Skip to main content

Airline pilot

Airline pilots fly passengers and cargo to destinations around the world.

Potential salary

£35,000 to £110,000

Employment by 2024

+3.38%

Working hours

39 to 41 a week

  • leadership skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of maths
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • observation and recording skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

In this role you could be:

  • carrying out pre-flight checks of instruments, engines, fuel and safety systems
  • working out the best route using weather reports and information from air traffic control
  • following instructions from air traffic control
  • checking data during the flight and adjusting the route where necessary
  • telling passengers and crew about journey progress
  • writing reports about in-flight issues

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work on an aircraft.

Your working environment may be cramped, physically demanding and you may spend nights away from home.

You'll start by training as a co-pilot. When you’ve completed at least 1500 flying hours, you can apply for an 'unfrozen' or full Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) and qualify as an airline captain. This will usually take 3 to 5 years after you get your full ATPL.

With experience, you could become a flight training instructor or an operations manager.

You can find out more about training to become a pilot through Flying Start and the British Airline Pilots' Association.

Powered by Pathways.