Posted on: 12 November 2018Share
Learning to fly can be an adventure, even if all you want to do is fly for your own fun. But a flight school, such as Sunrise Aviation, can also be the first step down an exciting career path. When most people think of careers for pilots, they think of working for a commercial airline or perhaps joining the military. While those are both valid job options, there are a number of other interesting jobs for pilots that you may not have heard of. Take a look at some of the less obvious—but still rewarding and exciting—careers in the aviation field.
Air Ambulance Pilot
While it's sometimes overlooked as a job possibility, the chances are that you're aware of air ambulances. Air ambulance pilots are responsible for escorting patients from one medical facility to another, or sometimes from the scene of an accident to a medical facility, when other types of travel are two slow or otherwise impractical.
Air ambulance pilots may be either fixed-wing pilots or helicopter pilots. In this job, pilots play a critical role in ensuring that patients get lifesaving treatment in time. Becoming an air ambulance pilot takes time—you'll need a degree, a commercial pilot's license, and a minimum of 40 hours of instrument flight experience and 1000 of hours flight time.
Aerial firefighting is such a niche position that it's difficult to find statistics on the number of jobs available, but demand for pilots to do this important job is increasing according to experts in the aviation industry. Aerial firefighters are often employed by various federal or state agencies.
As with air ambulance pilots, aerial firefighters use both fixed-wing planes and helicopters. In addition to dropping water or fire retardant into areas that are not accessible any other way, aerial firefighters also serve an important function by delivering flight crews and materials to the scene of the fire. They may also pilot observation planes from which an air controller directs the firefighting strategy. Typically, aerial firefighting is a seasonal occupation, and it may be paid by flight time or by a seasonal fee.
Weather Research Pilot
Weather can't be understood from the ground alone. Even the most sensitive satellite weather detection systems are ground-based and may not always be able to tell much about wind speed or barometric pressure high above the ground. Weather research pilots fly around, and sometimes into, storms. Their planes are equipped with special equipment that detects important information about storms.
This is not a job for the faint of heart. Flying directly into hurricanes or other extreme weather can cause a lot more upheaval than the minor, routine turbulence that you might experience on a commercial flight. However, this job provides important information for meteorologists and is an exhilarating choice for those who prefer a fast-paced, exciting career.
Flying lessons could be the first step on a path to a career where you perform important work from high above the ground. If you love the idea of flying for a living and are interested in a career that's unpredictable and exciting, one of these careers may be the right choice for you.