Yesterday I talked about how aviation was a great career in which to make money while doing what you love. For anyone who has ever flown in a small airplane, you know what I am talking about. It is a freeing, exhilarating feeling to escape gravity. But there is even more to consider. Aircraft have been used for many things over the years, and many of our early aviation pioneers lead the way in figuring out how to use airplanes to help solve problems. Along the way many different careers arose in aviation; here are 7 of them:
- Ag Pilot - Ag pilots have one of the most demanding, if not one of the most dangerous, jobs in aviation: aerial application of seed, fertilizer and chemicals. Without question operating a heavily loaded aircraft in close proximity to the ground and delivering the payload in a precise area requires remarkable skill. The rewards for achieving those skills are high, including the opportunity to own and operate your own business.
- Pipeline Patrol Pilot -Pipeline/Powerline Patrol Pilots fly both fixed wing and rotor wing aircraft over the thousands of miles of pipelines and powerlines across the United States. Once again, this is low level flying where following a specific route is critical to successful completion of the job. A still dangerous job, but one which demands the highest level of skill and common sense.
- You can learn more about this career at
- Teacher -In aviation, teachers are called Instructors, Certified Flight Instructors to be precise. For many pilots this is where their career begins once they obtain their Commercial Pilot's License. But over the years teaching flying has become more of a profession than simply a way to build flight hours. Many colleges and universities across the United States have large aviation programs where the Instructor Pilots are highly regarded - and rewarded.
- To learn more about this career check out
- Air Taxi/Charter Pilot - Once the new pilot accumulates enough flight time the next step in the ladder is to become an Air Taxi/Charter Pilot, sometimes referred to affectionately as "Freight Dogs." But once again these jobs have become more like airline jobs. Many of these pilots fly large commercial aircraft like the Boeing 747 and Lockheed 10s which have been retired from passenger airline service.
Air Taxi or Charter Pilot Career Overview
- gives you a flavor of what this job would be like.
- Corporate Pilot - Corporate Pilots have some of the best jobs in the world.They get the same kind of recurrent training as the airlines, have more variety in schedule and get to fly modern jet aircraft all over the world. Experienced pilots are in high demand, and pay rates can be comparable to the airlines in many cases.
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- Aerial Photography Pilot - An aerial photography pilot can choose one of two career paths. He can fly for a large aerial survey company, or he can form his own company, rent or buy an aircraft, and become his own boss. Many aerial photographers make excellent livings taking aerial photographs, and are able to take large chunks of time off from the work.
- Fractional Operation Pilot - A fractional pilot would be the next thing to an airline pilot. Flying regular schedules with the same kind of ground support as the airlines, comparable recurrent training and excellent equipment, fractional pilots enjoy both prestige and a substantial income.
- You can find more about flying for fractionals at