Air Pilots

(NOC 2271)


Currently your work prospects are rated FAIR because:

Over the past few years, the number of air pilots, flight engineers and flying instructors has changed based on employment in the air transport industry. Given the moderately positive outlook in this industry, their numbers should increase slightly over the next few years.

Job opportunities will arise mainly from positions vacated by retiring pilots, flight engineers and flying instructors. The turnover rate is fairly low in this occupation. Promotions are obtained mainly within the occupation, for example, from bush pilot to pilot for a medium-sized airline, sometimes to flying instructor, then to relief pilot and first officer for a large commercial airline and lastly to flight captain. Pilots are often promoted to management positions toward the end of their careers. Some opportunities will be added due to employment increase.

Opportunities for new pilots, flight engineers and flying instructors are found among lower-paid jobs. Training in this field is fairly diverse and is sometimes intended for recreational flyers but other courses are aimed directly at those who want a career as a pilot.

Employment in this occupation depends mainly on trends in the air transport industry.

After several years of strong employment growth late in the 1990s, the air transportation industry since 2000 recorded a major decrease in its work force. The strong growth late in the 1990s was attributable to a number of basic factors: overall improvement in the economy, increase in international trade, deregulation of the air industry with the United States, unmet demand for regional air transportation and, to a lesser degree, increase in the number of younger retirees.

Close to a quarter of workers in this occupational group held jobs in industries other than air transportation and support activities for air transportation, particularly in aircraft manufacturing and public administration, for which the outlook for them is a little better.

Major air carriers have gone through many technological changes in relation to both new and old aircraft. All communications, navigation and flight operation control as well as take-off and landing manoeuvres and flight planning are now computer-aided. Learning how to use these instruments and flying systems and how to fly new aircraft is now accomplished with the aid of computerized flight stimulators. These are also used to train new pilots and to calculate flying hours.

For Commercial Airline Pilots, job growth and working conditions in this specialty have been strongly influenced by the mergers, consolidations and other rationalizations of the last few years in addition to trends in the air transport industry. Despite steady increases in the number of air passengers and the amount of air cargo, airline reorganization has resulted in the abandonment of a number of less profitable destinations in some cases and a decrease in the number of departures in others. Smaller companies have taken up some of the destinations abandoned by the major carriers. This should remain the case for the next few years.

For Recreational Pilots, Bush Pilots and Helicopter Pilots, the rise in employment over the 90s has been stronger for these pilots than for commercial airline pilots. Job growth in these specialties depends on trends affecting the following sectors: adventure travel, recreational, regional and private transport, mining and logging, fire-fighting, medical evacuation, traffic reporting, power line inspection, crop dusting, etc. On the other hand, most aerial photography is now conducted by satellites. The strength of most of these sectors strengthens employment prospects for recreation, bush and helicopter pilots.

Job Seekers: 7,874
Job Openings: 11,947

Job prospects for this career are rated Good

Last Updated: July 10, 2012