The Airline Pilot Shortage is Real

pilot shortage

Airline pilot shortage seemed like a fairytale to many but not anymore. In fact, it is one of the major problems that U.S. airlines are facing today. It is estimated that the airlines industries may start to run out of pilots in as soon as 2020.

Many people do not choose piloting as a career anymore and because of this, it is estimated that there will be a shortage of around 15,000 pilots in 2026. This is the findings that were arrived at by researchers from the University of Dakota (Aviation Department). They concluded that fewer youths choose commercial aviation as a career because of the mandatory retirement age of 65.

Currently, regional carriers are already feeling the effect of airline pilot shortage. This is a worrying trend for big airline companies because they usually use their smaller operators to recruit new pilots. Captains usually have a responsibility of training and mentoring their first officers.

Many airlines are trying to make some changes in their hiring requirements to see if they can attract a lot of young people. For example, airlines such as Gojet and Trans States have increased signing bonuses at their regional carriers and they have also partnered with various flight institutions. Some airlines go as far as sending representatives to various schools to educate the students about the importance of becoming a commercial pilot. The pilots earn more than $200,000 per year and they are trying to push this figure to $300,000.

The main reasons why fewer younger people are joining this profession are because of the high cost of training and certification and poor starting salaries at regional carriers. In fact, even the pilots themselves could not advise their own children to join the profession. But now, things are changing for the better. Larger airlines are now more profitable and are hiring more and more pilots to support expansion. However, the cost of training is still high and the risk of flying a plane is also a major concern.

Cost of Training

The cost of training to fly a plane at the University of North Dakota is about $64,500. University of North Dakota is the largest public aviation training institution in the U.S. It is important to note that this amount does not include tuition, room and board. If you include tuition, room and board, the amount will sum up to $105,400 (out of state student).

More than half the pilots in the U.S. are expected to retire by 2026. This means that the airlines must replace these pilots and hire many more to fill the gaps. So, you are almost 100% certain of being hired if you choose piloting as your profession today.