Command, 11.7%
  • ATP, 6.4%
  • Company Policies, 4.8%
  • Other Skills, 51.8%
  • See All Pilot Skills

12 Pilot RESUME EXAMPLES

Best States For a Pilot

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a pilot. The best states for people in this position are Texas, Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois. Pilots make the most in Texas with an average salary of $102,120. Whereas in Kansas and Iowa, they would average $101,311 and $98,760, respectively. While pilots would only make an average of $98,746 in Illinois, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Nevada

Total Pilot Jobs:
37
Highest 10% Earn:
$159,000
Location Quotient:
2.53
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Kansas

Total Pilot Jobs:
30
Highest 10% Earn:
$158,000
Location Quotient:
1.42
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Iowa

Total Pilot Jobs:
42
Highest 10% Earn:
$151,000
Location Quotient:
1.65
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Pilots

How Do Pilot Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

Airline PilotSeptember 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoAirline PilotSeptember 2019

What do you like the most about working as Pilot?

Every day at work was different. Each flight was different and flying an airplane well is challenging. When an airline pilot has completed their flight assignment they go home and do not think about the job until the next time they go to work. The FAA regulations require rest periods and days off for pilots. A normal flight schedule offers 8- 20 days off per month. A pilot can choose to fly trips that are 1- 12 days long. Most airlines have a seniority system. This means that the airplane and crew position are determined by the date you were hired. Generally speaking, Senior pilots are Captains that fly the airplane with highest pay rate. Senior pilots also have the best flight schedule. Starting pay at the major airlines in 2019 is about $85,000 year. Senior pilots flying wide-body airplanes can earn up to $600,000 year flying an international schedule Show More

What do you NOT like?

Jet-lag. Fatigue is a fact of life for an airline pilot. Domestic flying often includes trips that depart at 11:00 PM and arrive early in the morning. International trips fly all over the world at all hours of the day. Pilots learn to deal with jet-lag and fatigue, but it remains a fact of life for most aviators Show More

Working as a Pilot? Share your experience anonymously.
Do you work as a Pilot?
Rate how you like work as Pilot. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.

Pilot Videos

Updated August 18, 2021