The career path of a commercial airline pilot
During our childhoods, many of us aspired to be a pilot when we were older, but what does the qualification process actually include?
Once you have qualified as a pilot, you typically move into a long-haul or short-haul first officer role, and later progress to become a type-rated or non-type rated captain. From here onwards, it is imperative that you have a working knowledge of the profession you wish to pursue, if you want any kind of career longevity.
Short-haul is a flight lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. Medium-haul is defined by flights lasting between 3-6 hours. And lastly, long-haul flights are those that extend beyond 6 hours.
Long-haul pilots benefit from travelling far and wide across the globe, which is perfect for those who enjoy travelling and spending time in exotic destinations. Short-haul pilots will typically start and end their day at their allocated station – which suits those who are more family-orientated, as they always return home after a ‘day in the office’.
Whilst spending a large amount of their time away from home, long-haul pilots enjoy a greater number of days off from work to ensure they recuperate from the more taxing, jet-lag inducing journeys, whereas short-haul will work a more standard 5 day week.
Long-haul pilots earn more than short-haul, but the majority of pilots will have to accumulate a certain amount of fly-time hours as a short-haul pilot if they want to take the leap to long-haul.
No matter what you choose, you should be confident in the knowledge that piloting is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people around the globe, and the aviation industry as a whole continues to be hugely successful. So you are not alone in your choice.