The headlines tell the story:
- “Is America’s airline industry headed for a major pilot shortage?”
- “Business Aviation Not Immune to Pilot Shortage”
- “Airlines expected to need 117K pilots over next 20 years”
- “Who’s Going To Fly The Plane? Forecasted Global Pilot Shortage Could Limit Future Air Travel Options”
- “U.S. airlines go on a pilot-hiring spree”
Major newspapers, television reports and trade publications have sounded the alarm based on a recent studies by aircraft manufacturer Boeing and another from the University of North Dakota that found the need for trained pilots is at an all-time high.
A combination of attrition through retirement and a lack of prepared flight students has led to a critical shortage that has been years in the making and will take years to solve.
Forbes recently reported that 42 percent of pilots flying today will retire in the next 10 years. The Boeing study found that U.S. demand for new commercial pilots between now and 2036 stands at roughly 117,000. Forbes wrote:
“That’s equal to 16 new pilots a day entering the U.S. airline industry every day, or 5,840 a year, for 20 years continuously. To put that in perspective, U.S. carriers combined never have hired more than about 5,000 pilots in a single year, and have done that only a handful of times over the last 40 years.
For added perspective, hiring 5,000 a year would be equal to hiring as many pilots in just three years as giant American Airlines, the largest U.S. airline – and the largest in the world – has on its current payroll.
If the law of supply and demand plays out as one naturally would expect airlines likely will be raising pilot pay substantially and steadily over the next 20 years in order to attract the many new pilots they’ll need.”
Commercial flight training is rigorous with the FAA requiring 1,500 hours of training to be a first officer in addition to passing instrument rating and other tests. But it’s also rewarding with a great career and a wide variety of options on how to put your expertise to use.
We can get you started by taking the first steps toward your dream with a private pilot’s license in roughly 55 hours of in-flight training.
After that, there’s no telling how high you can fly.