Hiring Tips

Like the skills and training needed to become a professional airline pilot, interviewing for those positions is different from your typical job interview. Winging it is not an option. You spent a lot of time learning skills and earning certificates, but you also need to be prepared for an interview.

Tips to get you started:

  1. Select an airline,
  2. Gather relevant records and information,
  3. Complete the application,
  4. Prepare for the interview process,
  5. Impress the hiring managers, and
  6. Begin your career!

Now let’s break it down further. Once you’ve selected your airline(s), here are the documents you will need to start the process:

  1. First class medical,
  2. Pilot licenses and certificates,
  3. Logbook updated with current flight-time hours,
  4. Birth certificate,
  5. Passport,
  6. Driving record, and
  7. College degree and transcripts.

You only have one chance to make a great first impression. When you get the call for an interview, here are some tips to help you prepare:

  1. Know the Airline: Take a look at the airline’s website to learn about the aircraft it operates, where its pilot bases are located, its partners, and other general information.

  2. Look the Part: Arrive at the interview looking perfectly groomed and professional. Wear a tailored suit in a dark color like black, navy, or gray. Be sure it’s the right size and style that fits your body type; think conservative and ask the sales associate for help if you need it. Shoes should be new or freshly polished—no boots. Women should wear closed-toe shoes with a low to moderate heel, especially if there’s a sim portion to the interview.

  3. Bring Your Documentation: Have copies of the documents mentioned above, along with your résumé listing work experience, to bring with you to an interview. This will save time copying the information during the interview.

  4. Get First-Hand Info: The piloting community is relatively small and tightknit. Talk with your fellow aviators to learn about their experiences interviewing and/or flying at that airline.

  5. Network: Be sure to continue to network throughout your career. This will help you as your career moves forward at your airline and if you decide to move to another airline in the future.

Hiring Forecasts

Boeing and Airbus, the world’s two largest aircraft manufacturers, produce industry forecasts that look out over the next 20 years. This includes estimates for the expected demand for new pilots. The table below shows the latest projections.

New Pilots Required by Region 2016–2035

 

Boeing Forecast

Airbus Forecast

North America

104,000

73,600

Latin America

51,000

44,400

Europe

112,000

111,600

Africa

22,000

21,700

CIS

22,000

30,800

Middle East

58,000

48,100

Asia Pacific

248,000

232,000

Total

617,000

562,200

Sources:

Boeing 2016 Pilot and Technician Market Forecast
Airbus Global Market Forecast 2016-2035