Facts about Helicopter Pilot Jobs

Helicopter pilot jobs can be some of the most rewarding careers in the world. Many people dream of flying a helicopter and some people get to do it on a daily basis. Here are a few facts to keep in mind about helicopter pilot jobs.

Becoming a Pilot

In order to get a job as a helicopter pilot, you will have to go to the necessary steps to qualify. Most companies prefer to have applicants that have some college experience. Many companies prefer to have those with an engineering degree, however, it is not required. You will have to go through the FAA licensing process as well. If you plan on transporting passengers, you will have to be certified as a commercial airline pilot. This will require at least 150 hours of flight time and you must get a helicopter rating as well.

Basic Tasks

There are many potential uses for a helicopter pilot. Therefore, the job requirements of no two pilots will be alike. Some pilots will be required to transport cargo from one destination to another. Other pilots might have to transport passengers to and from destinations. While helicopter pilots will enjoy flying the helicopter, there will also be a lot of down time as well. A helicopter pilot can not fly more than 30 hours in a week. They can also fly a maximum of only 60 hours per month. This means that you will spend a lot of time being available to fly without actually flying.


The median yearly income for a helicopter pilot is around $85,000. However, helicopter pilots on the top end will make over $105,000. This provides you with a very good wage and it has potential to increase. The salary of a helicopter pilot depends on the level of experience that you bring to your job as well as which company you work for. For example, it might be easier to get a job flying to an oil rig, but it will not pay as much as some of the other jobs out there.

Types of Jobs

There are many different types of jobs in the helicopter pilot industry. You could work for an oil company and transport employees to and from an oil rig. You can also work for a news station and fly over the city in order to catch the news as it happens. There are many private helicopter companies that will charter private flights for individuals. Many helicopter pilots will start out with a private company as there is always opportunity for new pilots. You could also work for a helicopter tour company.


Many entry-level helicopter pilots will start out with a company as a copilot. This will allow them to get used to the job while another pilot actually controls the helicopter. After a certain amount time, they will get to start flying the helicopter as the main pilot. From this point, many helicopter pilots will start their own private business providing helicopter piloting services to the public.