Commercial Airline Pilot as Future Profession


Nobody can deny the fact that a choice of future profession is an important decision, which affects entire life of an individual. There is a wide range of factors, which influence ones choice: personal interests, motivation, education, salary, employment opportunities, and etc. That is why all these comprising elements have to be reasonably considered. My personal choice of a future profession is a commercial airline pilot. This occupation is relatively explicit regarding social recognition, but it is important to note that little is known about professional insights regarding the occupation of a civil pilot. Taking all these points into account, it should be admitted that the following paper lingers upon the description of a profession of a commercial airline pilot from the perspective of the future career prospect.

The following paper describes daily responsibilities of a civil pilot. The paper also gives an account to the contribution of this profession to the society. In the same way, potential sources of interest in this profession are explained. Further, the study discusses the implications on the requirements to education and degree from the perspective of employment opportunities. As a consequence, requirements and outcomes of advancing in the profession are also described. It is quite evident that a civil pilot is required to get a related licensing, that is why the paper touches upon this aspect, as well. Eventually, personal legal requirements are also tackled. Having outlined the thesis and structure of the paper, it is necessary to move on to the next section.

Daily Responsibilities of The Commercial Airline Pilot

Daily responsibility of the commercial airline pilot is controlling the airplane. It includes boarding of passengers, taking off, landing, and factual steering. It is important to note that actual orientation of the plane is conducted from the earth via flight centers. As a consequence, a civil pilot is expected to communicate with earth agencies on a constant basis, as long as it is the most pivotal aspect of controlling the airplane. That is why, controlling and correction of the route is still the responsibility of a civil pilot. The plane should fly in accordance with initially planned route, which is commonly agreed with all countries, the plane will fly above. Otherwise, the plane may collide with the other plane, which was using the same air corridor or destroyed by earth anti-aircraft weapon of a country, which did not confirm the possibility of the plane to fly above their territory. In addition, negative weather conditions can become a threat to the safety, as well. Regarding the last point, it is pivotal to mention that weather is also a threatening factor, so that a civil pilot is required to make the best judgement of weather conditions and act accordingly. Besides these points, it is necessary to say that a commercial airline pilot is also obliged to fulfil certain duties before taking off and after landing. It includes exceptional cases with deported passengers or any other situations concerning international border and customs. An airline pilot should also report and receive the information about the flight and pass/receive a special document: load sheet, which contains information about passengers, route, fuel, and etc. (Swatton).

It is becoming apparent that this occupation implies a wide range of responsibilities. Even more, this occupation is associated with being responsible for the safety of all passengers, flight crew, and people on the earth, as long as in case of a pilot’s mistake, people on the earth may fall the prey to the accident, as well. The job position of a civil plane is always associated with a certain risk to health and life, as plane crashes and terroristic acts are unfortunately widespread phenomena in the contemporary world. Still, it is worth mentioning that this occupation is remarkable from the perspective of wages and early retirement.

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Contribution to the Society

It is quite an evident fact that the occupation of a commercial airline pilot contributes to the society considerably. First of all, civil aviation provides society with an ability to travel around the world with maximum safety and speed. As a result, this occupation participates in broadening the interests, culture, and morality of people travelling to the foreign countries. In the same way, civil pilots are actual executives of the international relationship, as long as with the availability of civil aviation, communication between countries’ leaders has become more proactive. Thus, it is to be admitted that civil aviation is focused on more than just transportation of passengers. Civil aviation is a powerful source of air freights for the international logistics, so that it is possible to say that global macroeconomics and businesses are heavily dependent on the excellent work of civil pilots. What is more important, the involvement of civil aviation in medicine and dealing with emergency situations should be also considered as there are a wide range of cases when people, who needed an urgent help of the medical specialists, were transported by means of civil aviation. All in all, it should be admitted that the role of a commercial airline pilot is quite important, as it makes a positive impact on numerous spheres of human activity.

Sources of Interest

Nobody would deny the fact that the main advantage in the occupation of a commercial airline pilot is an ability to travel around the world. As long as civil pilots usually work for two weeks and then, have an according rest, it is possible to admit that they are able to see the countries they fly to, in the full understanding of this advantage. Therefore, a personal intention to see the world is one of the most powerful motivators when choosing the occupation of a civil pilot. In addition, it is necessary to say that many people choose this profession because they are being particularly interested in technologies, especially mechanics. They are given an opportunity to deal with sophisticated mechanisms, so that controlling a civil airplane is a perfect embodiment of their desires. Needless to say, the profession of a commercial airline pilot is mainly a male profession, as long as dealing with mechanics and technologies is commonly associated with men. In such a way, the interest in mechanics and technologies can be also regarded as a reason to choose the profession of a commercial airline pilot.

