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Fly a plane, travel the world and get paid – the perks of being Airline Pilots

February 03,2010 by: Dallas Browne

Certainly, there are perks. But basically, there are requirements you need to acquire before you go hopping to an aircraft and reaching for the skies. While it is true that there are many advantages of this career (free plane tickets, pay with benefits, being able to visit different parts of the world, etc) the responsibility that comes with it is also great. Once a plane takes off, a pilot is then held responsible of all the people’s lives that are aboard. But there is nothing to be afraid of if you have the right skills and education that you need.

Here is a sample list to give you an idea of how much an airline pilot may earn:

  • American Airlines: Year 1 F/O: $31,100 and 10th year Captain $123,500
  • Delta Airlines: Year 1 F/O: $50,410 and 10th year Captain $204,640
  • UPS: Year 1 F/O: $26,005 and 10th year Captain $200,510
  • Southwest: Year 1 F/O: $42,970 and 10th year Captain $159,010
  • ATA: Year 1 F/O: $36,010 and 10th year Captain $136,633
  • Airborne Express: Year 1 F/O $28,536 and 10th year Captain $146,185

To start a career as an airline pilot, it will require studying to get a certificate of being a commercial pilot. This kind of certificate is earned by passing the ground school for commercial pilots and having a minimum of 250 flight hours (this will have to include allotted time for practicing maneuvers and fulfilling conditionalities). After which, a check ride will test your skills and you have to pass. A check ride is more of a test like a driving test so that you may be able to get your license to fly a plane.  

It is the Federal Aviation Admin (FAA) who will do a final examination. An examiner will ask you to schedule a flight; will quiz you regarding aviation matters. Finally they will accompany you to an actual flight. During the test flight, the examiner will request for you to do things like execute maneuvers and will direct your flying through the test flight. In the end, if all goes well, you may get hold of your commercial pilot’s certificate. 

In addition to that, there is still a need for commercial pilots to update their first or second class med certificates (multi-engine rating or an instrument rating). To do this, commercial pilots need to have a Medical Examiner for Aviation verify that they meet the fitness and health requirements that are needed to qualify and fulfill your dream as a pilot. 

While it is indeed true that a pilot certificate lasts forever, this does not mean that in any time of the year you feel like flying, you can just hop on a plane. A pilot still needs or must have certain endorsements or experience. If you have not flown for quite a while then chances are, you cannot fly a plane yet. You need to first “condition” yourself and your mind. 

The industry is aviation is a much regulated industry. How can it not be when the lives of people are at stake?

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