Is Being A Pilot Worth It? A Brief Career Guide

It’s not surprising that many student aviators question whether is being a pilot worth it because becoming a professional pilot is very time-consuming.

For many students, becoming a pilot is worthwhile. Over the next ten years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 5% increase in the need for commercial and airline pilots. This is a faster rate of growth than the overall average for jobs.

By completing your PPL, you probably have a deep passion for flying if you can not wait to climb out of bed and get on the plane. All the effort and expense will have been worthwhile for you once you have the opportunity to co-pilot and experience the results of your labor. On the contrary, if you find flying a chore even before you’ve logged 20 hours in the air, we recommend you think again.

It makes sense why so many people are interested in becoming pilots!

It’s pretty appealing to see a stunt pilot perform stunts in the sky and take in the breathtaking scenery from a passenger plane. Additionally, numerous Hollywood productions highlight the fantastic person you’ll be if you become a pilot.

We will explain the road to becoming a pilot, and all of your questions about “Is being a pilot worth it” will be answered.

Come on, let’s start!

Is Being A Pilot Worth It

Is Being A Pilot Worth It?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics prediction, demand for pilots will grow over time due to sporadic working time and the need to fill pilot retirement positions.

The average salary for those working in the aviation or commercial piloting industries is above average. Most pilots find their profession exciting and lively, even though it demands incredible patience and concentration.

The time it takes for aviation students to accumulate the required flying hours to obtain the requisite pilot certificates makes learning to become an aviator a significant commitment. Fortunately, you are still qualified to fly as a student pilot.

Depending on the employment, various benefits might accompany becoming a pilot. For instance, airline pilots frequently receive reduced travel opportunities they can share with their family and friends. A career as a pilot might be something to consider if you work well under pressure, enjoy traveling, and have a goal of taking to the skies.

What are the pros and cons of being a pilot?

Understandably, many student aviators question whether pursuing a career as a pilot is worthwhile because it is a very time-consuming, expensive, challenging, and rewarding endeavor.

Anyone would start to doubt their career choices once they see how much work is required before they can fly, including a very long training period, significant personal expense, and scarce job chances.

Consequently, some of the benefits and drawbacks of a job in aviation are listed below to help you better comprehend all of its facets.


  • The respect and adoration that the general public has for pilots, who reportedly work in one of the most prestigious professions in the world.
  • You join a prestigious professional community.
  • The exhilarating and adrenaline-filled moments you experience while flying.
  • When you become a flying officer or co-pilot, you earn more than the average salary.
  • Seeing some beautiful cities and sites, you’d never explore at your own expense.


  • The poor pay and the difficult job market for newly graduated pilots.
  • The rigorous, physically and mentally challenging training can exhaust you many times.
  • The prohibitive costs of your training, which might reach $100,000 if you are self-supporting, only to obtain your commercial pilot’s license
  • You begin to become accustomed to the habit of tedious paperwork and regular travel. 

How to Determine If Becoming a Pilot Is the Right Career for You?

Above, we have discussed many pros and cons of becoming a pilot. Just like any other career, you have to look for all the aspects; however, by doing this, you can determine whether this career suits your interests or not. This will save you from making the wrong career choice. Moreover, we have discussed that you should consider some of the facts below before pursuing the aviation degree.

You Have To Work Under Extreme Pressure

Piloting also demands a lot of patience because being an aviator can sometimes be demanding because you have to focus on several things while making judgments quickly. A pilot should be responsible and accountable for the crew members’ and passengers’ safety because certain unanticipated events may occur.

As a result, pilots must work long hours, which may interfere with their regular resting patterns and cause jet lag. You must thus psychologically prepare yourself from the start if you want to survive in these conditions.

You Have To Accept The Variable Schedule:

Due to the unexpected nature of flying assignments, pilots frequently spend multiple nights away from their homes. Your schedule might be even more unpredictable if you work as a commercial pilot, yet it might also be more flexible.

Pilots generally work very irregular hours, and senior pilots are given preference for routes and hours. Pilots may miss family holidays because of their erratic schedules and work many days straight without a break.

You Have To Make a Habit of Continuous Learning

For pilots, learning never stops. They consistently train and improve their abilities. This is a result of the industry’s constant change over time.

Because of this, they are obtaining a flying education can be expensive. However, this investment may also result in lucrative salaries and career progression opportunities. Even some pilots’ employers pay for their further education.

Is a pilot a respected career?

They’ll likely agree if becoming an aviator is a respectable job if you ask the general population. In general, people concur that pilots ought to be respected. Even though many won’t be able to articulate why this position is so highly appreciated.

