Job Market Trends for Airline Pilot Jobs

Airline pilot jobs are easy enough to find but difficult to get. Fortunately for pilots, the job market is well-organized. You can even search for airline pilot jobs in specific types of planes and apply for assessments with airlines around the world in a pretty civilized environment.

However, pilots are also afflicted with the airline industry's woes. Airlines routinely go through bumpy economic situations. These bumpy times can play havoc with airline pilot jobs. Fiscal cuts can reduce flights and reduce demand for pilots. Cuts can also wreck the "seniority" position of a pilot by putting him or her at the bottom of the scale in a new job.

Job Issues for Airline Pilots

If you're considering airline pilot jobs in your decision for a future career, you should recognize the following issues that will affect how easily you can move between different positions.

  • Lack of ratings can restrict your job options. Pilots obtain training and ratings to fly classes and types of planes. The ratings you already possess will affect your range of job possibilities. If another candidate already has the rating and experience in a plane, they may seem more appealing to the employer.
  • International jobs aren't always a workable alternative. Job quality, salary, flight slots, seniority and other issues can make these jobs truly tough. Working for a domestic regional airline in another country also isn't always a great job, nor does it necessarily help create more career options.
  • New airliners may create some issues for pilots. The number of hours of command time on a class of plane, for example, can start at 500, with 5000 in total flight time, the basic requirement for A320s.
  • Regional and domestic jobs may not be great career moves. Although domestic and regional airlines are usually good enough jobs, if you're after international flying, they're no great asset because they involve a different class of flying. Regional carriers, however, can help you build flight time to meet the requirements of other employers.

The fact is that pilots don't often have much leeway for choice. The job market works on what's possible. This can lead to some unavoidable expediency in job choices, based on a limited number of options.

Staying Ahead of the Trends in Airline Pilot Jobs

Despite the global issues with air travel, airline capacity and demand is picking up over the long term. That's pushing a baseline demand for pilots. Domestic and regional airlines are also carrying more passengers on longer-term trends.

The only real working option is continuous job mobility. Airline pilots must maneuver into the right position and take advantage of market opportunities if they occur. To ensure a steady climb through airline pilot jobs, you should commit yourself to regular and ongoing education. If possible you should stay up to date on systems and ratings.