Commercial Pilots

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About the Job

Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-winged aircraft on nonscheduled air carrier routes, or helicopters. Requires Commercial Pilot certificate. Includes charter pilots with similar certification, and air ambulance and air tour pilots.

It is also Called

  • Transport Pilot
  • Test Pilot
  • Spray Pilot
  • Rotor Pilot
  • Private Pilot
  • Pilot
  • Photogrammetry Airplane Pilot
  • Mapping Pilot
  • Line Pilot
  • Helicopter Pilot
View All

What They Do

  • Check the flight performance of new and experimental planes.
  • Pilot airplanes or helicopters over farmlands at low altitudes to dust or spray fields with fertilizers, fungicides, or pesticides.
  • Plan and formulate flight activities and test schedules and prepare flight evaluation reports.
  • Conduct in-flight tests and evaluations at specified altitudes and in all types of weather to determine the receptivity and other characteristics of equipment and systems.
  • Perform minor aircraft maintenance and repair work, or arrange for major maintenance.
  • Teach company regulations and procedures to other pilots.
  • Instruct other pilots and student pilots in aircraft operations.
  • Rescue and evacuate injured persons.
  • Fly with other pilots or pilot-license applicants to evaluate their proficiency.
  • Supervise other crew members.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RIE.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Investigative and Enterprising environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Independence and Recognition in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Preparation Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in California was $94,170 with most people making between $44,600 and $164,710

Outlook

1.86%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 4,300 people in California. It is projected that there will be 5,100 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 80 openings due to growth and about 110 replacement openings for approximately 190 total annual openings.