Besides that, it is important to pay attention to the aspect, which seems to not be taken seriously. Many people associate this profession with certain romantic feelings. It can be explained by the fact that mass culture depicts civil pilots as handsome, brave, and clever people, who are the object of common admiration. In fact, it is the exceptional evidence, when certain image is depicted by mass culture without any exaggerations. It is certainly true that a civil pilot is expected to possess such traits of character as courage, resilience, and reliability. That is why many people would like to become commercial airline pilots because they are intending to become stronger, and be admired by other people. Eventually, it is still necessary to mention a simple pragmatic intention of people to earn more money that is why this occupation is suitable for them because civil pilots are known to receive high salaries.

Required Education and Degrees

There are no specific requirements to education and degree concerning obtaining the job position of a commercial airline pilot, as long as the law does not determine any certain levels of education, which are compulsory for this occupation. On the contrary, it is worth mentioning that the majority of airlines prefer to hire pilots with at least college level degree. It can be explained by the fact that a presence of a college education witnesses about one’s ability to be easily trained (Cohen). Still, a presence of any degree is also preferable because every single airline seeks for the professionals, so that a pilot with a degree is regarded as a well-educated professional. This point is also referred to the fact that pilots, who obtain certain degree or at least college education, are trainable, so that the airline can spend substantial costs on training these individuals.

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As a consequence, several universities and colleges offer the related courses. University courses usually provide standardized training with further certification. Surprisingly, colleges even suggest advanced courses with more flight practice, so this education occurs to be more useful from the perspective of practical experience, which will be addressed further within the paper. It is essential to note that the university entry for the related course requires two A-levels, five subjects (including English) at grade C, and Math is supposed to be at least B. Overall, it is expected to be a minimum of 200 points (Kahn).

By the same token, some technical schools offer the same courses but with less flight practice. It is also possible to purchase a private flight course on a commercial basis. Such sort of training usually implies less quality of knowledge than in university or college, but it guarantees the same certification, which is recognized by Civil Aviation Authority (Brown). All in all, it is necessary to admit that education and degree for obtaining the profession of a commercial airline pilot is not officially required, but it is a commonly accepted evidence that airlines prefer to hire people with some sort of education, as long as it is a proof of their ability to be rained and cope with challenging situations.

Continuing Education Requirements and Job Advancement

Except the requirements to the education and degree, which have been described in the previous section, it is necessary to outline the following additional obligations, which are primarily focused on empowering pilots to keep improving their skills, as their promotion heavily relies on meeting these requirements. In order to receive a flight engineer license, airline pilots are expected to pass written and flight FAA examination, which is available for applicants, who are at least 23 years old and have a flight experience of minimum 1,500 hours in total. In addition, it is necessary to give an account to such essential aspect as the ability to make rational decisions under the pressure. Many airline companies arrange psychological and aptitude testing, in order to hire only the most resilient pilots, who are able to cope with emergency situations (Labor Department). A nearly perfect health condition is also a comprising element of additional requirements, as long as human body is facing certain complications because of drastic changes in air pressure, temperature, and etc. Potential pilots are supposed to have 100% sight, as it is the main requirement regarding the health condition of any pilot.

Speaking about the professional advancement of a commercial airline pilot, it is necessary to admit that it is mainly limited to widening professional qualification and promotion in ranks. In other words, the majority of pilots start their career as flight instructors in order to gain more flying hours and earn some money by teaching (V.T.). Then, they become pilots for charter flights or small airlines. In regard to regular airlines, the first promotion can be expected within the period of 1 to 5 years of dedicated work for the company: flight engineers advance to the first officers in this time frame. Further, in the period between 5 to 15 years, it is possible to achieve a promotion to the rank of captain. Even more, non-airline flight engineers may obtain such spheres as plane maintenance, chief director of airport, scheduling centre executive, and any other high-ranked job positions, which do not belong to airlines, but still are connected with aviation. It is quite a wide spectrum of job opportunities, so that the main factor regarding a success in the aviation is based on the sufficient education, experience, and health of a civil pilot.

