Unemployed Pilot

BA sim

It’s the part of pilot training that nobody really wants to think about as nobody wants to be an unemployed pilot.
There are many reasons why this can happen to all of us. The best thing is to have a plan B as there is a good chance you will have to wait for that first pilot job.
These are just some of the reasons why you could find yourself as an unemployed pilot.

  1. The job market isn’t that good – If the airlines are not hiring or the economy is bad then there isn’t a lot you can do. There will be an over-supply of pilots which makes competition even higher than normal.
    Even though a lot of flight schools will love you to believe there is a pilot shortage, there is no pilot shortage. If there was we wouldn’t have so many unemployed pilots.
    This will be the case for most people, there are more pilots than jobs, that is the just the facts.
  2. Type rating costs – This is more of an issue if you took a loan to do your training and your repayments are so high that you either can’t save any money to pay for your type rating, or you can’t get more credit. A lot of airlines these days are expecting the pilot to cover the cost of the type rating, so this should really be factored into your pre training costs.
  3. You give up too easily – Just making a few applications to the big airlines is not enough, you need to think outside the box, make connections and you never know who you may come across and who is in a position to help you.
  4. You are a snob – Oh, you only want to fly a brand new 737 or A320 and you look down at other aircraft as being not good enough for you and all that experience you have with your minimum hours fATPL.
  5. You don’t want to work for it – A few airlines have internal schemes where you can work in different departments and then apply for a job on the flight deck after a qualifying period. This may be up to two years, however the experience you get in an operations role could be of benefit for you during your flying career.
  6. You are not that good – What? Yeap, that’s right. If you passed your ATPL’s with minimum scores and retakes and then went on to do the same on your CPL / IR tests then other people are going to be more employable than you.
    Now it’s not impossible to get a job, however you are probably going to have a harder time, especially considering some airlines require a minimum of 90% on the ATPL to even consider your application.

The wait for your first job may be a long one, what is your plan while you are waiting for it to come to fruition?

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