An airline pilot job is not the only type of pilot job out there. I have met some very content pilots who fly small business jet airplanes and have a great quality of life. I know one corporate pilot who is employed to fly anywhere from a Cessna 182 to a Beaver on floats, to a Cessna Citation jet. He’s not an airline pilot, but he gets to fly to some extraordinary destinations in some awesome airplanes and has a lot of fun doing so. He is home enough to be involved in his community and spends quality time with his family. He’s able to participate in graduations, birthdays, etc. A lot of airline pilots miss these precious moments.
Ultimately, you need to decide what type of pilot YOU want to be.
PilotTrick: Figure out which pilot career will fit you best
Try to figure out your “pilot personality.” Different people are suited for different types of pilot careers. There’s nothing worse than putting your heart and soul into trying to become something that is not going to be gratifying to you for the rest of your career. By researching the different types of pilot careers out there, you can save time and money by focusing on attaining the skills that your dream pilot job requires. You can also use different pilot positions to build flight time according to your life plans. For instance, being away a lot may suit you just fine in the beginning of your career, but not so much later on in life.
Here is a list of pilot careers that you can start to research to see what lifestyle might fit you best:
Cargo airline pilot
Regional airline pilot
Airline flight instructor pilot
Airline technical pilot
Air Charter/Air Taxi pilot
Seaplane / Amphibious Pilot (Corporate, Cargo, Scenic, etc.)
Pilot for one specific corporation
Pilot for a company that offers the use of business jets to several corporations
Contract pilot who is represented by a contracting company
Production test pilot
Experimental test pilot
Maintenance test pilot
Military transport pilot
Military flight instructor
Military test pilot
Sales Demonstration Pilot
Chief Flight Instructor Pilot
Medical Ambulance Pilot