One aspect of the legitimacy of being a pilot is the extensive and challenging training required. Pilots must spend years training before establishing successful careers, just like doctors and surgeons, which is why this field is highly valued.

The acceptability of this career route is not only based on this, though. Many people also respect pilots since they are typically perceived as being in a position of power. When you go on a plane, you give the pilot control of your life, and they have that authority the whole time you’re in their car. Consequently, choosing to work as an aviator is respect good voice.

There are many advantages to having a profession as a pilot, even with how demanding it is. These perks cover a wide range of various things, including the benefits of the profession itself and the advantages that companies in the aviation industry frequently provide.

Being a pilot has many advantages in terms of the job. Because there are numerous positions in aviation you may have once you qualify, becoming a pilot is among the most stable career choices out of all those that are accessible.

When you initially consider becoming a pilot, you probably picture someone who flies for a commercial airline. However, if you are a licensed pilot, you can fly aircraft for emergency responders and many other organizations and enterprises.

Additionally, if you work for a significant plane, you will likely receive many benefits. Numerous free hours of overnight stays abroad and sometimes even airline tickets for you and your family are typical examples of these advantages. As a result, employment as a pilot has several obvious benefits.

What are the disadvantages of being a pilot?

Apart from a respectable career, there are many disadvantages to being a pilot. Let’s take a look at them.

You must have a sizable bank account as an airline pilot, you will eventually make a lot of money, but the initial training could cost you up to $100,000. For instance, the cost of attending training at an institute is €62 000. However, that cost does not include the CAA tests, the issuance of a license, or your medical license. You will also be responsible for paying for housing and other living costs while enrolled in the course.

A significant learning curve To obtain a pilot license that enables them to operate commercial aircraft, aspiring pilots must pass more than ten exams. Additionally, pilots must spend significant time flying on simulators with lesser engines. In addition to taking time, flying an aircraft for an hour costs lots of money if you are not enrolled in a cadet school.

You have to miss your holidays. Working for an airline requires you to adjust to their roster policies, which may cause you to miss important family occasions like Christmas or the birthday of your favorite nephew. Even while you can switch other pilots, there are still instances when you’ll be forced to work and miss time with your loved ones. As a result, if you intend to become a pilot, be aware that starting a family can be challenging.

You have to take a lot of tension and stress. While piloting an airplane might be thrilling, you must remember that you are responsible for the safety of thousands of passengers. Yes, you prepare for every possible situation that might go wrong, yet bizarre accidents and errors occasionally occur. A traumatic experience can still affect your mental health even if no one on your aircraft dies; this subject is rarely discussed, but you must be emotionally intense.

You might lose your job immediately if some medical condition occurs. However, if someone loses their ability to fly an airplane after 5, 10, or years, your entire career is over instantly. Some airlines do offer medical license loss insurance. It would be unfortunate, and it does not frequently occur, but there is a chance that it may ruin your entire life’s work as a pilot.

Is a pilot a stressful job?

Hollywood has made being a pilot look glamorous, whether in charge of a pricey private aircraft or a commercial airline that transports thousands of passengers worldwide.

Even though statistics indicate that the job may be significantly more stressful than one would imagine, this is especially true given that pilots are known for their cool-headedness and lack of emotion, which are essential characteristics of a position with such heavy responsibility.

To handle this responsibility, pilots receive considerable training. They have to practice for several years to gain the ATPL license.

Not even the act of flying itself is incredibly challenging; as I’ve already indicated, pilots frequently have high-stress tolerance levels; otherwise, they wouldn’t be pilots. However, it seems that the daily life of an airline pilot might be stressful because they have to ensure the safety of the passengers and flight attendants. So, things might get stressful for the pilots.

What Is the Time Frame for Becoming a Pilot?

Becoming a pilot typically takes between three and four years. However, becoming a pilot can take various years, depending on the certificates and ratings you want. There is a minimum number of logged flying hours needed for each certification.

Your timetable may also change depending on whether you want to attend college. Students can often obtain a bachelor’s degree in 4 years of full-time study. While pursuing your degree, you can enroll in some aviation programs that include flight instruction and direct you toward becoming a pilot.

What Is the Expense of becoming a Pilot?

When pursuing a commercial airline pilot career, you can anticipate spending between $60,000 and $100,000, though tuition and flying training costs vary.

Several variables will affect your overall cost, including whether you enroll in flight school or seek a bachelor’s degree at a university.

Your final cost will also depend on whatever certificates and grades you need to achieve your flight objectives. Each certification has a minimum required number of flight hours, and the price of rental aircraft and training costs can add up.

