OthersWhat Are the Different Types of Pilots?

What Are the Different Types of Pilots?


Are you interested in learning about aviation? Or perhaps you have the goal of becoming a pilot someday? If so, you might want to start learning about pilots.

Whether you caught an interest in the topic or aim to be one, knowing the different types of pilots can help you decide on a career. Moreover, it ensures you get the right kind of training. But the question is, what exactly are they?

Here’s a guide to the different types of pilots to get you started.

Airline Transportation Pilots

Traveling by plane is the largest kind of transportation worldwide. And so, airline transportation pilots are one of the most common types of pilots.

In most cases, the certificate for being an airline transport pilot is honored as an advanced license due to the nature of the work and experience.

Note that becoming a pilot on an airline takes a lot of work and dedication. Most companies require their applicants to have an airline transport pilot certificate. And so, it showcases that expertise plays a big role.

There are usually two types of airline pilots. They are as follows:

Mainline Pilots

A mainline pilot refers to a professional that takes people across countries. It usually involves long-range flights with a few hours of break in between.

While some consider it the most tiring pilot job, the salary for these professionals is usually high. So, the exhaustion gets paid off in great rewards.

Regional and Domestic Flight Pilots

Regional and domestic flight pilots usually get the same work as mainline pilots but at a smaller range. Although it mostly focuses on flying within domestic locations, it could still vary on the path.

If you’re considering this career, you may want to note that the salary is usually lower than a mainline pilot’s but is still a good earning amount regardless.

Private or Personal Pilots

While there are pilots who operate flights for a mass of people, there are also pilots who exclusively cater to private entities or individuals.

Unlike with airlines, being hired as a private or personal pilot grants you a stable job until the plane or jet owner decides to stop flying. Usually, these include business owners or celebrities, and other big figures.

One thing you may want to note about flying private or personal planes is that you deal with fewer people. It’s often only the owner of the aircraft and the people they invite who get on.

Military Pilots

If you’re passionate about serving your country as much as flying planes, you might want to consider becoming a pilot for the military. It means you operate planes specifically for military use.

Note that it requires you to go through proper armed forces and aviation training programs. You should also meet the requirements to join the military, like being fit enough, having good eyesight, and others.

Government Service Pilots

Besides being a military pilot, you can also consider an aviation career in government service. It means you work closely with different government agencies and provide them with flying needs whenever necessary.

Even so, the nature of your work will vary on where you get assigned. For example, one of your tasks could include flying over an area for search reports or going around for surveys.

Cargo Pilots

Many believe that pilot careers focus on flying people from place to place or fulfilling air activity needs. But in reality, cargo pilots are just as common as commercial flight ones.

These pilots handle mail and cargo services all around the world. So, they become responsible for shipping packages domestically or internationally.

Like flying passengers, these pilots travel for a while to ensure all deliveries arrive at the correct destination on time. Since they’re usually associated with businesses, they also tend to get high pay.

Agricultural Pilots

Other vital pilot jobs for economic growth include agricultural pilots, which focus on keeping crops watered and dusted. Although they usually don’t have the luxury of traveling across borders for free, they make an essential contribution to maintaining resources.

The job involves several planting-related tasks, like watering, dusting, and the like. As a result, it adds more value to the agricultural industry and promotes modern agriculture, along with the use of new farming technology.

Sports and Recreational Pilots

Sports and recreational pilots are both types that require certificates to operate planes for specific use.

As a sports pilot, you can only fly light aircraft at low altitudes. You can also carry only one passenger at a time and cannot go beyond 10,000 feet in the air.

On the other hand, recreational pilots can fly heavier planes, but they have stricter requirements to fulfill if you want to get a certificate. Another thing to note is that you can only fly during the day up to 50 nautical miles away from the airport you depart from.

Flight Instructors

Some of the most successful pilots share their knowledge about operating planes by becoming flight instructors. With this, you can teach at aviation schools and airlines or work as a private instructor.

To become a flight instructor, you should have a good grasp of how to fly a plane, along with the necessary experience. It requires you to undergo training and learn about technicalities, theories, technologies, and detailed cases.

Commercial Pilots

Instead of working under an aviation or airline company, you can be a commercial pilot, meaning you get paid to operate a flight. It requires a commercial pilot license and specific training but allows you to widen your expertise more.

You will find many famous pilots work as commercial pilots to open their service for individuals who simply want to pay for the flight experience. You can check binkybro.com/blogs/the-binky-bro-blog/flying-high to see a pilot’s story on walking through the world of aviation.

Test Pilots

If you’re fond of learning about the latest aviation tech and operating them, a test pilot may be ideal for you. These are pilots who take a new or improved aircraft for a spin to evaluate the operation.

Note that you should also provide feedback to the engineers and other flight teams involved. So, it’s vital to have experience in those fields.

Find the Ideal Path by Learning About Different Types of Pilots

Before you get into aviation, it helps to know the different types of pilots and careers you can choose from. This way, you get to pick a path that suits your skill and interest the best.

Check out the rest of our blog for more guides like this!


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