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Aviation Spotlight

Airline and Commercial Pilot Industry Outlook in 2022

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the coming years expect to see a large surge in demand for airline and commercial pilots. With such a rapid increase, we’re excited to partner with programs that offer training for this quickly-growing field. What can a career as a pilot mean for you, and how can you get there? This industry spotlight is here with the answers!

What's the outlook for airline and commercial pilots?

Although COVID-19 brought about a steep decline in travel, an equally steep recovery is expected over the coming years — in fact, BLS projects a 13% increase in employment, faster than the average for all occupations in the US.

Additionally, job openings for pilots are expected across several industries, such as ambulance services, where workers will be needed to transfer patients to healthcare facilities by air. Overall, an average of 14,500 openings for airline and commercial pilots are projected each year, over the course of the decade!

Data from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/airline-and-commercial-pilots.htm#tab-6.

How can you become an airline or commercial pilot?

To become an airline pilot, you typically need a bachelor’s degree and experience as a commercial or military pilot. For commercial pilots, some employers may require or prefer you to have a degree in addition to the flight training typically needed. In both cases, you would also need specific certificates and ratings from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Flight training can be received through an independent FAA-certified flight instructor or at schools that offer flight training — including several that Climb partners with for financing!

What could your career trajectory look like?

Choosing either airline or commercial piloting could set you on slightly different career tracks. Below are typical paths for both, according to Payscale!

To view the full career trajectory flowchart for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers, visit https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Airline_Pilot%2C_Copilot%2C_or_Flight_Engineer/Salary.

To view the full career trajectory flowchart for commercial pilots, visit https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Commercial_Pilot/Salary.

How can we meet the demand for airline and commercial pilots?

There are many aviation schools stepping up to the plate to provide training for incoming pilots. However, the cost of attending a flight school can cost up to $80,000, while receiving an aviation major from a four-year university can cost over $100,000. Offering diverse payment options, such as payment plans or loans, will help open the door to more people. This is why Climb partners with aviation schools — our mission is to increase access to career-advancing education! By evaluating schools and partnering with them to provide payment options, we hope to open the door for more people to reach their education and career goals.

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