Commercial Pilots

Description

Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-winged aircraft on nonscheduled air carrier routes, or helicopters. Requires Commercial Pilot certificate. Includes charter pilots with similar certification, and air ambulance and air tour pilots.

Tasks

  • Check aircraft prior to flights to ensure that the engines, controls, instruments, and other systems are functioning properly.
  • Contact control towers for takeoff clearances, arrival instructions, and other information, using radio equipment.
  • Start engines, operate controls, and pilot airplanes to transport passengers, mail, or freight according to flight plans, regulations, and procedures.
  • Monitor engine operation, fuel consumption, and functioning of aircraft systems during flights.
  • Consider airport altitudes, outside temperatures, plane weights, and wind speeds and directions to calculate the speed needed to become airborne.
  • Order changes in fuel supplies, loads, routes, or schedules to ensure safety of flights.
  • Obtain and review data such as load weights, fuel supplies, weather conditions, and flight schedules to determine flight plans and identify needed changes.
  • Plan flights according to government and company regulations, using aeronautical charts and navigation instruments.
  • Use instrumentation to pilot aircraft when visibility is poor.
  • Check baggage or cargo to ensure that it has been loaded correctly.
  • Request changes in altitudes or routes as circumstances dictate.
  • Choose routes, altitudes, and speeds that will provide the fastest, safest, and smoothest flights.
  • Coordinate flight activities with ground crews and air traffic control, and inform crew members of flight and test procedures.
  • Write specified information in flight records, such as flight times, altitudes flown, and fuel consumption.
  • Teach company regulations and procedures to other pilots.
  • Instruct other pilots and student pilots in aircraft operations.
  • Co-pilot aircraft, or perform captain's duties if required.
  • File instrument flight plans with air traffic control so that flights can be coordinated with other air traffic.
  • Conduct in-flight tests and evaluations at specified altitudes and in all types of weather to determine the receptivity and other characteristics of equipment and systems.
  • Rescue and evacuate injured persons.
  • Supervise other crew members.
  • Perform minor aircraft maintenance and repair work, or arrange for major maintenance.
  • Fly with other pilots or pilot-license applicants to evaluate their proficiency.
  • Plan and formulate flight activities and test schedules and prepare flight evaluation reports.
  • Pilot airplanes or helicopters over farmlands at low altitudes to dust or spray fields with fertilizers, fungicides, or pesticides.
  • Check the flight performance of new and experimental planes.

Knowledge

Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

Skills

Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Technology Design
Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
Management of Financial Resources
Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Programming
Writing computer programs for various purposes.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Abilities

Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Work Activities

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Leadership
Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Work Values

Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Lay Titles

Aerial Advertiser
Aerial Crop Duster
Aerial Hurricane Hunter
Aerial Sprayer
Agricultural Aviation Pilot
Air Ambulance Captain
Air Tour Pilot
Airplane Patroller
Airplane Pilot
Astronaut
Aviator
Balloonist
Captain
Charter Pilot
Check Airman
Chopper Operator
Commercial Airplane Pilot
Commercial Helicopter Pilot
Commercial Pilot
Corporate Pilot
Crop Duster
Emergency Medical Service Rotary Wing Pilot (EMS Rotary Wing Pilot)
EMS Helicopter Pilot (Emergency Medical Service Helicopter Pilot)
Executive Pilot
First Officer
Fixed Wing Pilot
Flight Operations Director
Flyer
Flying Instructor
Helicopter Pilot
Line Pilot
Mapping Pilot
Photogrammetry Airplane Pilot
Pilot
Private Pilot
Rotary Wing Line Pilot
Spray Pilot
Test Pilot
Transport Pilot
Utility Pilot

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$0.0 hourly, $73,280 annual.
Employment (2008):
34,990 employees