Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing aircraft on nonscheduled air carrier routes, or helicopters. Fly both passenger flights as well as cargo, but may not follow scheduled routes. This includes charter pilots, air tour pilots as well as air ambulances. Navigate in-flight: properly operate and read instruments, then use information to make decisions about the flight while it is underway. By its nature, the job requires significant amounts of traveling, so the number of locally available jobs may not be accurate. Pilots are responsible for the safety of the passengers, crew, and cargo from takeoff to landing.
Make a Difference
A Typical Day
- Check passenger and cargo distributions and fuel amounts to ensure that weight and balance specifications are met.
- Monitor engine operation, fuel consumption, and functioning of aircraft systems during flights.
- Inspect aircraft for defects and malfunctions, according to pre-flight checklists.
- Choose routes, altitudes, and speeds that will provide the fastest, safest, and smoothest flights.
- Confer with flight dispatchers and weather forecasters to keep abreast of flight conditions.
- Work as part of a flight team with other crew members, especially during takeoffs and landings.
- Use instrumentation to guide flights when visibility is poor.
- Start engines, operate controls, and pilot airplanes to transport passengers, mail, or freight, adhering to flight plans, regulations, and procedures.
Associates Degree, FAA Certification
Education & Training
Regional employers often hire graduates of these programs.
Northwest Lower Michigan
Associates and Bachelors -
- Northwestern Michigan College Aviation Degrees and Certificates (offers multiple types of pilot ratings) National, global and statewide transfer agreements!
The Local Advantage Learning Pathway
Contact one of these companies and ask for an informational interview, to see if you can job shadow, or to find out if they hire interns.
Sample Job Titles...
Captain, Charter Pilot, EMS Pilot
10-Year Job Growth Projections
Wage Range & Median Michigan
Annual Hires Regionally
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