What Jobs Can I Get As A Helicopter Pilot?

Posted: March 09, 2020 | Author: Jaidyn Crookston | Read Time: 5 minutes

There are lots of jobs you can get as a helicopter pilot. Because the aviation industry is so diverse and helicopters are in such high demand, there are countless jobs you can choose from when you become a helicopter pilot.

Starting Jobs

As a new helicopter pilot, you'll have to build your flight hours. The more flight hours you have, the better pay and more jobs you can get. By the time you graduate from flight school with your certifications, you'll probably have around 200 flight hours. In order to land those coveted jobs, however, you'll need to have at least a thousand flight hours.

In order to build your flight hours and gain more experience, starting your career as a flight instructor is a great option. Many flight schools like to hire their students back as instructors, so as long as you're a good student and have demonstrated your responsibility throughout your training, you'll have a good chance of being hired as an instructor as soon as you graduate, or even before.

helicopter pilots can work at a tour companyAnother beginning job that many helicopter pilots take is at a tour company. As a newly licensed pilot, you may find yourself flying tours over amazing places like Alaska, Las Vegas, Hawaii, or the Grand Canyon. There are hundreds of tour operators throughout the world hiring helicopter pilots, so finding a job in a place you love and want to spend time in shouldn't be difficult. Flying for a touring company will help you build your hours and gain valuable experience until you're ready to start working in a more advanced industry for better pay.

Advanced Jobs

Once you've built up your hours, you'll be qualified to work in dozens of different industries throughout the world. Helicopters are used in all sorts of capacities, and you may be able to find a job that blends another of your interests with flying.

For example, if you love movies, you could get a job in the filmmaking industry. A lot of those amazing Hollywood shots are taken from a helicopter, and you could be the one flying it. If Hollywood is your passion, you could even become a stunt pilot. If you love photography or films, you could work with an aerial photographer or cinematographer.

You could fly helicopters for a news media station. When there's a big news story, helicopters are often used to capture footage and follow the story. If you love watching the news or learning about the world, this may be just the job for you.

pilots can work in law enforcementAnother amazing industry you can work in is the law enforcement industry. You can fly search and rescue missions or work as a police helicopter pilot or border patrol pilot. You could also fly helicopters for the fire department, using longline and external load training to help put out fires. For some of these jobs, you may be required to go through police training as well as flight school. If this is your goal, make sure you talk to local law enforcement to find out what will be required of you.

You can be an emergency medical pilot, an air ambulance pilot, or work in other areas of the medical field. Knowing that you're helping people every day is very rewarding to a lot of people, which is why so many pilots choose to enter this industry.

There are lots of jobs available in the agricultural industry as well. You can manage livestock, or work with pest control, logging, crop spraying, and more. You could also work in the utility field, which may include surveying gas, telephone, or power lines.

There are countless jobs you can get as a helicopter pilot.

You can become a personal pilot for executives or celebrities. You can work for an offshore oil rig, tuna boats, ferries, air cargo, corporate transportation and so much more. When you choose to become a helicopter pilot, you're opening your future up for so many possibilities.

Once you've chosen a job, you can always change your mind. As a pilot, you'll be trained in all sorts of situations and these skills will transfer well to any field. Some jobs may require a little bit of specific training, but even those shouldn't take too much more effort. If you start working in an industry and decide you want to do something else, you can switch over with very little hassle.

Once you've built your hours and worked the job you want, you may qualify for a management position. Becoming a manager at any helicopter company will provide you with benefits and you're more likely to qualify for a management position if you hold a bachelor's or master's degree. In order to get a degree as a helicopter pilot, you'll need to attend a university flight school. While you don't need a degree to be a pilot, having one will help you get management positions and will put you above the competition in many other ways.

a pilots license and a degree will put you above the competition

Here's a run down of the jobs mentioned in this article:

Entertainment industry

  • Hollywood pilot
  • Stunt pilot
  • Aerial photographer
  • Aerial cinematographer
  • News pilot
  • Tour company pilot

Law enforcement

  • Search and rescue
  • Police pilot
  • Border patrol
  • Firefighter
  • FBI pilot

Medical field

  • Emergency medical pilot
  • Air ambulance
  • Air evacuation


  • Manage livestock
  • Pest control
  • Logging
  • Crop spraying


  • Surveying gas lines
  • Surveying power lines
  • Surveying phone lines

Corporate industry

  • Offshore oil rig
  • Tuna boat
  • Ferry
  • Air cargo
  • Corporate transportation


  • Private pilot
  • Flight school instructor

And so much more!

Each job listed above will have different requirements and flight hours needed to qualify. Some jobs require more experience than others, but as you work your way up you'll find that you're gaining the experience you need in the lower level jobs to qualify for the high paying jobs.

gain access to higher paying pilot jobs

If you're looking to become a pilot, then one of the leading flight schools in the nation is SUU Aviation. SUU Aviation has over a 90% job placement rate, so once you graduate you should be able to find a job right away. SUU Aviation has partnerships with multiple different helicopter companies and these companies love to hire SUU graduates. If you're looking for a flight school that can help you land a job after you graduate, then SUU Aviation is the best way to go.

If you want more information about this amazing program, then feel free to reach out or visit SUU Aviation's website.

Tags: Aviation

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