Instrument Rating Currency Requirements24 January 2023
PPL for Business12 March 2023
If you are thinking about becoming a pilot and a career in aviation now is the best it has been in decades to start your new career.
Let’s be honest. Becoming a commercial pilot requires a lot of dedication and money. Lots of money. And then more money. It is a process to get the licences, ratings, and experience you need to move up in the world of aviation. If you are looking for a quick easy transition from high school or your current job to a decently-paid flying job it is not going to happen. Like most jobs, remuneration is commensurate with experience. However, if you are looking for a (new) career that offers a lifetime of learning and challenges (and eventually some decent pay), commercial aviation is for you.
To be clear, a commercial pilot is someone who is paid to fly an airplane. This could be a flight instructor, a cargo pilot, fire bomber, a skydive pilot, seaplane pilot, or an airline pilot; Anyone who flies for money.
How to start your career in aviation
Flying starts by getting your PPL. Once you get your PPL you can start training for your CPL. There are a few different avenues for commercial pilots. Simply put, it either floats or wheels. If you go the float route you may not need a multi engine rating or an instrument rating, although it can’t hurt. The wheeled route you are likely takes you to the airlines, but not always. For the airlines you will need a multi engine instrument rating.
More about becoming a pilot can be found in our ‘Everything you need to know about becoming a pilot’ blog posts.
However, this article isn’t about providing information on the pathway to a well paying commercial pilot job. It is about the state of the aviation market, the pilot shortage, and when you can start training for your (new) career in aviation.
If you are considering a career in aviation it is a great time to get started. Over the last few years, because of COVID, the number of pilot licences in Canada is way down. Here are the statistics from Transport Canada.
As you can see, the number of licences in all categories has dropped significantly since 2007 in the Pacific region. The most important of which are the Commercial Licence and the Airline Transport Licence.
There has been a 64% decrease in Commercial Licences and a 78% decrease in Airline Transport Licences since their peaks in 2008 and 2012, respectively. Whoa!
The ripple effect of these statistics can be seen in aviation job vacancies. For example, Air Canada Express Jazz Aviation is now accepting resumes. First officer positions are available for pilots. You must meet the licence and rating requirements. Get hired at as little as 500 hours.
If the airlines aren’t your thing there are plenty of other job vacancies in the seaplane/bush flying. A quick look on the Harbour Air careers page in February 2023 will show you that they are quite hungry for pilots, too.