If you've always wanted to fly, and you went to flight school and obtained your pilot's license, you may be wonder what your next step is. While some people dream of flying for a major airline or tearing up the skies, there are plenty of careers in the clouds that do not involve passengers or require you to enlist in the military.
1. Pipeline patrol: After flight school, you can quickly get more flight hours by flying pipeline patrol. This career path involves flying at a low altitude over gas pipelines, electrical powerlines, and oil fields, looking for signs of damage or vandalism.
2. Emergency medical services: Both airline and helicopter pilots are needed to help fly patients from accident scenes and rural hospitals to larger cities for medical treatment or surgery. You may also have the opportunity to fly organs to transplant patients. Some pilots augment their knowledge by returning to school for training as an emergency medical technician, but your main job is to fly the patient and crew to their destination safely.
3. Border patrol: If your interests lie with law enforcement, you can pursue a career with the United States Customs and Border Patrol. While drones are used, pilots are still regularly needed to patrol the borders. Pilots not only look for illegal immigrants but also for drug smugglers, poachers, and illegally-planted groves of marijuana.
4. Cargo carrier: In our fast-paced society, customers want their product as soon as possible. Businesses are living up to their expectations with two-day, overnight, and even same-day shipping. They can do this by employing a fleet of cargo carriers and pilots. If you like to work atypical shifts while logging many flight hours, becoming a cargo carrier pilot may be a good choice for you.
5. Ferry flying: A ferry pilot's job is to fly a plane from the seller to the purchaser. Typically, you fly the plane to the airport the buyer requests and then take a commercial flight home. Some pilots do ferry work to gain the additional hours needed to work for a major airline, but some just love the flexibility of ferry flying. It can be a great way to see the world as each stop can turn into a mini-vacation.
While you are finished with flight school, think outside the box. There are many career paths to explore once you have your pilot's license. Taking one of the above lesser-known paths may be exactly what you were looking for.