Welcome to the GG- Pilot Career Service, your resource for how to make the most of your future in aviation! Learn some powerful techniques that will lead you to success along with what is important to keep in mind when deciding to make flying your career. For a step-by-step overview of how to go about your flying goals see the Student Pilot Service.
As with any career, there is a specific culture and lifestyle that comes with it. Airline Pilots, especially those flying international routes, shouldn't mind being away from home often
and sometimes for extended periods of time. Medical transport pilots need to be able to handle emergencies well and be ready on standby. Instructor Pilots should be able to deal with various
types of people and adjust their teaching style to benefit the student. Each branch of aviation has specific needs and the pilots should be aware of the differences in each before committing
to a certain field to ensure that the job does not become an issue. Always remember that the career you choose should be fun, should have a future, and should be able to provide enough money
for you to enjoy life.
Don't leave your dream to chance, make it happen. Begin by planning what you want to do and more importantly, how you want to do it. Consider all angles and research enough to get a good image of the field you wish to enter. Look at how the career fits into your current situation and how it can still be a desirable occupation in the future. Certain aviation jobs consider age as a huge factor. Airlines are very strict when it comes to age, other fields may be more lenient.
As mentioned in the Student Pilot Service, health can be a deciding factor in your choice to pursue a career in aviation. If a health issue arises, your training, and money could end up being wasted.
Now, consider the fun, future and financial side of a career in aviation more closely before you embark on your journey to becoming a pilot.
Let's face it, fun is a deciding factor when choosing a job. If your job causes you frustration and trouble you will not be as successful as you could be and your health could suffer as a result. If the environment in which you are working is friendly, encouraging and helpful you will be more likely to improve your own skills as well as help others to improve theirs. You should choose a field in which growth is fostered and promoted otherwise you may top out quickly and work in stagnation for the rest of your career.
How does this apply to flying? Well, it is good to have a job in which you have a certain degree of variety in flying. Tour pilots fly the same area over and over and need to be able to deal with this. They also need to be able to deal well with people since not all passengers are always easygoing. Airline pilots, especially on international routes should make sure they are able to be in an aircraft for hours on end and must also be able to deal with the responsibility of transporting many people each time. A flight instructor needs to be able to handle students with different needs and adjust his/her teaching to help them succeed. All these things, if they are not your strengths can become an issue in your career. Look at all the aspects of the job before you go for it. Pilots must be organized, must fill out paperwork and most importantly must be able to make good aeronautical decisions in the most stressful situations. So if you can handle these things, then you can be successful.
One of the worst things that can happen is losing your job. Make sure that the career you choose has job security. Also make sure that the position you choose has opportunities to grow. It is great to learn something new and advance in the company you are working for; this provides variation and gives you the extra push to keep you motivated and happy.
No matter how much you love your job, if you don't make enough money to enjoy life, you have a problem. Take a look into the industry to see what starting salaries are and what the highest in the business earn. This gives you a rough estimate as to the possibilities you have to increase your paycheck.
Apart from learning the basics, as to how an aircraft operates and what the procedures are to fly, the priority is to become a safe pilot. It is important that the atmosphere in which you learn is comfortable. This ensures that you can absorb the knowledge the instructor is presenting more easily.
Make sure you are comfortable with your flight instructor. Is he/she friendly, professional and skilled? You may pick up habits from your instructor, which can be either good or bad. Remember, your flight instructor should be a good role model whose example you should want to follow. Professional appearance, demeanor, knowledge, skill and motivation matter, there is no substitute for any one of these.
Try to maintain a constant schedule in your training. This way you will be finished sooner and costs may be lower as well. Plus, if all your training is done in sequence, you can build up experience logically and without interference, so you have less of a possibility to forget information along the way.
Log all your flight hours neatly in a logbook. You can either use an electronic or actual logbook. Personally, I prefer the actual book since then you are not dependent on an electronic device and you can easily flip the pages to refer back to a previous date. The more flight hours you have the better! Fly as much as you can, especially with your instructor. They can pass the knowledge they have to you, allowing you to broaden your understanding and ability.
Make sure your training is of high quality! Do not entirely rely on simulations of procedures, try to be able to do the real thing. For example, some of the instrument flying should take place in actual instrument conditions. Also for emergency training, simulations can only get you so far. Full touch down autorotations are a great way to sharpen your skills as well as those of the instructor. The more experience you get the better and safer you will be. Many accidents happen as a result of lack of knowledge and skills. Don't allow these things to happen to you, get the most out of your flight training.
You can go pretty far on your own, but after a certain point it is all about contacts. Make sure you establish relationships and contacts early in your career. This will open doors that you may have never expected. Always do your best and work hard; someone may recognize that and recommend you to someone higher up in the aviation field. Impress people with your knowledge, skill, and integrity.
Like any good problem solver, always have a Plan B in case something does not turn out as you had hoped. Spend your time well and try not to waste it! Always double check any information with a reliable source before taking it for true. This is especially important when browsing the web. If something you read sounds too good to be true, it may be. Be smart in managing your time, money and training goals.
You may get your first job as a pilot or flight instructor at the location where you received your training. Your qualifications, character and contacts will carry you far. When applying for jobs emphasize your strengths and show enthusiasm; between two pilots of equal qualification, the one that seems more eager is more likely to get the job.
Schools offer Job Placement Programs that can help you get started. If you have established good relations with those at your school you will be a step ahead. Most flight schools hire their own graduates first, especially if their instructor recommends them. The instructor you work with will be the one to look to when you need references, so keep them impressed with your abilities.
Attitude can make or break a deal. Be assertive in leadership situations and be cooperative in team situations. If you are able to work with others as well as on your own, employers will be more likely to see you as a valuable asset to their organization.
Marketing is paramount. Always have a good answer ready as to why an employer should hire you. What makes you better than some other new graduate? Keep your resume professional and complete at all times; don't fall behind with updates; these can add that extra push that may make an employer hire you.
Don't give an unimpressive first impression. Be professional, always. Especially when going in for interviews: dress appropriately, be on time, and have all the information they may ask for. Show that you have an interest in the company you are applying for. Do you know anything about their background and history? What sort of things is the company known for? Do they have any well-known pilots on their team? Do your work and they will see that you are a determined individual that always does his/her best.
Don't give up! Even if a few employers decide not to hire you right away, keep trying. Look for other employers and send updated resumes to those that may have turned you down the first time. Maybe they just wanted more experience, if you keep them updated you show that you don't give up easily which can be a deciding factor in getting you a job down the road. Keep a positive attitude and stay determined! That is how you will land your dream career.
Good luck and have fun!
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