As they accrue flight hours toward their ATP (Airline transport pilot) certification, students who desire to become airline pilots might find employment as flight instructors.

Alternatives to Aviation Degree

Here are several to think about if you’re interested in this area and want to understand what other programs are available outside a bachelor’s in aviation:

Aerospace engineering bachelor’s degree The emphasis on aerodynamics, propulsion, and aerostructures in this program is quite advanced. Students in this degree program may even be prepared for careers in the space sector by the coursework they complete.

Bachelor’s degree in air traffic control: If you are passionate about air traffic control, you might want to consider majoring in air traffic control. You may discover more about how the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration functions.)

Bachelor of Technology in Aviation: This alternative degree program can be a good fit for you if you are interested in designing and maintaining aircraft. Although this degree entails pilot training, its main emphasis is developing and applying aviation technologies.

Your interests and professional objectives will likely determine which is best for you!

Can You Get A Degree In Aviation Online?

Pilots not only get to ride above the skies; however, they also have to travel and make more money than the typical person.

You can attain numerous lucrative employment in the aviation sector with a bachelor’s degree. Enrolling in an authorized online aviation school will allow you to fit your studies with other commitments.

Online programs frequently allow you to complete your degree at your speed and on your due. Suppose the flight training component of the online aviation degree program is required. In that case, you can wind up doing your courses online and in-person training at a nearby authorized facility. Some colleges also provide online aviation management degree programs for those interested in the commercial aviation sector.

Is the pilot exam hard?

The Private Pilot Proficiency Exam was a snap to pass because the FAA once had to make its question banks available to the general public.

The only thing left to do would be to spend a little time memorizing the answers to the questions. Despite this adjustment, the FAA Private Pilot Writing Test is still not very difficult, and most students succeed in passing it on their first try, mainly if they enroll in a top-notch online ground school.

There is no quick cut, which is a positive idea because it ensures that only safe and capable pilots are permitted to fly. Still, any dedicated student won’t have trouble passing.

Although the overall average and pass rate fluctuates from year to year, a 90% pass rate with an overall grade of 84 is normal.

As you can see, they majorly mostly succeed on their first attempt. You, therefore, have nothing to worry about as long as you put in the effort. Don’t panic if you don’t perform the way you anticipated and fail your exam despite the extremely high pass rate. You have 30 days after the date of your prior attempt to retake the exam.

You may retake the test as many times as you like.

Lack of preparation or ineffective study habits is more to blame than any other factor for failing the exam.

Is being a pilot boring?

Making a hobby into a full-time job can occasionally take the fun out of something you enjoy doing. 

You should consider whether becoming a professional pilot is what you want to do or if it is just a fun hobby you enjoy. If you’re forced to work in an unfavorable environment daily, you may find you no longer want it.

Many people enter the aviation industry for the wrong purposes. These are some of the explanations I received when I asked people why they might want to become commercial pilots;

  • To gain prestige
  • I’m good at it, therefore
  • Owing to the high pay
  • To go on a world tour.
  • As my interest is in aviation

How much do they get Paid?

The concept is that you increase your monthly payment as your income rises yearly to pay off your debt more quickly. You’ll enjoy your flight more rapidly and spend more if you complete this sooner. Worldwide, pilot wages vary, but you may anticipate a beginning income of between $20-45k annually on average. After that, it takes you roughly 3–5 years to become a senior first officer, earning between $47,000 and $75,000 annually. The loans will have less of an effect on your life if you are a senior first officer. If you choose to repay the loan over a longer time frame while maintaining the same monthly payment amount, you may have more money to spend on adventures in life when you are younger.

You will enter the next phase when you are promoted to captain, and this is when your investment will start to pay off. Depending on the airline you work for, it typically takes 5 to ten years to be promoted to captain, and captain earnings can be as high as $150k! This will happen right around the time your student loan for your education expires, and you will start to feel the difference in your monthly disposable income. No regardless of where you are located in the world, you will undoubtedly enjoy an excellent standard of life irrespective of how you decide to invest all of your spare money.


So, we hope that all your concerns about “Is being a pilot worth it” will be cleared up till now as you know you will not only enjoy the privileges and income that come with that as well, but the work itself will provide its own experiences and difficulties. To become an air force pilot is an incredibly satisfying job and career. A day at work won’t feel like such a job to thrive when it becomes an element of your love and passion. 

This is crucial since it improves your life satisfaction and sense of accomplishment. If you intend to pursue this career, then give it your all. It will only improve with time, and there will come a time when you can reflect on your trip and give yourself a high five for everything you’ve accomplished up to the left seat on that expensive jet.

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