Cool Pilot Jobs
Corporate flying has its ups and downs. It’s usually pretty good money, but it comes with a wacky schedule. You’re often on-call, at the whim of a client who needs to leave immediately, just when you’ve sat down for dinner with the family.
And while there’s a lot of sitting around at FBOs waiting, corporate flying often involves flying to exotic destinations and spending a lot of time on the ground while you’re there.
You might be in Maui one week and Dallas the next, and then off to London for a few days and back to spend a week at home with your family. The schedule is often unpredictable, but it comes with other benefits, and sometimes more time at home.
Some corporate flight departments are known to be great to work for, and others not so much. You’ll hear horror stories about businesses who demand that their pilots fly at all hours, in all kinds of weather and whether they’re tired or not. The schedule can be exhausting, or it could be pretty great. And if you live in a place like Los Angeles, you might even get to fly and meet some superstars. Corporate pilot jobs aren't usually listed on the job boards, so you might have to do some networking to find openings.
Flying for a Charitable Organization
Charity Organizations like Angel Flight or Corporate Angel Network fly people for charity. Many times, the flights are done in volunteer’s aircraft, and many times the pilots work on a volunteer basis, but it’s good experience for those who are looking to build time while doing some good in the world.
These organizations often fly medically ill patients to and from healthcare facilities that they otherwise would not be able to get to, either because they are not allowed to fly on a commercial airline (doctor’s orders) or because they can’t afford to fly commercially. This type of flying requires a kind heart, patience and skill, as you will be presented with a variety of challenges and will be required to fly in some tough IFR conditions.
Teaching our Next Generation of Pilots
Many people think flight instructors have the worst job out there, but if you have the heart of a teach and like small airplanes, then it’s a job you should consider. Flight instruction isn't easy - it's a lot of banging around in bumpy weather close to the ground and it comes with a lot of other challenges. And it’s easy to discount a flight instruction career due to the low pay and limited advancement opportunities, but if you can live modestly and enjoy teaching, flight instruction is a great career.
And many have made a decent living out of it. There are benefits to instructing, too, like having a flexible work flexible hours or sometimes, a schedule that's completely your own, making it an ideal job for someone who doesn’t want to be tied to an airline schedule, where you’re stuck working holidays, nights, and weekends, at least until you gain seniority.
Career flight instructors should enjoy general aviation, and should have a passion for sharing the love of flight to others. If so, it’s a great career to choose.
Flying for a government organization such as the Forest Service, the FAA, the military or the Department of Transportation will combine stability with the excitement of flying airplanes.
Government pilots are full-time government employees who perform services like fire location and suppression, surveillance, national defense missions, and airspace and equipment inspections.
Government jobs include flying a tanker or a lead plane for the forest service, flying in the military, or flying as a test pilot. These jobs come with good pay and steady benefits, but they also often come with a standard 40-hour workweek and the oversight and dysfunction found with most government programs.