It can be difficult to understand the path of becoming an airline pilot. You may be wondering what the required steps are and if you can go straight to the airlines after the completion of training. Airlines require you to have 1500 flight hours before flying with them. Therefore, you will need to build flight time after you complete training which helps you obtain an estimated 300 hours.
Fortunately, you are legally able to fly for hire once you have your Commercial Pilot License. This means you can be getting paid while you are time building! Below are a few of the ways to time build and some of the jobs you can hold with your Commericial Pilot License:
After the completion of flight training, many people chose to become a flight instructor. Flight instructors teach the students who are learning to fly. This is a quick way to build flight hours while getting paid. Teaching is a good way for an instructor to keep learning and sharpen their skills and knowledge. Once you obtain your CFI ratings, you are eligible to become an instructor. At Coast Flight Training, the CFI and CFII ratings are built into our 12-month Coast Academy program or are available as individual rating(s) in our General Training Program.
If you have been to the beach, a sporting event, or a festival, you might have seen planes towing banners. These banners are typically advertisements for different products, services, etc. The pilots flying these planes usually fly back and forth or around a smaller area. Even though these pilots may be flying the same route all day, they are building flight time while getting paid.
Another way to time build is giving aerial tours. These tours may include a tour over a city, landmark, reserve, etc. The passengers may be booking the tour to experience a new city by plane, make an anniversary special, or maybe an aerial tour has been on their bucket list. As a tour pilot, you get to impact these guests in a special way or contribute to a special memory.
Once you have your Commercial Pilot License, you are also able to work for a private charter company. A private charter flight is a flight that is only flying an individual and/or their group. People may book a charter flight in order to avoid lines at airports, security, disruptive passengers, etc. These passengers may be professionals or families who want privacy and convenience. As a private charter pilot, you get the privilege to fly the passengers where they need to go safely.
The last way to build time, that I am going to mention, is renting a plane. There may be people who do not want to work for a company while time building. Renting a plane would allow you to fly and build hours on your own time. Unfortunately, renting a plane is not free and you would not be receiving any income.
There are many ways to obtain the necessary time that you need to fly for the airlines. Or if flying for an airline is not your goal, above are just few careers you can have with your Commercial Pilot License. In this industry, the sky is the limit!
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