AIRLINE PILOT CAREERS
You thrive on structure, responsibility and like the opportunity for travel and career progression. Airline flying is a structured career path and the flight operations environment is well established. Australian airlines operate internationally, domestically and regionally with each airline offering different aircraft options and progression timelines. In most airlines you start on the smallest aircraft in the fleet, as a First Officer and progress to Captain on that aircraft or First Officer on a larger aircraft. Airlines usually provide Command training and Aircraft Ratings for pilots. Working for an airline is very rewarding if you’re passionate about flying.
If you love aviation, are independent-minded and would like to do something different, flying business jets might be for you. You’ll need a lot of experience under your belt first and you usually pay for your own aircraft type rating. Once employed, your training is paid by the employer. You need to be organised, self-motivated and thorough as business jet pilots manage the entire operation from airport approvals to aircraft refuelling. It’s a unique and enjoyable job as you’re part of a small team, often there are only 2-3 pilots working for the employer and you get to know your employer and their family very well.
You love helping others and are passionate about aviation. This is a great way to gain flying experience and instructors are in high demand at larger regional flying schools and in the cities. Flying instructing is a flexible career, you can often choose your own work hours which makes this a great job while you’re furthering your aviation career.
There are fantastic tourism pilot jobs in regional and remote parts of Australia, whether it be operating scenic flights over the Bungle Bungles to piloting a sea plane over the Whitsundays, the opportunities are endless. Working as a tourism industry pilot it’s a great way to gain flying hours and to experience living in remote parts of the country. To apply for a position with a tourism operator you usually pay for your own aircraft type rating. Career progression is really dependant on the size of the operation.
You like being part of a team, love a challenge and you thrive on job satisfaction. Government service flying is interesting, challenging and varied and no two days are the same. Each Australian state has its own government aviation organisations and they’re all slightly different. For example, all government flying in Queensland is undertaken by Queensland Government Air (QGAir) and includes rescue, medical transfers, police and state support. NSW operates a dedicated Police Air Wing, (PolAir) for all police flying. Other examples of government services flying are border surveillance, usually flown by a contracted provider such as Cobham Aviation or fire spotting, which is contracted to smaller organisations in regional and rural areas.
You love working in rural areas and are passionate about aviation and agriculture. Agriculture flying is almost all low-level flying for crop spraying and crop seeding. This type of flying requires lots of experience, is quite specialised and requires a specific Agriculture Rating. This type of pilot usually works alone.
You’re a team player, keep calm in emergency situations and enjoy variety in a working day. You will be solely responsible for every aspect of an operation delivering medical teams to remote parts of the country to provide medical care and emergency medical services. You might be transporting patients to regional towns and cities to access medical facilities. It’s a rewarding job working for the Royal Flying Doctors Service, CareFlight or Air Ambulance amongst others, knowing you are helping save lives.
You thrive on thrilling, high intensity situations but can keep calm under pressure. As a HEMS pilot you perform rescue and retrieval missions and you transport rescue and medical teams where they are needed. Every day is a new challenge and you thrive on the variety. You are responsible for all aspects of the operation and often fly to different destinations every work day. HEMS companies include TOLL and CareFlight as well as government agencies such as the Rotary wing of Queensland Government Air (QG Air).
You love a job where no two days are the same and you’re passionate about helicopters. Commercial helicopter flying can be anything from sling-work to firebombing to passenger transportation to aerial survey work. Commercial flying is often offered by medium size helicopter companies big enough to have the machinery required to offer a full range of services.
You enjoy working alone and enjoy working in agriculture. Agricultural helicopter flying is extensive in regional Australia and really important for local communities. Helicopters are used to spray crops, seed crops, muster cattle or sheep and for pest control. This type of work is almost exclusively in rural Australia, so if you love the bush and aviation it’s the perfect role. It’s often seasonal and usually flown by local operators who know the area well.
You love travel, enjoy working alone or as part of a small team and are excited about showing people beautiful aspects of Australia. Helicopter scenic flights are often located in magnificent parts of the country. Working in the tourism industry is a great way to gain flying hours and to experience living in a remote part of the country. You are usually required to pay for your own aircraft type rating to apply for a position with a tourism operator.