Turning a Passion into a Career in Flying. The desire to fly with the birds in the sky is as old as mankind itself. Some of our oldest stories from ancient myths involve man’s desire to fly. So if you felt that yearning which in our day in age means getting a pilot’s license, you are in good company. But there are as many directions a pilot’s license can take you as there are people who want to be certified to fly with the birds.
Your final goals in the airline industry might change and evolve the deeper you get into the culture the airline industry. For many of us, at first we want to get that pilot’s license partly for fun so we can enjoy that occasional outing with family and friends and maybe just to prove to ourselves that we can do it. But once the “bug” of flying gets in your system, don’t be surprised if you see yourself involved in aviation full time and turning your passion for flying into a very successful career.
As soon as you to see yourself as a professional in the airline industry, you will do well to change your approach to training and your preparation for your next big step in the world of aircraft and flying. If you are going to follow a path within the world of the big airlines to perhaps work your way up to eventually pilot a big commercial jumbo jet, that is a different educational goal from becoming a sports pilot for fun or to just be able to fly from time to time as part of your business.
Obviously a career as a commercial airline pilot is going to take a lot of time and patience to work your way up to that level in the industry. But if you know that is your long range goal, your trainers and the flight school you attend can make sure you are given coursework that targets that higher level of pilot’s license than most “hobbyists” go for. And because you are serious about a career as a flyer, you can also begin to learn more and more about the culture of the airline industry and network with the “right people” for your next big steps in that direction.
But one creative option that is an outstanding way to prepare for a career in the airline industry whether that is to work as part of a large organization or to start your own business is to go after a four year degree in flying or aviation which gives you much greater depth of education. The costs of getting a pilot’s license are pretty high. And when you are done, you will have that pilot’s license but nothing more. It will be up to you to learn the business side of the airline business.
But by channeling those funds into a full degree plan, you will still get your pilot’s license but it will be integrated in with a full program that will give you the business exposure, support courses in accounting and math and exposure to other aspects of the industry such as aircraft repair, flight control and aviation management at all levels of the business. You will come out of this program with a full degree that you can then take on to specialized training or even to a masters or PHD in the field.
This is a worthwhile consideration especially if you think you might start your own flight school or another support business that supports the industry. And it never hurts to have exposure to how the entire airline business works if you plan to be part of it long term. It won’t take much to check out what programs are available and it might be one of the smartest career moves you ever made.