Saturday, August 27, 2016

Imminent pilot shortage creates numerous job opportunities

Darin Hunt soars above the Treasure Valley teaching eager learners how to fly. 

CALDWELL, Idaho (KBOI) — The United States military and the commercial airline industry are frantically scrambling to find and recruit more airplane pilots.

Both the private and public sector are facing an imminent shortage in pilots.

The cause: Nearly half the pilot population is about to hit the mandatory retirement age of 65.

This puts both the military and commercial airlines in a tough spot because teaching someone to fly a plane doesn't take too long, but training them to be responsible for hundreds of passengers or fly in a combat setting takes years.

Essentially anyone looking to take advantage of the pilot shortage as a means to gain employment needs to start training now.

Nonetheless the coming pilot shortage is going to create tons of jobs.

"There's gonna be a 15,000 pilot shortage by the year 2026," said Darin Hunt, owner of Air-O-Drome Aviation school in Caldwell.

Hunt has been teaching people how to fly for 16 years and has been flying himself even longer than that.

Reporter Jeff Platt went up above the Treasure Valley with Hunt to get a sense of what it takes to be a pilot.

Lesson one, pilots need to love being in the sky.

"For me it's not really a job, you know it's just fun, and every time I take off it never gets old," Hunt said.

Other than loving the sky and literally being above the world there are a few other requirements to become a commercial airline pilot.

Candidates need any four-year college degree, some flying certifications, and at least 1,500 hours of flying experience.

Getting that much time in the air typically takes a pilot in training about three years.

For those who put in the time, being a pilot can be an extremely lucrative career.

"Typically by the 5th year they tell us they're somewhere in the hundred to 150,000 dollar range," Hunt said.

Hunt adds anyone can learn to fly, but flying enough hours to become a pilot is expensive. Because of this, he suggests flying 250 hours, getting a commercial pilot's license and getting a job dropping off skydivers.



Anonymous said...

I'd like to know where that 5th year 150,000 dollar job is.

D.Benjamin said...

EXACTLY. I've been flying for 12 years with multiple friends in the Mil. and Commercial carriers. They need to stop spreading lies abt salary. $150k is attainable across the pond at Emirates and such. Here in the states, they pay you $17k First officer to fly the aluminum tubes.. $21k for the composite, not to mention base assignment and crashpads. They won't be able to fill the "shortage" that they created with ridiculous barriers to entry, and disgustingly low pay. The regional airlines will disappear by 2026, and prices are going to go THROUGH THE ROOF.. but, hey... this is what the consumer wanted. Cheap airfare. Well... here you go, enjoy your $55 seat!