Is A Career as A Pilot Right for You?

Posted: July 27, 2020 | Author: Jaidyn Crookston | Read Time: 5 minutes

Pilot Career

Thinking about a career as a pilot? Flying airplanes or helicopters for a living is an amazing career and more and more people decide to enter flight training every day.

Many people grow up dreaming of becoming a pilot and decide not to follow that dream as they get older. One of the main reasons they didn’t become a pilot is because they didn’t take the time to research and decide exactly what they want from a career.

If you dream of becoming a pilot, follow-through, but make sure you’re cut out to be a pilot before you make the decision. It’s important to get as much information as possible to avoid problems later such as wanting to switch career paths. To help make this decision a little easier and to help see what it takes to be a pilot, here are some questions to consider. 

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Deciding to Become a Pilot
  • Do you enjoy flying?
  • Are you afraid of heights? (if you are, this doesn’t necessarily mean that becoming a pilot is a bad idea)
  • Do you want to have a good salary?
  • Do you hate sitting in an office all day?
  • Do you like variety?
  • Do you want a flexible career?
  • Do you want to travel?
  • Can you pass the FAA medical exam?

Honestly answering each question may save the hassle of later deciding that being a pilot isn’t for you

Do you Enjoy Flying?

Those who become pilots should like to fly. This is what you’ll be doing as a living, it’s important that you enjoy it and want to do it for the rest of your life.

Interested in a career as a pilot?

Are You Afraid of Heights?

Many people believe that if you’re afraid of heights, you can’t become a pilot. This isn’t necessarily true. Many pilots who would normally be afraid of heights are fine while in a plane or a helicopter.

Imagine riding a bike at 80 mph on the freeway. Would this be terrifying? Yes, it would. However, riding in a car at 80 mph on the freeway isn’t scary at all. In fact, this is normal and something that is done by people every day. Flying in an airplane or helicopter is a lot like this. If you weren’t in the safety of a cockpit, then yes the height would be terrifying. But inside the cockpit, you know that you’re safe, so it isn’t scary.

Do You Want to Have a Good Salary?

Airplane and helicopter pilots earn a very good salary. According to, helicopter pilots make on average $95,000 a year and airplane pilots make $136,000 a year.

If making good money is important to you, then becoming a pilot can help you achieve that. However, be aware that this isn’t what you’ll be making right out of flight school. Graduates start off by working low paying jobs making around $60,000 a year and work their way up. 

Do You Hate Sitting in an Office All Day? 

Many people find working in an office all day to be tedious and too repetitive. Flying in the air as a pilot is very different from sitting at a desk all day. Imagine spending hours in a cockpit and seeing the beautiful views. This could be your office.

Helicopter in the air

Do You Like Variety? 

As a pilot every day will be different. There are many different types of jobs pilots have. Some jobs come with more variety than others, but all will have a certain amount of variation each day, like watching the weather and making decisions. Some airline pilot jobs will be very monotonous and won’t require much work, but almost all other pilot jobs will be full of variety. 

Do You Want a Flexible Career?

Many pilots, especially helicopter pilots, have very flexible work schedules. It’s common for pilots to work one week on, one week off, or two weeks on, two weeks off, or even six months on, six months off. It depends on the job, but this is very common. This means that pilots basically work a part-time schedule for full-time pay.

Pilot careers are also flexible in what you choose to do. There are many different types of jobs for pilots in many different industries. If you choose to work in one industry and then decide that you want to do something different it will be easy to switch over and work another job. For example, if you’re working in the utility industry and decide that you want to work for entertainment, it will be easy to switch because pilot skills can transfer directly over. Very few jobs will require extra training. One job that may require extra training is fire fighting.

Do You Want to Travel? 

As a pilot, you’ll likely work in many different places around the world. This is especially true of airline pilots and pilots who fly long distances. If you love traveling and seeing the world, then being a pilot will help you fulfill that dream.

Checking blades

Can You Pass the FAA Medical Exam?

To become a pilot you must pass the FAA medical exam and get a medical certificate. This certificate simply states that you’re physically and mentally fit to fly aircraft. There are some medical conditions that disqualify people from becoming a pilot, which can be found on the FAA website. Most people are able to pass this exam, but you’ll have to see a licensed FAA medical examiner to be sure. If you aren’t able to get your medical certificate, then you won’t be able to become a pilot. It’s best to know sooner rather than later if you won’t be able to pass the exam so that you can start looking at different career options.


If you answered positively to most of these questions, then a career as a pilot may be right for you. To learn more about whether or not becoming a pilot is right for you, contact SUU Aviation. As one of the top-ranked flight schools in the nation, we have the resources to help make your dream of becoming a pilot a reality.

Produced by SUU Aviation

Do you dream of a career as a pilot? Are you fascinated with the prospect of flying for a living? Southern Utah University is a comprehensive regional university that provides a high quality education. Flight training at SUU will uniquely prepare you for a career flying aircraft anywhere in the world.

Tags: College of Engineering and Computational Sciences Aviation

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