“If you don’t trust the pilot, don’t go.”

Denzel Washington, Actor

Advantages & Disadvantages of Being a Pilot

advantages and disadvantages of being a pilot

Becoming a pilot is a dream for many young people. Once they get older, this dream may become reality. However, if you currently consider becoming a pilot, make sure to check out all the pros and cons of being a pilot in this article before making your final decision.

Maybe you’ll change your mind after evaluating all the arguments. Without further ado, let’s fly right into it! 😉

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Advantages of Being a Pilot

  1. Pilots can earn good money
  2. Being a pilot enables you to see many different countries
  3. High social reputation of pilots in society
  4. You are the boss in your cockpit
  5. Pilots have many options when it comes to finding a partner
  6. You see the world from a different perspective
  7. Pilots can get to know different cultures
  8. Job never gets boring due to many different flight routes
  9. Being a pilot allows you to sleep in the finest hotels
  10. You get food and drinks for free
  11. Pilots learn multitasking
  12. Pilots don’t have to work when leaving the workplace

Pilots can earn good money

One important advantage of being a pilot is that you can earn really good money from your job. In fact, pilots often have a six-figure income, at least after a few years of working. Over time, you can even earn more than 500,000 dollars as a captain.

There are not many other jobs that pay that well and if you really aspire to becoming wealthy or even rich, becoming a pilot may be the right way to go for you in this regard.

Being a pilot enables you to see many different countries

Since pilots have to bring their passengers to many different locations around the world, they will also see many different countries and cities. Hence, as a pilot, you don’t have to pay significant sums of money like most other people do to travel the world.

You can just do your job, get paid and spend your time in quite interesting places all over the world. Thus, a career as a pilot may also be great for you if you love to travel and to experience new ways of life.

High social reputation of pilots in society

Another benefit of being a pilot is that they also have a pretty high reputation in our society. In fact, many people admire pilots and want to be like them. For many people, being a pilot has been a childhood dream.

Yet, only few of those people actually turned their dream into reality. Hence, if you arrive at several different locations, most people will treat you friendly and with respect due to your high social status as a pilot.

You are the boss in your cockpit

While pilots have to follow some rules and have to communicate with the ground crew, they have a high level of freedom regarding how to manage their cockpit and how strict or soft they want to set the rules for their stewardesses.

Consequently, as a pilot, you will be the boss in your cockpit and you don’t have anyone who could dictate to you how to do every small thing as in many other jobs.

Instead, you will have a high level of freedom to do whatever you want to do as long as it is in line with the safety rules and regulations of air travel.

Pilots have many options when it comes to finding a partner

Let’s be honest. Money and high social status matter when it comes to finding a suitable partner. Pilots have plenty of both of those things and therefore, you will have a pretty easy time finding an attractive significant other.

In fact, there are not many jobs that make it such easy for you on the dating market. Many pilots also find their partner during work since there are often many attractive stewardesses on board.

You see the world from a different perspective

Being a pilot also enables you to see the world from a different perspective. While most other people will just go to their boring job every day, you will see the world from many different angles and will constantly realize how small we really are in our big universe.

This can not only expand your horizon, it can also make you humbler since you will realize how small and minuscule we as humans really are in our huge cosmos.

Pilots can get to know different cultures

Another upside of being a pilot is that you will also get to know different cultures. Since you will have many different destinations you will fly to, you will also stay in many different hotels and you will also have to navigate through many different cultural zones.

In fact, by interacting with locals in many different countries, you will soon realize that life is relative and that what we consider to be normal is just one of many cultural ways of life.

It is important to realize that since it also implies acknowledging that our Western culture is not superior to other cultures at all and that we also have many weaknesses as a society.

In turn, this knowledge can lead to a state in which we develop a higher level of respect for other cultures and ways of life, which can make our global society more tolerant in general.

Job never gets boring due to many different flight routes

If you ask pilots whether they get bored with their job sooner or later, the answer for most of them is no. In fact, there are so many different flight routes that it will take pilots decades to fly all of them.

Moreover, flight routes also change and this gives you as a pilot the opportunity to experience new flight experiences on a regular basis.

Being a pilot allows you to sleep in the finest hotels

Another advantage of becoming a pilot is that you will stay in many nice hotels during your journey. Especially if you work for the most reputable airlines, you will be able to stay in many 5-star hotels and enjoy real luxury that would cost other people hundreds or even thousands of dollars each night.

Hence, as a pilot, you can enjoy real luxury at work and if you are a person who really likes this kind of lifestyle, there are only very few other jobs that provide you with this level of luxury.

