Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

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What do they do?

Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing aircraft, usually on scheduled air carrier routes, for the transport of passengers and cargo. Requires Federal Air Transport certificate and rating for specific aircraft type used. Includes regional, national, and international airline pilots and flight instructors of airline pilots.

Also known as:

Airbus Captain, Airline Captain, Airline Pilot, Airline Transport Pilot, Captain, Check Airman, Co-Pilot, Commercial Airline Pilot, First Officer, Line Pilot, Pilot

Typical Wages

Annual wages for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers in United States

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Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2018 to 2028, more slowly than average compared to all occupations.

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Projected Employment

No Data Available

Projected Employment Rankings For All United States:

  • 4.5%

    Percent Change

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  • 9,100

    Annual Projected Job Openings

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Typical College Majors

Majors that prepare Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

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★ Number of granted degrees for degree type, Bachelors degree, is listed after the major.

Education Level

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree (2.6%)
  • Master's degree (12.9%)
  • Bachelor's degree (56.9%)
  • Associate's degree (7.9%)
  • Some college, no degree (14.1%)
  • High school diploma equivalent (4.8%)
  • Less than high school diploma (0.8%)

Percent of workers in this field

★ You’re seeing education information for Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers(1) because we don’t have information for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers. Please note the information may not be the same for both occupations.

Colleges that Prepare

Colleges with the most graduates that become Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

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Best colleges for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

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Skills

People in this career often have these skills:

  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operations Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
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Knowledge

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • 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.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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Abilities

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Response Orientation - The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
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Activities: what you might do in a day

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Pilot aircraft.
  • Report vehicle or equipment malfunctions.
  • Notify others of emergencies, problems, or hazards.
  • Respond to transportation emergencies.
  • Inspect aircraft or aircraft components.
  • Communicate with others to coordinate vehicle movement.
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This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 26.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

careeronestop logo Videos: CareerOneStop, USDOL/ETA and the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

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