Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

Industry Areas

  • Nonscheduled Air Transportation
  • Technical and Trade Schools
  • Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services

Day-to-Day Tasks

  • Work as part of a flight team with other crew members, especially during takeoffs and landings.
  • Use instrumentation to guide flights when visibility is poor.
  • Start engines, operate controls, and pilot airplanes to transport passengers, mail, or freight, adhering to flight plans, regulations, and procedures.

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Overall Kind of Work*

Airline and commercial pilots fly and navigate airplanes, helicopters, and other aircraft. Airline pilots fly for airlines that transport people and cargo on a fixed schedule. Commercial pilots fly...

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Work Environment*


Pilots held about 119,200 jobs in 2014. About 64 percent worked as airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers. The remainder worked as commercial pilots. In 2014, most airline pilots, copilots...

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Airplane pilots may be stationed at airbases or aboard aircraft carriers anywhere in the world. They fly in all types of weather conditions. Military pilots take off and land on airport runways and aircraft carrier landing decks.

Workweek Breakdown

The hours worked per week by people currently pursuing this career.

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Type of Work

The level of day-to-day involvement with data, people or things.

Data: Medium
People: Low
Things: High

Skills at a Glance

The levels of different skills helpful in this career.

Verbal skills: Medium
Critical Thinking & Problem Solving: High
Equipment Operation & Maintenance: High
Math & Science Skills: High
Technology Design & Control: High
Leadership: High

Workplace at a Glance

The level of different environmental factors you would experience on the job.

Responsibility: High
Exposure to Job Hazards: High
Physical Activity: Low
Decision Making: High
Repetitiveness: High
Level of Competition: High
Time Pressure: High

Business Breakdown

The different sectors people in this career currently work in.

Pie Chart Representing the section data
  • 73.05% (Private For-Profit)
  • 0.94% (Private Not For-Profit)
  • 1.64% (State and Local Govt)
  • 20.58% (Federal Government)
  • 3.80% (Self-Employed)

This data also pertains to Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

Military Breakdown

The number of people who currently hold this career in the Military.

18,438 Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers in the Military

*Did You know, Overall Kind of Work, and Work Environment relate to Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers, which includes Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers; Commercial Pilots.
Data supplied by Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Center of Education Statistics, Defense Manpower Data Center. (View our update schedule). Contact any business, college or military service branch to answer additional questions.

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