Aviation Careers: Guide to Become a Helicopter Pilot

The career of a helicopter pilot is an exciting and challenging profession, where individuals get the chance to fly doing an array of missions from emergency medical services and firefighting to aerial photography. As skilled pilots are in high demand, choosing a career in helicopter aviation may turn out to be a pathway to exciting and interesting work. This guide covers all the basic steps a would-be pilot has to take to begin this thrilling career.


Understanding the Role of a Helicopter Pilot


Helicopter pilots carry out a wide range of tasks – safety of helicopter flights under any circumstances is their top priority. They can work in many numbers of fields, including saving lives during emergency response, fire fighting, or even performing air tourism. However, no matter where they work, pilots have to fly really well, and must always focus, make appropriate decisions, and keep everyone safe.


Education and Training Requirements


High School Diploma or Equivalent: Study on a solid educational basis with emphasis on math, physics, and language respectively.


Obtain a Private Pilot License (PPL): To be able to become a pilot, candidates usually should pass the Private Pilot License Course, which consists of a theoretical part and practical flying time.


Advanced Training: Apart from that, one also needs to pursue more certificates in areas such as the Commercial Pilot License (CPL) and Instrument Rating (IR) to take your career to the next level.


Specialized Training: According to the career path chosen, prospective astronauts may need extra training, which consists of flight instructor qualification or specialization training.


Gaining Experience


Flight Hours: Accumulating flight hours is crucial for career progression. Pilots usually commence their career by training as flight instructors, tour pilots, or utility pilots.


Internships and Entry-Level Positions: Many helicopter operators offer internships or entry-level positions that provide valuable hands-on experience and networking opportunities.


Licensing and Certifications


Commercial Pilot License (CPL): Required for pilots who intend to work for compensation or hire.


Instrument Rating (IR): Allows pilots to fly in adverse weather conditions and under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR).


Type Ratings: Depending on the type of helicopter flown, pilots may need specific type ratings issued by aviation authorities.


Recurrent Training: Regular training and proficiency checks are necessary to maintain certifications and stay current with regulations and industry standards.


Career Paths and Specializations


Helicopter pilots can be qualified in a variety of specializations – Emergency Medical Services, Law Enforcement, Firefighting, Offshore Operations, Tourism, Aerial Photography, Search and Rescue, and also Military Aviation.


Job Outlook and Salary


There will be more jobs for helicopter pilots because of the increase of customers who request transportation services and the need of rescue and emergency operations. On top of online platforms where these opportunities exist, you can also find helicopter pilot jobs on Jooble.


Salaries range from low to high depending on a number of factors, such as time of operation, experience, geographical location, and employer. New entrants begin their career journey with a salary that ranges between $40,000 and $60,000, while highly experienced pilots who are specialists in their field may receive pay exceeding six figures.


Summing Up


In final, a career as a helicopter pilot is the path to many choices and memorable moments. Staying focused on your goals, keeping learning and safety should always be your number one priority. Whether you are flying across breathtaking landscapes or participating in critical missions, make the moment in the skies your own. I hope you have a pleasant trip up in the sky and a safe return home.