Commercial pilots are licensed to fly and navigate airplanes — working with airlines and charter flights to ensure that passengers reach their destination safely. Aside from passenger travel, they can also work in rescue operations, firefighting, aerial photography, and crop-dusting. Commercial pilots are explorers and leaders able to see all corners of the world.
To excel, pilots must be clear communicators, decisive and quick thinkers, and calm. They must also be strong leaders and team members, and have the tech-savvy to monitor weather and air traffic. A commercial pilot’s main responsibilities include checking aircraft and controls prior to flight, checking weather conditions and fuel supply, and planning a flight path. They also must communicate with the ground control and crew, ensure compliance with all laws and regulations, and record flight logs for each trip.
Commercial pilots are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in aircraft operations, aviation, aeronautical engineering, or a related field, as well as up to two months of ground training, over 1,500 hours of flight experience, and an additional commercial pilot license. Job growth is projected at an average of 5% for the decade ending in 2029.