Helicopter Training Prepares Pilots for Exciting Commercial CareersWhat job can a commercial helicopter pilot do?What do helicopter pilots earn?How to become a helicopter pilotThe cost of flight school
Helicopter Training Prepares Pilots for
Exciting Commercial Careers
What job can a commercial helicopter pilot do?
Helicopter pilot careers appear to be pretty thrilling. Medical evacuation, fire
fighting, law enforcement, mountain search and rescue, and border control are some
of the h igh intensity, high reward careers available to trained commercial pilots.
Aerial photography, advertising, sightseeing tours, geological survey, fish and game
census, highway patrol, and carrying workers and supplies to and from offshore oil
rigs are some other helicopter pilot careers.
What do helicopter pilots earn?
According to salary.com, median salary for a helicopter pilot is $86,627, with the top
10% earning $133,998
How to become a helicopter pilot
If you want to fly as a commercial pilot, versus a private pilot, you will need to enroll
in an FAA certified flight school, earn a series of certifications and complete a certain
number of flight hours – typically 210.
Helicopter training p rograms can be found everywhere. In mild, sunny climates like
those in Nevada, Arizona a nd California, Pilot Training programs have proliferated.
But even rainy and extreme weather prone areas like Washington and Texas have
seen helicopter pilot training sch ools that are thriving. Programs tend to concentrate
in or near larger population centers, so you may need to extend your search if you
live in a small community. Some aspiring pilots will transplant for the du ration of their
training program to one of the sunnier locations in order to maximize their good
weather flying time and complete their program faster.
Programs vary in length, but a full time student could complete the required
curriculum and flight hours in a year and half to two years.
The cost of flight school
Flying a helicopter for a living is not for everyone. It can be an exciting, adrenaline-
inducing adventure, but it does require an investment. The training and flight school
hours required to earn a commercial helicopter pilot license can run $75,000-
For those with VA education benefits, the majority of tuition costs may be covered.
For others, financial aid packages and scholarships are available. Flight schools with
Department of Education accreditation, like Charter College Aviation, can offer
qualified student pilots Title IV Financial Aid in the forms of Federal Student Loans
and Pell Grants. These resources can significantly affect both the out -of-pocket cost
to the student and provide options for long-term loans.