A private pilot's license allows the license holder to pilot a not-for-pay flight, while a commercial pilot is qualified to fly an aircraft for pay. A private pilot job, however, is considered to be anything other than a commercial airline industry job. Private pilots are employed to pilot non-commercial flights as well as luxury charter, air ambulance, search and rescue, media aircraft, business travel and police and fire-related flights. Finding a job in the aviation industry takes some perseverance, networking and knowledge of aviation or flight companies who employ qualified pilots.
Visit a local general aviation airport. These airports serve private, non-commercial air travel. Larger GAA airports are home to flight schools, fixed-base operations, flight instruction schools and corporate jet charter. Collect business cards from and drop off your resume at businesses surrounding the airport. Find out who is responsible for hiring, and contact them with your qualifications.
Subscribe to aviation magazines and peruse the classified ads section. Aviation magazines have a nationwide circulation; therefore, private jet charter companies from all over the United States advertise their services as well as their open positions. Cultivate a database of phone numbers from the private charter companies listed in the magazine, and contact their human resources departments for possible employment.
Attend aviation trade conventions and air shows. These conventions attract private charter companies that market their services to the trade. Network with collateral businesses that are aviation-related and ask if they have any contacts or know to whom you can send your resume. A large air show can attract hundreds of thousands of aviation enthusiasts over the weekend and is also a draw for aviation-specific marketers and advertisers for flight schools and private charter.
Visit websites such as aviationemployment.com, aviationjobsearch.com or pilotjetjobs.com for listings or recruiter information. The aviation industry is well-served by numerous job boards dedicated to flight-related careers. Some websites may charge a subscription fee, which may well be worth the expensive if you land a lucrative private pilot position. Alternately, perform an Internet search for "private pilot jobs" or "aviation industry jobs."
You must meet minimum FAA requirements in order to obtain your commercial pilot license.
Tips and warnings
- You must meet minimum FAA requirements in order to obtain your commercial pilot license.