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Required Licenses

As it has been already mentioned, the minimal licensing requirement to a commercial airline pilot is a civil aviation license of FAA standard. An applicant is supposed to be at least 18 years old and have an experience of 250 flight hours. It is pivotal to admit that licensing for flying by instruments at no or minimal vision is conducted independently. In order to apply for that license, a pilot is expected to have 40 hours of flights at minimal vision. Pilots are also required to pass a written examination, which is primarily focused on covering technical measures and FAA regulations, which demonstrate the level of the applicant’s knowledge (Transportation Department). There is a wide range of ways to get ready for the licensing test, but among available courses, it is recommended to take university course, as it includes more flying practice and provides more profound knowledge. Besides that, education and degree play an important role, as it has been already discussed before. There are some other requirements to the qualification of a commercial airline pilot though.

Some airlines require their pilots to pass testing for application to the commercial pilot licence. That is why, the majority of airlines seek for the pilots, who already have at least flight engineer license (Power-Waters). Regarding the subject of commercial pilot’s license, it is worth mentioning that it is not a commonly approved licensing from the legal perspective. In other words, this license is only applicable for the airline, which requires a pilot to pass the related testing. Namely, a pilot, who has such a license, will not be able to use it as a proof of his or her professionalism in the other airline. It can be explained by the fact that every airline determines its own requirements. Despite the fact that these requirements may be similar, their level of importance and difficulty still may vary. Generally speaking, every single commercial airline pilot is expected to apply for FAA flight engineer license, flight by instruments license, and commercial pilot license, in case it is required by the airline, which has suggested the employment (Morris).

Civil pilots are expected to meet numerous technical requirements, which are outlined by FAA and COA (Certification of Airworthiness). As long as civil pilots deal with sophisticated equipment, which implies substantial financing, they are required to be extremely careful with their daily operations form technical perspective. To be more specific, every single aircraft, which is heavier than 12,500 lb, is supposed to meet the legal requirement of FAA and COA certification. Actually, there are regulative objectives, which are mainly referred to safety, control, and handling qualities of the aircraft. They are not specific, however, technical capacities of every single aircraft vary (Civil Aviation Authority). That is why civil pilots should be aware of these characteristics in order not to overestimate the capacities of the plane. Otherwise, it may lead to disastrous consequences.

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Personal Legal Requirements

Except the legal requirement, which can be referred to the professional duties of a commercial airline pilot, it is essential to give an account to personal legal requirements. The first arising question is based on the doubts regarding having a background of former committing a crime. In fact, the law does not limit such pilots. On the contrary, the international aviation security law suggests that a pilot or any other flight crew member can be dismissed from the flight in case it is suspected in rendering a certain threat to the safety of flight (Abeyrante). Regarding this point, a national law can have the jurisdiction over this case, so that a potentially threatening employee can be dismissed from a particular flight and even be made redundant. This person, however, cannot be arrested though, as a separate investigation, should be conducted in order to prove a malicious intention of this employee. Taking this point into consideration, commercial airline pilots are not restricted to fulfil their working duties because of their criminal background, except the cases of conveying a distinct threat to the aviation safety.


All in all, it is necessary to admit that this paper has lingered upon the description of occupation of a commercial airline pilot, as a potential career prospect after the college. To be more exact, the paper has described the main responsibilities and implications of the job position of a civil pilot. The paper has given an account to the contribution, which this profession makes to the society. In the same way, the most widespread sources of interest in this occupation have been described. The paper has also discussed the implications on education and degree from the perspective of getting an employment opportunity. As a consequence, required licensing has been issued, as well. The study has touched upon the necessity of advancement and improving professional skills in terms of career growth. Besides that, the legal requirements regarding the personality of a commercial airline pilot have been discussed.

To conclude, it is to be said that a profession of a commercial airline pilot is quite prestigious regarding the ability to travel around the world and receive relatively high wages. In addition, the image of airline pilots is implying strongly positive connotation, as they are depicted as clever, brave, and responsible people. It is certainly true because the responsibilities of civil pilots include not only controlling an aircraft but possessing a good health condition and ability to think rationally in stressful situations. The legal requirements are quite complicated, as a commercial airline pilot is expected to pass numerous licensing testing in order to have an official right to control aircraft and get employed at the according job position. Still, a civil pilot is not limited by personal restrictions regarding criminal background or lack of education from the legal perspective, while the majority of airlines prefer to hire professionals with at least two years of college, which witness about an applicant’s ability to be easily trained.

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