You get food and drinks for free

Not only your accommodation will be paid for by your airline, also your expenses for food and drinks will usually be covered by airlines. Consequently, you can enjoy really good dishes during your journey and don’t have to spend any money on it.

Thus, you will be able to save plenty of money and can invest this money on retirement funds or afford fancy hobbies or cars.

Pilots learn multitasking

As a pilot, you will also have to deal with many different information streams at the same time. While this can be quite demanding and requires some level of practice to do it properly, you will also learn how to deal with this flood of information.

Consequently, your multitasking skills will improve significantly over time, which can not only be helpful as a pilot, but also to organize yourself in various other parts of your life.

Pilots don’t have to work when leaving the workplace

Once pilots get off the plane and their workday is over, they can really enjoy their leisure time. In fact, pilots will never work from home and also don’t have to be available for any calls in the evening.

All of those things are rather common if you work as an employee in the corporate world and if you really want to have the opportunity to unplug from your job and to enjoy leisure, becoming a pilot can also be great in this regard.

Disadvantages of Being a Pilot

  1. Pilots are away from home quite often
  2. Especially problematic if you have children
  3. Pilots have a high divorce rate
  4. Significant costs of becoming a pilot
  5. High level of responsibility for passengers
  6. Automation may lead to job losses in the aviation industry
  7. Pilots have a higher risk for cancer
  8. Layovers can be annoying
  9. Your schedule constantly changes
  10. Pilots often have to work on holidays
  11. Many pilots experience sleeping issues
  12. Pilots have to keep up with latest technological advancements
  13. You may have to work at nighttime
  14. Long-distance flights can be quite exhausting
  15. Job as a pilot can be mentally challenging
  16. Your working field will be rather narrow
  17. Pilots have to take regular medical exams
  18. You can lose your job as a pilot anytime

Pilots are away from home quite often

Apart from the many advantages of being a pilot, there are also several downsides related to this profession. For instance, one problem with being a pilot is that you will be away from home quite often.

In fact, since pilots have to fly many international routes, it will take them quite long to fly their plane to the destination, rest for a few days and come back.

Before deciding for a career as a pilot, make sure that you are really willing to spend the majority of your time away from home.

Especially problematic if you have children

Especially if you have children, being a pilot can be rather problematic. Since you will be away from home quite often, you will not see your children that often and you will miss many important steps in their childhood. You will also often not be able to celebrate your kids’ birthdays with them since you will have to stay in a foreign country.

Consequently, it will be hard for you to build a deep relationship with your kids and your children may even resent you due to that later on in your life.

Pilots have a high divorce rate

Another downside of being a pilot is that divorce rates of pilots are rather high. This is quite logical since pilots are away from home quite often and couples have more options to cheat on each other due to that.

Moreover, the high social status and the money pilots make attract many people into their lives and pilots will have an easy time finding additional affairs.

Thus, if your marriage is important to you and you plan to spend the rest of your life with your partner, becoming a pilot may not be the right way to go for you.

Significant costs of becoming a pilot

You should also not underestimate the costs of becoming a pilot. In fact, many pilots spend more than 100,000 dollars on their education. Consequently, many pilots also have to go into debt to finance this sort of education and it will take some time to pay off this debt.

Hence, make sure that you are willing to invest significant amounts of money for your pilot training before deciding for a career in this field.

High level of responsibility for passengers

While flying an airplane can be quite a lot of fun, it also implies significant levels of responsibility. Mistakes on your side can lead to catastrophic outcomes and can potentially cost many lives.

While some people love to have these high levels of responsibility, others hate it and don’t want to deal with the pressure that comes along with it.

Consequently, make sure that you have the stomach to take on these high levels of responsibility before deciding for a career as a pilot.

Automation may lead to job losses in the aviation industry

Another disadvantage of becoming a pilot is that your job prospects may not be as rosy as you might think. In fact, artificial intelligence will lead to a state where airplanes will be able to fly without a captain sooner or later.

The speed of technological advancements is insane and if our technological development continues like that, chances are that many pilots will become obsolete in just one decade.

Pilots have a higher risk for cancer

Studies have shown that pilots also have a significantly higher risk of suffering from cancer. This is due to the fact that pilots are exposed to high levels of radiation during their trips since they stay at a higher altitude than everyone else for an extended period of time.

Sooner or later, these high levels of radiation will become a problem for the bodies of most pilots and this is also the reason why pilots have a relatively low life expectancy.

