Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft, usually on scheduled air carrier routes, for the transport of passengers and cargo. Requires Federal Air Transport Pilot certificate and rating for specific aircraft type used. Includes regional, National, and international airline pilots and flight instructors of airline pilots.

Median Annual Wage: $118,140

Education: Bachelor's degree (61%); Post-secondary certificate (18%); Master's degree (12%)

Projected Growth: Decline (-3% or lower)

Related Job Titles: Captain; Airline Captain; First Officer; Pilot; Airline Pilot; Check Airman; Co-Pilot; Airline Transport Pilot; Commuter Pilot; Airline Pilot (Captain)

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers.

More Transportation and Material Moving Careers

  • 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.
  • Contact control towers for takeoff clearances, arrival instructions, and other information, using radio equipment.
  • Monitor gauges, warning devices, and control panels to verify aircraft performance and to regulate engine speed.
  • Respond to and report in-flight emergencies and malfunctions.
  • Monitor engine operation, fuel consumption, and functioning of aircraft systems during flights.
  • Check passenger and cargo distributions and fuel amounts to ensure that weight and balance specifications are met.
  • Steer aircraft along planned routes, using autopilot and flight management computers.
  • 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.
  • Direct activities of aircraft crews during flights.
  • Brief crews about flight details, such as destinations, duties, and responsibilities.
  • Order changes in fuel supplies, loads, routes, or schedules to ensure safety of flights.
  • Record in log books information such as flight times, distances flown, and fuel consumption.
  • Make announcements regarding flights, using public address systems.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers.

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers.

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