Most people picture a commercial airline pilot sitting in a large cockpit of a giant plane that travels to depths of every corner of the world. However, not every licensed commercial pilot works for a large airline company. Some end up doing small group flights for tours, and others might end up staying in their local regions, performing short commuter flights.
All commercial pilots undergo thousands upon thousands of hours of training to operate a passenger-carrying aircraft. There are many safety procedures they must know, as flying a plane requires incredible knowledge. Pilots are responsible for the safe landing of cargo, passengers, and the aircraft itself. A decisive individual with strong communication skills is a must, as there are times where a pilot's judgment is crucial to a safe flight, i.e., maneuvering severe weather conditions.
Ensuring a safe flight starts before the pilot steps foot in the aircraft. They must check a maintenance log to verify the craft is operating smoothly. The next step is to check weather information. Lastly, a pilot goes over the flight plan, and then the fuel plan. Communication skills are a must for a pilot, as much of the job requires secure communication.
Commercial airline pilots do not have a fixed schedule. Airlines are always operating 24/7, and it is often typical for pilots to work on holidays. A standard workday may include multiple smaller flights or one long flight. Downtime and days off depending on the type of trip and sector of work the pilot works. A pilot who works for a large airline will likely have a few days off in between oversea flights. This gives the pilot a fantastic opportunity to explore the world. The tradeoff, however, could be experiences of jet lag.
The career path for a pilot starts with training and certification. Once they have passed the exams and received training, they will typically begin to fly smaller aircraft. As they progress through their profession and become a pilot, they will move to fly large airplanes. Senior pilots may even end up having control over their flight destinations and schedules as well!
Being a pilot has many benefits, but it is a rigorous job. With that comes a lot of responsibility. However, if you have a passion for flying or travel, you should seriously consider getting a career in the flight industry as a pilot. Flying is a privilege and being able to experience the world as a part of your job is very rewarding.