Is it Easy to Get a Job as a Helicopter Pilot?

Posted: May 18, 2021 | Author: Jaidyn Crookston | Read Time: 7 minutes

Is it easy to get a job as a helicopter pilot?If it’s your dream to fly helicopters for a living, you probably want to know whether it’s easy to get a job as a helicopter pilot. Knowing whether or not you’ll have job security in your career is important for everyone, even helicopter pilots.

So, is it easy to get a job as a helicopter pilot?

The short answer is yes, it should be pretty easy for you to get a job as a helicopter pilot once you’ve earned your certifications and built your flight hours.

Reasons Why it Should be Easy to Find a Job as a Helicopter Pilot

Pilot Demand is High

The demand for helicopter pilots is extremely high. A recent study by Boeing estimated that there will be a shortage of 59,000 helicopter pilots worldwide through 2037. This means that for at least the next 17 years (and probably much longer than that), good helicopter pilots are almost guaranteed a job.

There are multiple reasons why the demand for helicopter pilots is so high.

The Industry is Growing

One reason demand for pilots is high is because the aviation industry is booming and has expanded into many other industries in recent years. Helicopters are being used for more and more purposes as time goes on, and in more and more industries, like entertainment, agriculture, law enforcement, medical, utility, corporate, and many others.

Because the aviation industry itself is growing and expanding into other industries, the demand for pilots continues to grow.

More Pilots Are Retiring Each Year

Another reason pilot demand is so high is because more pilots are retiring each year than are entering the field. Flying helicopters first became a profession in the 1950s, and the pilots who began flying then and in the decades afterward are now retired or are about to retire.

Because more pilots are retiring than are entering the industry, the total number of active helicopter pilots has been going down. This means that even though there are more jobs available around the world, there are fewer pilots to fill those jobs.

Pilots who have the minimum amount of experience needed to qualify for a job are finding it easier and easier to get hired because of the high demand and the number of jobs available. There’s no guarantee that you’ll easily find a job as a pilot, but chances are in your favor and it’s likely that you’ll have work once you finish flight training.

Find a Job in the Aviation Industry

There are ways to increase your chances of easily finding a job beyond the industry just needing lots of pilots. Here are some things that will make finding a job even easier.

You Need Lots of Flight Hours

The more flight hours you have, the higher your chances of getting a high-paying job. To qualify for the really high-paying jobs, you’ll need a minimum of 1,000 flight hours. This sounds like a lot, especially considering that you’ll graduate from flight school with probably only around 150-200 flight hours.

To get 1,000 flight hours you’ll need to work some lower-paying jobs and earn a lot of flight hours. Common first jobs for helicopter pilots include working as a tour pilot or a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI). Many flight schools like to hire their own top graduates back as CFIs, so if you work hard and show your instructors that you’re a good student, you may have the chance to work as an instructor yourself. As an instructor, you can build your flight hours while earning money.

Working as a tour pilot is a great way to get lots of flight hours in a short amount of time. There are helicopter touring companies all over the world, and you could fly helicopters surrounded by amazing views that people pay to see every day. Many pilots go on to work for tour companies in Alaska, Hawaii, New Zealand, or the Grand Canyon.

There are other ways to earn flight hours as a new pilot, but these are the most common options. It’s important to realize that you’ll be working lower-paying jobs as a new pilot for a few years before qualifying for a high-paying pilot job. The more flight hours you have, the easier it will be to get a job.

Be Willing To Relocate

If you’re willing to relocate multiple times and go where a job takes you, you’ll have a better chance of easily finding a job. Helicopter pilots are needed all over the world, and that means you may need to move to find a job.

Many helicopter pilots work part-time schedules for full-time pay. As a pilot you may be working one month on, one month off, or six months on, six months off, or something like that. This gives you a chance to travel or spend time with family when you aren’t working, but may mean that you aren’t able to see your family very much while you’re working, depending on the job you have. If you’re willing to go through this separation and move around a lot, it should be pretty easy for you to find a job.

It isn’t always necessary for a pilot to move around a lot. If you’re able to find a job for a local company, like as an instructor or a law enforcement pilot, you may still be able to have a normal family life without all the moving around. It really depends on the jobs available and your own preferences.

Earn Advanced Training And Experience

The more advanced training and experience you get before entering the workforce, the easier it will be for you to get a job. Even though there are plenty of jobs available, there will still be heavy competition for each job. This means that you need to stand out to employers, and this is most easily done by building your resume to include advanced training.

At some flight schools, like Southern Utah University Aviation, advanced training is included in the regular curriculum and is given to every flight student. Other flight schools include advanced training for an extra fee. It’s best to find a flight school that gives this training for no extra charge.

Advanced training includes learning flight techniques such as longline, external load, mountain operations, night vision goggles, and turbine transition. The more skills you have as a pilot, the less a company will have to train you and the more desirable you’ll be to that employer.

Flight hours, advanced training, and experience are especially important if you someday want to be in a management position. If your dream is to be the chief pilot of a flight school or company someday, then you’ll need to start on that path today.

Chief pilots have lots of benefits and a higher salary, so many pilots want to someday be in this position. The more experience and flight hours you have, the higher your chances of getting a job as a chief pilot.

What’s the Future Outlook for Helicopter Pilots?

When choosing a career it’s important to know that your industry will be around for a long time. This is definitely true for those wanting to become a helicopter pilot. The aviation industry isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Helicopters and airplanes are needed for transportation, entertainment, agriculture, utility, and lots of other purposes. They are in high demand and aren’t going anywhere in the foreseeable future.

Now is the perfect time to become a helicopter pilot because your job will be secure and you will easily be able to find jobs as you enter the industry. When you choose to start flight training, you’re choosing to have an amazing future and to enter an amazing industry.

One of the best places to start your flight training is SUU Aviation. SUU Aviation has been recognized as one of the best collegiate flight schools in the country. With a high job placement rate, SUU Aviation knows how to help you qualify for jobs and find the job that is best for you. You can’t go wrong when you train with SUU Aviation.

Produced by SUU Aviation
The university's fleet includes 16 airplanes, 23 helicopters by the end of 2020, and state-of-the-art maintenance training facilities. SUU Aviation offers advanced and relevant flight training in the safest and most efficient way possible. The program continues to be on the cutting edge of the industry, training tomorrow's aviation leaders. To learn more about building your flight hours or to learn more about the school, contact SUU Aviation

Tags: Aviation

Related Posts