Airline Pilot

Airline Pilot
Airline Pilots
Pilots navigate the flight of fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft, usually on scheduled air carrier routes, for the transport of passengers and cargo. Includes regional, national, and international airline pilots.

About the Career

Airline Pilots plan each flight with the airline's flight dispatcher and meteorologist, checking weight, fuel supply, alternate destination, weather and route. During the time the airline pilot is aboard the aircraft, he or she supervises the work of the crew, gives instructions, and makes all final decisions regarding the safety of the flight.

On the job you will:

  • Fly the plane over the designated route, lands the plane, and at the final destination, files a trip report
  • Brief the crew
  • Confirm and check takeoff procedures
  • Ascertain the aircraft is operating normally before takeoff
  • Acquire takeoff clearance from air traffic control personnel


Average Salary: $165,250
Salary Range: $83,170 - $208,000
Education: 4 Year Degree
Outlook: Excellent (21% or more growth)

Education and Training

Most companies require Airline Pilots to have a bachelor's degree in any subject; however, many Airline Pilots for commercial air carriers major in fields such as Aviation and Aerospace Engineering. An Airline Pilot must record thousands of 'flight hours' while training in various types of aircraft. A prospective Airline Pilot can build flight time as a General Aviation Pilot through such jobs as flight instructing student pilots, transporting cargo, or even piloting aircraft to a drop zone for sky divers. Many Airline Pilots opt to begin their career through the military, but private flight schools approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are also an option to earn training and education requirements.


Note: Due to data limitations, salary range reported at the state level.

Information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Descriptions are based on general guidelines and industry standards and job duties may vary by employer and specific industry. Labor projections utilize data for the North Central Texas region and may vary from national statistics.

Critical Skills

Operation and Control
Operation Monitoring
Critical Thinking
Judgement and Decision Making