7 Best Alternative Jobs for Airline Pilots


Being an airline pilot is a great job for a lot of people. It’s a good career path that can come with a great salary and, of course, travelling. Many people would like to break into the career path of being an airline pilot…but some airline pilots (perhaps one like yourself) are looking for a change of pace.

Something different, something fresh, something new that they can sink their teeth into and make good at. Well, the good news is that there are several career paths open to airline pilots who are interested in making a switch to a different job.

In this blog post, we’ll look at several alternative jobs for airline pilots and you can see which one might be the perfect (or near perfect) match for you:

Job #1: Firefighter pilot

Yep, we’re jumping right into one of the most (potentially) dangerous, yet rewarding piloting jobs that you can have. Fire fighting is an essential job and, as an aerial firefighter, you’d be helping to put out forest fires and keep your area safe. Awesome, right?

Job #2: Flight instructor

Another alternative jobs for airline pilots is teaching flight skills. New pilots are always signing up for airline jobs and maybe, though you don’t want to be an airline pilot anymore, you’d like to help and guide the next generation of pilots. Well, if you enjoy teaching (or think you’d enjoy it), perhaps you could find a position as a flight instructor!

You could work with your old airline in order to coordinate teaching sessions and courses with new pilots. Or you could break off on your own and offer your teaching services at a private flight school. It’s up to you, but we’re sure you have a wealth of great, hands-on information that would be a great help to any new pilot.

Job #3: Technical writer

Are you looking to get out of flying, while still having an influence in the world of aviation? And, perhaps most importantly, are you a good writer who wants to help others, perhaps with knowledge and experience that you’ve learned yourself? Then perhaps writing manuals and other helpful texts could be your next career path!

Even writing a memoir of your days as an airline pilot could be great for inspiring others to take up the career themselves. There are so many ways to utilize your writing skills for the aviation industry and for yourself. You just need to take the leap!

Job #4: Ambulance pilot

This is a wonderful, fulfilling job where you’ll be able to help so many people with the vital services of an ambulance plane and pilot. What could be better than making sure that people get the care that they need? This job doesn’t come without its struggles and risks, but just think of the difference you could make in people’s lives!

That’s a reward in and of itself, don’t you think? Yes, you’ll most likely be placed in difficult situations that will require all your skill and strength to navigate. But if you’re an experienced pilot with a passion for helping others, ambulatory services could be exactly the right job for you.

Job #5: Aviation management

Want to retire from actually flying but still want to have a hand in everything that goes into getting planes up in the air? Then why not take on a managerial position, perhaps at the airline that you’ve been working for?

This way, you’ll be able to keep in touch with what’s happening in the world of aviation while not doing the work of a pilot. This could be a great career opportunity if you enjoy working with people and have a mind for management in general. You will be working with data via aviation management software, while making sound business decisions.

Job #6: Freight pilot

Do you prefer to be by yourself? Do you enjoy night flying? Are you more a loner in general, perhaps without much of a family life? Then cargo hauling could be exactly the new career path you’re looking for!

In addition, you could also end up seeing a huge portion of the world as you take your cargo to various locations around the globe. If night flying and less human interaction sounds like a dream come true, then definitely check out hauling freight as a possible job opportunity!

Job #7: Business pilot

Think of yourself as a chauffeur–just with a bigger, actually airborne vehicle. Becoming a business pilot could be just the career you’re looking for. If you pilot a business jet, you may be at the beck and call of the businessperson (or people) who require your services.

You’ll need to be ready to leave at the drop of a hat and you’ll most likely need to get used to waiting around in order to fly your client(s) back after their business affairs are finished.


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