CareerGPS

Commercial Pilots
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Commercial Pilots
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
236 267 32 13.39% 6 24 30 $22.05 $45,867 High school diploma or equivalent
Description: Pilot and navigate the flight of small fixed or rotary winged aircraft, primarily for the transport of cargo and passengers. Requires Commercial Rating.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • Check aircraft prior to flights to ensure that the engines, controls, instruments, and other systems are functioning properly.
  • Contact control towers for takeoff clearances, arrival instructions, and other information, using radio equipment.
  • Start engines, operate controls, and pilot airplanes to transport passengers, mail, or freight according to flight plans, regulations, and procedures.
  • Monitor engine operation, fuel consumption, and functioning of aircraft systems during flights.
  • Consider airport altitudes, outside temperatures, plane weights, and wind speeds and directions to calculate the speed needed to become airborne.
  • Order changes in fuel supplies, loads, routes, or schedules to ensure safety of flights.
  • Obtain and review data such as load weights, fuel supplies, weather conditions, and flight schedules to determine flight plans and identify needed changes.
  • Plan flights according to government and company regulations, using aeronautical charts and navigation instruments.
  • Use instrumentation to pilot aircraft when visibility is poor.
  • Check baggage or cargo to ensure that it has been loaded correctly.
  • Request changes in altitudes or routes as circumstances dictate.
  • Choose routes, altitudes, and speeds that will provide the fastest, safest, and smoothest flights.
  • Coordinate flight activities with ground crews and air traffic control, and inform crew members of flight and test procedures.
  • Write specified information in flight records, such as flight times, altitudes flown, and fuel consumption.
  • Teach company regulations and procedures to other pilots.
  • Instruct other pilots and student pilots in aircraft operations.

Knowledge

85%
Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
84%
Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
82%
Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
77%
Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
77%
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
73%
Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
73%
Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
69%
Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
68%
Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
60%
Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
60%
Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
50%
Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skills

88%
Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
78%
Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
75%
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
72%
Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
69%
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
65%
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
65%
Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
62%
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
62%
Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
62%
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
60%
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
53%
Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
50%
Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
50%
Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
50%
Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
50%
Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
50%
Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Abilities

81%
Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
81%
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
78%
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
78%
Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
75%
Depth Perception - The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
75%
Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
75%
Response Orientation - The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
72%
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
72%
Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
69%
Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
69%
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
69%
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
66%
Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
66%
Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
66%
Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
66%
Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
62%
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
62%
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
62%
Rate Control - The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
62%
Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes compa
62%
Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
60%
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
56%
Spatial Orientation - The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
56%
Hearing Sensitivity - The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
56%
Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
53%
Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
53%
Time Sharing - The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
53%
Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
50%
Glare Sensitivity - The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.
50%
Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
50%
Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
50%
Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Work Activities

94%
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
87%
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
80%
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
79%
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
79%
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
79%
Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
78%
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
78%
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
77%
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
70%
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
68%
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
66%
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
63%
Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
60%
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
58%
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
56%
Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
56%
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
53%
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
53%
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
51%
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
50%
Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Overall Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Interests

Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outsi
Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Styles

Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Work Values

Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Recognition - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.