Pilot Careers to Consider

Choosing a career as a pilot is better than ever with the demand for pilots worldwide. Boeing projects that 649,000 new pilots will be needed in the next 20 years. There are many career opportunities for you as a pilot such as:

  • Law Enforcement Pilot
  • Drone Pilot
  • Cargo Pilot
  • Flight Instructor
  • Military Pilot
  • Fire Fighter Pilot
  • Test Pilot
  • Astronaut / Space Pilot
  • Medical Pilot
  • Media Pilot
  • Agricultural Pilot
  • Charter Pilot
  • Corporate / Business Pilot
  • Air Tour Pilot
  • Banner Pilot
  • Government Service Pilot


Reviewing some of the top career options pilots have may give you an idea of the direction you want to take. We’ll take a closer look at what we believe to be the top 9 most popular options prospective pilots like to investigate. Once you have an idea of the pilot career path you would like to follow your next steps are finding which certification or license is required. After this the only thing left to do is start training!

1. Major Airline Pilot

The most popular choice of careers out there is major airline pilot. Just about everyone knows what this is. These are the captains and first officers flying large jets carrying travelers to their intended destinations. Major airline carriers include companies like United, American, Delta and Southwest airlines. Out of all the pilot jobs out there, this generally has the highest salary which in turn causes it to be the most competitive to get into.

2. Regional Airline Pilot

A regional airline pilot has the same role as a major airline pilot in that they are responsible for carrying travelers to their intended destination. However, regional airlines fly much shorter routes and on smaller bodied jets like the CRJ and ERJ. Many pilots use regional airlines as a stepping stone into the major airlines. However, pilots also enjoy flying for regional airlines for the entirety of their pilot career. AeroGuard has a partnership with one of the top regional airlines in the United States, SkyWest, providing students with a direct pathway toward an airline career.

3. Cargo Pilot

Being a cargo pilot is a stable and rewarding career. Airplanes that are used in cargo flights are often the same airplanes that are used for major and regional airlines, but without the seats this time. Your training to become a cargo pilot is just the same as training to fly with passenger airlines. When flying for a cargo company such as FedEX or UPS, you have many options to choose from for flying. You can either fly in smaller planes around your region, or fly larger planes with longer routes.

4. Medical Pilot

Medical pilots, also called EMS pilots, fly for various reasons. From organ transfers and deliveries, life flights, extreme medical emergencies and even non-emergency patient transportation, there are many jobs as a medical pilot. While as a pilot, you need to be calm in all situations, it is especially important to remain calm in medical flights similar to how an emergency doctor stays calm in the ER. Being a medical pilot can be very rewarding as you are flying to help someone’s life.

5. Military Pilot

While you may think all military pilots are sent into combat this is not necessarily true. These pilots are able to fly some of the most state of the art planes and other aircraft. There are over 200 careers in being a military pilot. Whether you want to get into humanity, computer science, missile and space, natural science, nursing and so much more, there are options for nearly everyone.

6. Firefighter Pilot

Becoming a firefighter pilot is difficult, but very rewarding. These pilots need to be well trained, experienced, and knowledgeable to be able to safely put out a fire while flying. When firefighter pilots aren’t putting out fires, they have the ability to work in another job as a CFI, commercial pilot or even a private pilot.

7. Law Enforcement Pilot

Nearly every law enforcement, whether local, state, or federal, requires pilots. These pilots go through rigorous training to fly airplanes, jets and helicopters. Law Enforcement Pilots, also known as Airborne Law Enforcement (ALE), are used to conduct multiple operations from patrolling to search and rescue operations.

8. Drone Pilot

As a new career in aviation, the number of drone pilots needed is sure to grow. Drone pilots have created many new uses for different professions. From real estate, tourism, science and law enforcement, drone pilots are rapidly expanding.

9. Tour Pilots

Tour pilots do just what it sounds like – take tourists out to different attractions. This can be done in a private plane or helicopter. Many of these pilots go down into attractions such as the Grand Canyon so that tourists can get a good view of everything happening on the ground below them. If you want to be a tour pilot there are many different attractions in the United States that require this pilot career.

How to Start Your Pilot Career

These are just a few examples of different pilot careers for you to consider if you want to enter the aviation industry. Reading over these pilot careers may even give you an idea of the direction you want to take for your aviation career. Once you have discovered the direction you want to take in aviation, your next steps are to understand what schooling and certifications you need.

Training with AeroGuard gives you a direct path to the airlines allowing you an opportunity to fly for our partner SkyWest Airlines. At AeroGuard, we offer multiple flight training programs for you to suit your needs and career goals. If you’re interested in becoming a pilot, fill out the form below to connect with an enrollment advisor.

Begin Your Career Today!