Layovers can be annoying

Pilots often also have to wait until they can continue their journey. However, this doesn’t mean that pilots will have time to see different cities. Quite often, pilots will just stay in their hotel for around half a day and continue their journey after that.

Hence, while many people think that pilots have plenty of time seeing all the attractions in a country, this is often not true at all.

Your schedule constantly changes

Another downside of becoming a pilot is that you will not have a fixed schedule. Every day will look different and also your working times will change on a regular basis.

This means that you can never adjust to a regular working rhythm and your body and your brain always have to adjust to the new circumstances.

Pilots often have to work on holidays

As a pilot, especially in your junior years, you will also often be required to work on holidays. While the more senior pilots may have the opportunity to take those days off, you will often have to work on Easter or even Christmas and will be away from your family.

This can be emotionally challenging and can also lead to family problems since your children will often have no empathy for you in this regard.

Many pilots experience sleeping issues

Due to their irregular working schedule, many pilots also have a hard time when it comes to sleeping properly. Our body and our brain are not made to adjust to new circumstances on a regular basis. We rather need a constant rhythm for many weeks or even months.

Consequently, pilots often suffer from sleeping problems, which in turn lowers their overall quality of life as well as their performance at work.

Pilots have to keep up with latest technological advancements

The world changes at rapid speed. This is also true in the aviation sector. There are always new inventions that aim to make the lives of pilots easier. However, some pilots are just not willing to learn and to adjust to those new technologies.

Yet, this is crucial to further improve the safety of passengers. Thus, before deciding for a career as a pilot, make sure that you are willing to learn and to progress.

You may have to work at nighttime

Working at nighttime is also quite common among pilots. In fact, on many flights, pilots will start their flight during the afternoon but will fly until midnight or even longer.

Therefore, it is crucial that you are willing to work at nighttime as a pilot and if you don’t want to do so, don’t go for this career path.

Long-distance flights can be quite exhausting

Flying an airplane can also be quite exhausting, especially when it comes to long-distance flights. Pilots often have to spend more than 10 hours during those flights and this can be extremely challenging for their body and their brain.

Thus, if you aspire to a career as a pilot, make sure that you have a certain fitness level and the mental strengths to focus on your job for such a long time.

Job as a pilot can be mentally challenging

In general, pilots also have to process plenty of information on a regular basis. They have to communicate with the ground crew, the cabin crew and also have to make sure that all the devices on the plane work properly.

Consequently, while you might think that being a pilot is a rather relaxing job, this is not true at all and you should be willing to work really hard as a pilot.

Your working field will be rather narrow

While you will have many different job opportunities if you go to college and study general things like business, your working field will be much narrower if you become a pilot. In fact, you can just work as a pilot while people graduating from business school can work for thousands of companies in various different fields.

Consequently, you will be highly dependent on the development of the aviation industry and economic downturns in this sector can make you unemployed pretty soon.

Pilots have to take regular medical exams

As a pilot, you will also be required to take medical exams on a regular basis. If you don’t pass these exams, you can even lose your job and will have to completely change your career path, which can take you many years to do and requires plenty of time and effort.

You can lose your job as a pilot anytime

In general, your job as a pilot is not safe at all. Not only will artificial intelligence reduce the demand for pilots in the long run, an increasing number of airlines also just don’t provide that attractive working conditions for their pilots anymore.

It seems like the rosy times for pilots are over and future prospects don’t look good for them at all.

Top 10 Being a Pilot Pros & Cons – Summary List

Being a Pilot ProsBeing a Pilot Cons
Being a pilot enables you to travelBeing a pilot can be mentally challenging
Pilots have pretty high salariesPilots have to work on holidays
You can experience many different culturesPilots have to work at nighttime
Pilots have high social statusBecoming a pilot can be costly
Easy to find a partner as a pilotProblematic if you have a family
Pilots are the boss in the cockpitHigh divorce rates of pilots
You learn multitaskingMistakes can lead to catastrophic accidents
Pilots can stay in nice hotelsSleeping problems are common among pilots
Food and drinks for freeRather narrow working field
Being a pilot never gets boringPilots may lose their jobs in the future

Should You Become A Pilot?

From the previous discussion, it has become clear that there are many advantages and disadvantages to being a pilot. In the end, you have to decide for yourself whether you want to become a pilot or if you want to go for alternative career paths like becoming a doctor instead.

Sources

https://www.airlinepilotcentral.com/articles/job-search-articles/

https://www.pilotcareernews.com/top-5-tips-become-pilot/

https://www.fta-global.com/fta-news/5-top-tips-to-prepare-yourself-for-becoming-a-pilot

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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