If you’re about to enter the work force, or if you’re looking to change careers, you’re probably wondering whether aviation is the right industry for you.
Piloting a plane looks like a lot of fun, and we all know that pilots are some of the world’s coolest people (thanks, Top Gun), but maybe you’re still not sure whether you want to invest time and money into joining such a unique profession. After all, COVID-19 had a drastic impact on the aviation employment rates.
Well, we’ve got news. Aviation is as alive as ever, and there’s never been a better time to start learning how to fly. In this article, we’re going to walk you through five great reasons to become a pilot, including why navigating the skies is a smart career move (even post-2020).
Five Reasons to Become a Pilot in 2021
1. You’ll receive good pay.
Money isn’t everything, but being able to live comfortably and securely is definitely something most of us want.
Unless you invent an app, invest in an obscure cryptocurrency, or win the lottery, obtaining that lifestyle will probably involve getting a good salary.
On average, Australian pilots earn $91,713 per year – which, compared to Australia’s median personal income of $49,805, is pretty great. That figure encompasses a broad range of industry pilots, such as ADF pilots, carrier pilots, agricultural pilots and freight pilots, so it’s quite possible to earn up to $185,000 in certain roles.
When we switch the focus to more senior positions, we can see that airline captains earn a whopping $166,000 per year on average, with the top 10% of captains earning around $266,000. While there are definitely more lucrative industries (law and medicine come to mind), becoming a pilot will net you a great annual income that will keep you financially secure.
2. You’ll have a job for life.
As the global adoption of technology accelerates, many industries will experience radical changes, and many existing jobs will be rendered obsolete. Healthcare, law, real estate, and even transport are on the cusp of digital disruption, with feasible AI replacements for certain functions currently fulfilled by humans.
Even though the concept of fully autonomous planes is definitely on the horizon, it’s unlikely, in the foreseeable future, that aircraft will be flying without human pilots on board. The risks are too high, the weather is too unpredictable, and most passengers wouldn’t feel comfortable flying without an experienced professional.
3. You’ll have downright incredible experiences.
The average professional spends their day staring at a computer screen, drafting documents and problem-solving in the confines of a desk and four walls.
Pilots? Theirs is a world of infinite vastness – endless clear skies, vast banks of cloud, continents and cities splayed beneath them. They see the sun rise over the edge of the horizon in the morning. Each day, they see the world from 30,000 feet in the air – and that’s something pretty incredible.
We could talk about how much fun the actual process of flying is, or about the adrenaline rush you get when you pull off an awesome manoeuvre, but, for us, the most spectacular experience you’ll have as a pilot is seeing the world.
4. Piloting is mentally satisfying.
Enjoying what you do is important. To have a fulfilling career, you need to feel like what you’re doing matters, but you also need to feel mentally challenged. Boring jobs breed dissatisfaction.
As a pilot, you’ll never feel like you’re just going through the motions. When you’re learning how to fly, you’ll be enamoured with the fun stuff – the rush of taking off, the thrill of completing a manoeuvre, the sense of growth as you gradually learn more about aerodynamics.
But, even as a mature pilot, when the day-to-day routines of flying are more-or-less automatic, there’s still plenty to keep your brain busy. Whether it’s adapting to dynamic weather conditions, getting familiar with new aircraft, or successfully navigating an emergency landing, being a pilot means you’ll always be on your toes – in the best possible way.
5. You’ll hone a unique and useful skillset.
Plenty of jobs are just that – jobs. The skills you learn are highly situational, often limited in use to a single environment or technology.
Piloting is the complete opposite. From crop dusters to freight carriers, planes are an integral part of modern life, providing faster and more feasible transport than any other type of technology.
When you become a pilot, you’ll hone a skillset that is:
- Highly specialised
- Universally useful
- Helpful in a wide variety of industries
- Applicable in your personal life
Regardless of where you eventually land in your working life, knowing how to pilot a plane safely is an invaluable skill that you won’t regret learning.
Becoming a pilot isn’t the right career for everyone. If you love adventure, challenges, and the thrill of flying, though, there are plenty of great benefits.
- A good salary
- A future-proofed career path
- Incredible experiences
- A mentally satisfying job
- Development of a unique skillset
We haven’t even mentioned all the other stuff – the camaraderie between you and your fellow pilots, the free flights, the potential airline perks, the development of problem-solving and leadership skills. It’s less a question of “why should I become a pilot?” than “why shouldn’t I?”.
The best part? You don’t need to commit to anything without trying it first. You can start your flying journey by obtaining a recreational pilot’s licence (which you’ll need if you want to eventually fly commercial anyway).
It’s inexpensive, time-efficient, and gives you a great new skill – regardless of whether you end up becoming a career pilot.