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What to Do After Flight School

Are you thrilled by the idea of earning your airline pilot’s license, but feel concerned by today’s current employment shortages? Did you know that due to the current and future pilot shortage, you can achieve greater success in getting an airline pilot job after flight school?

In the content below, we answer common questions regarding the search for an airline piloting career upon completion of flight school.

What Jobs Can A New Airline Pilot Find?

Despite the amount of time it takes to become an airline pilot, you have multiple avenues to take with your flight career. Below are nine piloting fields you can explore.

Mainline Carrier

Your job as a mainline carrier will be to transport passengers to various destinations worldwide. Examples of mainline carrier companies include American Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines.

Low-Cost Carrier

Piloting for a low-cost carrier requires transporting passengers to destinations that are primarily domestic. Although, you may go to some international destinations for an airline that offers lower fares and fewer amenities. Examples of low-cost carrier companies include JetBlue Airlines, Spirit, and Southwest Airlines.

Regional Airline

Like a low-cost carrier, working for a regional airline involves passenger transport to domestic locations with an exception to a few international destinations. However, these smaller airlines operate “regionally” under more mainline brands and carriers. An example of regional airlines includes ExpressJet Airlines operating as American Eagle, Delta Connection, and United Express.

Cargo Carrier

As a cargo carrier pilot, you would transport cargo, mail, and packages worldwide. Therefore, you primarily work with larger companies such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS. This career proves especially beneficial if you prefer working during night hours as most deliveries and transports occur in the evening.


While working with the military is a rewarding and adventurous experience, you must undergo additional screening, background checks, and assessments prior to securing a career in the field.

According to the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA):

“In addition, you will undergo a disciplined flight training program that is essentially ‘immersion training,’ where you will focus exclusively on flight and academic training for months, or even in excess of a year. Following that, you will gain valuable flight experience, often in high-performance jet aircraft—again in an atmosphere of constant training. Additionally, every military flight involves some element of training or evaluation, even combat flights.”

Flight Instructor

If you enjoyed your experience with the flight instructors you encountered during flight school, you may have the opportunity to become a flight instructor. With this rewarding piloting career, you will teach other aspiring aviators and help them build their flight time. However, in this career, you must master how to explain to and instruct multiple types of learners.

Corporate Aviation

When beginning your piloting career in corporate aviation, you transport either passengers or cargo for various businesses or corporations by using a business jet. However, business jet pilots do have the expectation to remain flexible in their schedule and continually provide exceptional service to their private clients. As a result, this industry allows pilots to not only travel but also experience new destinations.

Charter Operation and Airline Taxi

Working with a charter operation or airline taxi, you experience shorter flight durations and operate on smaller airplanes. With this on-demand career, you no longer operate with a set schedule, but instead work as a “for-hire” pilot. As a result, you can accept tourist requests to see an aerial view of the land.

Government Service and Law Enforcement

After undergoing proper screening and background checks, this piloting career allows you to fly for state agencies like the governor’s office or state troopers. Additionally, if working with law enforcement, you can assist in flying border patrol missions, catching speeding drivers on interstates, and even locating growth facilities in forests.

How Hard is it to Find a Piloting Job?

As of 2019, there is a projected forecast that within the next twenty years, American alone will need 212,000 pilots. As a result, those who begin flight school now may experience an easier time securing a piloting position. Additionally, with so many careers to explore within the piloting and aviation industry, you have multiple options to consider if you have a hard time securing a career.

Is it Possible to Be a Part-Time Airline Pilot?

For those who need a more rigid working schedule but cannot work full-time, part-time piloting may be in your best interest. With part-time piloting, your primary employer assigns an hourly schedule for you to follow. However, according to ZipRecruiter, part-time piloting varies by company. Alternatively, you can explore other part-time positions for any of the careers we discussed earlier.

Begin Your Piloting Adventure with J.A. Flight Training

Are you ready to begin earning your piloting license? If now is the time for YOU to start flight school, start looking at next steps! J.A. Flight Training is conveniently based in Chicago’s western suburb, Sugar Grove. No matter which career path you follow, you can count on experiential learning with the most up-to-date equipment, flight simulators, and aircrafts available.

We are proud to offer world-class training that prepares our students for a successful future as a pilot through flexible classes and affordable programs. If you would like to receive more information about our flight training program, contact us today to get started on your new career path!

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