You Have Completed Flight School. What Next?

The airline industry has some of the most prestigious and attractive careers anyone would be happy to join. According to statistics, the airline industry will need thousands of new pilots over the next 20years as the old ones retire. Consequently, there is a demand for flight school graduates in the industry. Although that doesn’t guarantee jobs for all graduates, pilots have numerous opportunities.

Whether you are about to join flight school or just completed it, one of the top questions in your mind is what next? After completing your flight training, you can start searching for how to get a pilot license to either be a commercial or private pilot. You may also become a certified flight instructor after finishing flight school.

What do you require to become a commercial pilot?

You may consider being a commercial pilot after flight school. That means you get to work with commercial airlines, gain exposure to more opportunities and benefit from a higher earning capacity than other pilot jobs. To become a commercial pilot, you need:

  • A commercial pilot license with multi-engine (ME) and instrument rating (IR).
  • ATPL (A) theory.
  • Multi-crew cooperation course (MCC).

Today, more commercial airlines require applicants to have completed a Jet Orientation Course (JOC) if it is their first flying job. Even if you may be currently flying a small aircraft, your prospective employer may require you to have the certification before getting the job.

Generally, you would need to start from a regional level to achieve a career in a big commercial airline. The smaller airplanes that service the hub airports for big airlines are a good start. You may begin as a first officer who sits on the right-hand side of the cockpit servicing the captain. After a while, you may be lucky enough to climb the ranks and become a captain.

You can decide to continue working with the regional airline to develop seniority. The leadership positions in airlines hold a lot of power in the aviation industry, and you may be awarded for more control over the planes you fly and dedication. 

In contrast, you may decide to seek other opportunities in larger airlines after you have gained enough experience. Note that the seniority ladder repeats itself. You have to start as a first officer and then become a captain after years of logged flying hours and experience. Constant training is crucial for a pilot, which explains why you may find that a pilot is a certified captain for a 737 and not certified for a 747.

Becoming an instructor

You may decide to become a flight instructor after a flight school and venture into teaching students. You may become a multi-engine, single-engine, or instrument flight instructor. Note that there are different certifications to correspond with each type of teaching.

Teaching or becoming a flight instructor provides an excellent opportunity to develop your flight time while you earn a salary for it. It is essential because you require 750-1250hours before proceeding to the next step.

Summing up 

It is quite an investment of time and money to climb the ranks of pilots, but it is rewarding in the end.