Airline Pilot Job Description

The Airline Pilot’s office is the aircraft cockpit. The Pilot is in charge of plane take-off, piloting and landing. As Captain or as First Officer, in both cases a pilot works in pairs for the flight good progress and handles the flight safety. Before every flight, he has to undertake the procedures of plane safety check and the flight plan communicated by the flight dispatchers. During the flight, the Captain and the First Officer check all the settings, manage embedded computers, and maintain a permanent contact with ground control centers.

Training and Prerequisites

The Airline Pilot position is extremely technical and rigorous for which it is necessary to master English, physics and mathematics mainly. The required minimum level is a High School Diploma with scientific program. Students must be at least 18 years-old. A previous experience in the aviation environment will be an asset for the admission even if the applicant does not have a Degree in sciences.

Job Competences

  • Rigor and method
  • Reactivity and discnerment
  • Concentration
  • Stress resistance
  • English fluency
  • Team worker
  • Good health conditions

Airline Pilot Missions

  • Flight plan preparation
  • Navigation instruments check
  • Crew and passengers responsibility
  • Bilateral communication with the control tower
  • Airplane take-off and landing
  • Flight instruments management

Airline Pilot Salary

The salary of Airline Pilots in France depends on the airline. In their early stages, they may earn 2 000€ (net) in low cost airlines. However, they can negotiate with the employer the Type Rating payment for the specific plane they will fly on. With the experience and in national airlines, the salary of a Pilot can reach 20 000 €. Due to their staggered hours and irregular working days, the Airline Pilots receive bonuses and allowances which value their basic salary.

Evolutions and Career Opportunities

The Airline Pilots generally start their career as First Officer in low cost airlines. In fact, the latter require less flight hours than bigger airlines. Then, they are allocated on long-haul flights, and finally switch as Captain. Opportunities are mainly at the international level in commercial airlines but also in business airlines. Once graduated as Airline Pilot, they can validate other qualifications such as Flight Instructor or type-ratings. The Flight Instructor training offered at the ESMA gives to many young Pilots the opportunity to accumulate flight hours and apply in airlines more easily.

Airline Pilot Training

The Airline Pilot training consists in theoretical phases namely the 14 ATPL modules, and flight phases validating stage by stage the Pilot Licence.

Trainees must validate every module at the French Civil Aviation Center within 36 months maximum, which will determine with weather conditions their progress in the training.

For this training, ESMA uses classrooms specially equipped, briefing rooms for flight preparation, as well as a fleet of 20 Diamond aircrafts, dedicated to pilot trainees for their instruction flights.

Find all details for Pilot training at ESMA.