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Is There Really a Pilot Shortage?

You’ve may have read on this blog and across other outlets that there is a global pilot shortage. The reason you keep coming across these articles is because it’s a reality, and especially in business aviation. This is a topic worth revisiting and understanding, especially if you’re thinking about starting a career in aviation. Having a clear picture of the pilot shortage landscape gives aspiring aviators leverage to fill much-needed holes and get the payouts they deserve.

Pilot Shortage Statistics

Statistics don’t lie. Boeing predicts that over 637,000 new pilots will need to join the workforce in the next twenty years. A number of factors are contributing to this uptick in demand, one being the retiring Baby Boomer generation. Historically most pilots received their training through the military, but today the path has changed. Now pilots are expediting their training through qualified flight training schools. To meet the demand, 87 trained, and qualified candidates need to start training every day.

Who is Feeling the Shortage?

Today, the pilot shortage is being felt at the regional airline level and with business jet operators.  Business jet pilots are choosing more lucrative aviation jobs that include predictable schedules, signing bonuses and long-term stability. This means the business aviation industry will need to respond with matched incentives in order to compete in the coming years.

Commercial Pilot Shortage

The head of United Airlines Pilot Union, Tood Insler, said that aviation is facing a shortage because top candidates are resistant to accepting the working conditions and initial pay that new hires have been offered. Again, from an economics standpoint, there is an incentive gap that will need to be filled by commercial airlines in the coming years. This means better bonuses and salaries for new pilots.

Corporate Pilot Shortage

Business jet owners are looking for a particular kind of pilot. He/She should be a highly accomplished professional with a combination of technical, people, and management skills. Corporate pilots are expected to not only have technical skills but should have the personality of a driven professional. If you can set yourself apart as a well rounded skilled pilot, you can get into a very lucrative position with a business jet owner.

2019 Pilot Shortage Outlook

As we’ve seen for the past several years, business jet owners will continue to feel pressure to increase benefits, pay, and quality of life for professional pilots. Pilots used to significantly outnumber available positions, but now the tables have turned. Owners need to compete to get the best pilots. This change in market demand should be music to the ears of any aspiring aviator starting out today or in the next decade or more.

Ready to Take Advantage of the Pilot Shortage?

Like I mentioned, the traditional route of learning to fly through the military has been replaced by professional flight schools. They’re faster and more affordable and don’t require a military commitment. Schedule a tour at either of our two campuses and see how you can get started in a career in aviation and take advantage of good market timing.

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