Aeroplane pilot

What they do

These pilots fly different types of aircraft including light planes and airline aircraft, depending on the type of aircraft they are licensed to fly.

They provide a variety of aviation services.  For example, a pilot may transport people, cargo or mail, provide surveillance or undertake aerial searches.  Pilots may also assist farmers and pastoralists with crop dusting, or work as flight instructors.

Working conditions

A pilot’s work begins long before take-off.  First, they need to plan flight routes, examine weather reports, balance cargo and passenger load, calculate fuel requirements and inspect aircraft in preparation for a flight.

In general, pilots can expect to work both during the day and at night in a variety of weather conditions, climates and security conditions.

Tools and technologies

During the course of their career, aeroplane pilots will typically become familiar with different types of aircraft.  Earlier on, they may fly small single-engine aircraft.  As they gain more experience and become more qualified, they will have the opportunity to fly more advanced aircraft.

How do I become one?

Education and training

It is possible to work as an aeroplane pilot without formal qualifications. However, you will need to complete flight training and hold an appropriate licence for the class of aircraft you wish to fly.

You can access flight training at private flying schools across Western Australia. To improve your theoretical knowledge, vocational education and training qualifications in aviation and aeronautics are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout WA. Browse the Jobs and Skills WA and My Skills websites to find a training provider near you.

You can also study and train to become a pilot with the Australian Defence Force.

Required registration and licensing

To become an aeroplane pilot, you will require a Commercial Pilot's Licence. To work for a major airline, you will require an Airline Transport Pilot's Licence. It is recommended that you also undertake an aircrew medical assessment to ensure that you qualify for licence issue.