If you love the idea of flying a helicopter, you might find working as a helicopter pilot the ideal career for making a living. Keep reading for the insider scoop on how to find helicopter pilot opportunities.
Training for Helicopter Pilot Jobs
If you're interested in going to work as a helicopter pilot, the first thing you will need to do is enroll in a training program that can provide you with the skills and experience necessary to earn your pilot's license. You must log a minimum of 150 hours of flying time in order to be eligible to receive a helicopter pilot's license, and licensure is mandatory for employment in this field.
Types of Helicopter Pilot Jobs
Many different types of organizations utilize the services of licensed helicopter pilots, including:
- Emergency Medical Services
- Fire Fighting
- Law Enforcement
- Military (all branches)
- Offshore companies
- Tourism (for sightseeing operations)
- Utilities (pipeline and power line)
Finding Job Opportunities
If the school that you attend for helicopter training offers job placement assistance, it's a good idea to consult the placement officers about job leads and opportunities when you earn your license. Companies that hire for entry-level positions frequently recruit through educational institutions.
If you know where you would like to live, it's a good idea to consult with area employment agencies. However, it's important to keep in mind that many companies in the aviation industry don't go through local employment services. Some hire directly, and others utilize national firms that specialize in recruiting for aviation positions.
Because there is such a high demand for qualified professionals in the aviation industry, there are several employment agencies specializing in aviation placements. Examples of aviation specific employment services include:
You can also find information about openings for helicopter pilots from online job boards specific to the field. When looking for employment flying helicopters, job websites you should check regularly include:
Pay can vary widely for helicopter pilot jobs, based on the type of position and the pilot's experience and background. Full time positions typically pay between $45,000 and $100,000 according to PayScale. While the highest paying positions can reach well into the six-figure salary range, they are reserved for the most experienced pilots. In this industry, employers consider the amount of flying time a pilot has logged, advanced certifications, educational credentials and prior positions held when determining eligibility for employment and salary.
The working conditions for a particular job also have an impact on the pay associated with the position. The most dangerous jobs and those that require employees to spend extended periods of time away from home tend to command higher salaries than other types of helicopter pilot positions.
Ready to Take Flight?
If you think pursuing a job as a helicopter pilot is the right choice for you, it's time to start researching the best options for getting the training you need to get licensed. Before you choose a school, spend some time thinking about the type of pilot job you really want, and select a training provider that offers instruction specific to the specialty that interests you most. Concentrate on getting your license first, and then start looking for the job of your dreams!