Helicopter pilot jobs can be fulfilling, lucrative, and exciting. The
field offers an incredible array of military and civilian career
opportunities, from medical transport to offshore construction support.
Helicopter pilots also generally earn substantial salaries, and with
less education than is required in many professional positions with
similar salary ranges.
Many current and former fixed- wing pilots experience more freedom and
excitement when flying a helicopter. Much of the appeal of becoming a
helicopter pilot lies in the pure joy of flying this type of aircraft.
The diversity of available jobs also adds to the allure of helicopter
piloting. From operating tours to offshore construction support,
budding pilots can find something to suit their taste.
Although some variation exists from employer to employer, the required
amount of flying time for obtaining a pilot position has been reduced
over the years, from 3000 hours at one point to an average of 1000 at
the present. Those working a full-time job can expect to spend one to
two years training in the air before embarking on a career as a
helicopter pilot. Compared to the amount of time spent in school for
many jobs with similar salaries, helicopter pilot jobs require less
education, and therefore less tuition.
Demand for helicopter pilots has begun to rise, due to the retirement
of the Vietnam War-era pilots who previously dominated the field. One
area of particularly high demand is support for offshore construction
and oil drilling. With salaries reaching into the six-figure range,
this is an attractive option for many helicopter pilots. Army and navy
pilots are also well-compensated, making the military another
sought-after, though less accessible, area of employment.
Medical transport helicopter pilots experience many benefits. Salaries
of up to $85,000 for experienced pilots are only part of the appeal.
Many pilots enjoy the satisfaction of having contributed to the saving
of lives, just as in other areas of health care. Even the hours can be
considered desirable; medical transport helicopter pilots are often on
call for a few days, followed by a few more days off.
Other exciting career possibilities include film crew support, law
enforcement assistance, logging operations, news gathering, aerial
photography, transportation for corporate VIPs, film crew support,
search and rescue operations, surveying and mapping, flight
instruction, tour operation, border patrol, fire fighting, and
agricultural spraying, which can pay as much as $250,000 annually.
Becoming a helicopter pilot is a great opportunity for almost anyone,
including the recently unemployed. Those who have lost a job, or are
searching for a more fulfilling career, may find more opportunities in
this field. Unlike many other career arenas, it is possible to become a
helicopter pilot later in life. While there may be weight restrictions
for safety reasons, almost anyone over 18 can find employment as a
helicopter pilot. The only physical requirements are good color vision,
the ability to pass a basic physical exam, and eyesight that can be
corrected to 20/20. Purchasing a helicopter flight simulator is a
financially sound and effective way to find out if becoming a
helicopter pilot is a viable career choice before enrolling in flight