Is Piloting Helicopters A Lucrative Career Choice? 5 Things To Know Before Deciding
by Arnab Dey Job & Career 03 April 2023
Are you thinking of exploring a career as a helicopter pilot?
This is an increasingly in-demand job, with a helicopter pilot’s salary typically ranging from $50,000 to over $200,000 annually. However, there are other concerns to consider beyond the salary before making such an important decision.
This blog post will explore five essential elements you should consider when determining if becoming a helicopter pilot would suit you – providing key workflow information so you can make an informed choice regarding your future.
Understand the Licensing Requirements To Become a Helicopter Pilot
Becoming a helicopter pilot is a challenging career to pursue. One must face and prepare for multiple obstacles before becoming qualified. Obtaining a license to fly a helicopter is just one of the many steps that must be taken to join the world of professional pilots.
Depending on the type of operation being undertaken, obtaining additional certifications or endorsements like night vision goggles (NVG) qualifications, offshore courses, and training in SAR operations or low-level flight may be necessary.
Prospective pilots should also research the extensive knowledge requirements related to aircraft systems, navigation, meteorology, and air law, which must be met to gain a license. Finally, they must pass a series of examinations over a minimum number of flying hours guided by an approved instructor before taking on their first job as a professional pilot.
Know the Types of Jobs Available for Helicopter Pilots
There is a range of employment opportunities for those drawn to the excitement and challenge of helicopter piloting. Individuals can pursue a career as a helicopter pilot with their local law enforcement, firefighting, or emergency medical services, by taking on long-term contracts with offshore energy companies or transporting tour groups and sightseers, just to name a few paths.
Although helicopter pilots’ salary varies greatly depending on experience and position, the pay for these positions can sometimes be very generous. Aspiring helicopter pilots need to research and ensure they understand the job market before making this important career decision.
Research What Salaries to Expect in the Field
Researching salaries is a great way to ensure the job is worth your time and effort. Earnings vary depending on an individual’s experience level, hours worked, and credentials held, so you should consider all of these when calculating what you could make. Furthermore, geography also plays a role in potential income, with those living in larger cities often making more than those based in rural locations.
Different types of aviation employment also carry different salary scales – for example, charter or corporate piloting typically pays more than unpaid volunteer roles.
Finally, it’s important to remember that you may need to work multiple jobs simultaneously to sustain yourself, as avoiding downtime is essential to maximizing your income as an independent contractor.
Learn About Benefits Offered by Employers
One of the key considerations for anyone considering taking up a career as a helicopter pilot is the benefits employers offer. A variety of organizations, both private and public organizations, might provide pilots with access to generous benefits packages that can hugely increase the quality of life above salary alone.
Health and medical insurance are usually available to pilots, while some employers may also provide dental coverage in addition to other savings or travel incentives related to flying helicopters.
Additionally, many companies might offer additional support regarding sick leave allowances and vacation times – these should all be looked into before accepting any job offers. Making sure one has access to desirable benefits makes choosing a career as a helicopter pilot easier, so it pays to do some research.
Consider Any Additional Costs That May Be Associated with Piloting
Aspiring helicopter pilots should consider any additional costs they may incur to fulfill their career goals. Obtaining the appropriate certifications and training can be expensive and require significant time, money, and energy.
In addition to tuition expenses, fees may be associated with taking certification tests and expenses related to attending any school of ground needed or simulator courses.
It is vital to research all aspects of piloting and develop a comprehensive budget that accounts for all foreseeable expenses. Doing so will help give individuals peace of mind knowing they are properly prepared to meet financial and logistical demands when pursuing a career as a helicopter pilot.
In conclusion, a career as a helicopter pilot can prove to be highly lucrative and rewarding when all the elements involved are considered. The first step to charting your course should include understanding the licensure requirements for becoming a certified pilot.
After mastering the necessary qualifications, research what jobs are available in the field to determine which area best suits your needs. It is also important to understand what range of salaries you can expect and what employers may offer additional benefits.
Finally, consider any additional expenses associated with becoming and maintaining a helicopter pilot license before deciding whether it’s the right career move for you. At Workflow, we want to certify that you have all the information necessary to determine if this career is right for you.