Aviation careers that break barriers. Commercial licenses go higher.

Wearing a uniform and parading through the busy airports of the world to helm your scheduled flight is the most iconic of the commercial airline pilot jobs. (This requires a ATP license, which other commercial piloting may not.) It’s not the only career path for commercial pilots. Imagine yourself flying rescue operations or flying world-renowned people on private charters to exotic destinations.

After earning your commercial pilot license, you can operate a number of aircrafts for a variety of vocations. Family holiday table conversation will never be dull. 

You’ll also be able to afford that trip home and all the family gifts! Commercial pilots make over six-figures annually on average. 

Here are a few of the many careers open to people with commercial pilot certificates.


A commercial airline pilot is an exciting job. Take passengers on scheduled flights across the nation or internationally. 

To have that big-deal, big-airline license you also have to meet the FAA requirements for an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate. Once you have your commercial pilot’s license, applying for the ATP depends on logged in-flight hours. A standard commercial pilot’s license requires 250 in-flight hours. For an ATP license, you will have to have a total of 1,500 total in-flight piloting hours. 

Get in the air and reach your dreams quicker with a commercial license from LETU. Once you graduate with a B.S. in Aviation and Aeronautical Science with a flight concentration, you may be eligible for a restricted Airline Transport Pilot Certificate (R-ATP). With the R-ATP, you can be a co-pilot on a major airline until you’ve earned your total hours. The hours are also reduced, so you only need 1,000 to 1,250 total hours instead of the standard 1,500.

What you need to be a pilot on a major airline: 

  • Commercial pilot’s certificate with an instrument rating
  • ATP Certification Training Program
  • ATP knowledge and practical tests
  • 1,500 hours total in-flight piloting hours
  • 50 hours in a multi-engine aircraft
  • 23 years of age or above
  • FAA medical clearance


Cargo pilots help the world get what it orders from all over the world. Packages are picked up and delivered for major companies for business and personal orders. The upside of a cargo pilot is that there is no shortage of cargo needs. The profit margins for freight are high, too, so they typically pay very well. Sometimes, salaries are considerably higher than passenger planes. (You still need an ATP Certificate.) 

If you aren't one for dealing with people, a career as a cargo pilot is a low-contact career path. Typically, you'll work with 1 to 3 other people in your crew. Even so, your whole time is not necessarily behind the wheel. Pilots take turns, even taking turns cooking in the galley. You also can get to fly very large planes.

The downside of being a cargo pilot is that while senior pilots can make nearly $200,000 a year, the travel benefits aren't as ample as working for a commercial airline. 


With a commercial license (No ATP necessary) you can get to work doing small-plane work for pay. If you have a penchant for the arts or love of geography, you may consider aerial photography. 

Aerial photography can service a lot of industries, including surveying and the government sector. Other government agency pilots can include border patrol, coastal patrols and law enforcement services. 


Want a life in the country? Whether working for a government agency, small company or hiring out your own plane, an AG pilot is a steady job that helps keep food on table for millions of people. AG pilots, or crop dusters, are hired to "buzz" crops, providing essential chemical treatments. These can include agents that fertilize, eliminate weeds or manage pest control. 


Becoming an emergency or rescue pilot is a great way of extending Christian principles to your everyday work life. There are numerous emergency and rescue pilots. Medical pilots air-lift people from accident sites, hospitals or places of injury directly to a hospital or facility that can ensure the proper care. Air rescue can include finding and saving people who are stranded at sea, deserts mountains or other sites that are hard to get to by land. A number of agencies have dedicated rescue services.


That is right, some companies own planes. Often, these planes are used for international travel. As a corporate pilot, not only do you earn above-average pay, you also get to be a bit more in-charge and in-the-know. You go to airports around the globe, scheduling flights and refueling and practically every aspect of a flight.

Another advantage of becoming a  corporate pilot is that you will likely work with a smaller, more intimate crew and gain more familiarity with the planes you fly. Major airlines draw from a wider pool of pilots, copilots and attendants.

The jets used for corporate or business travel are usually smaller, luxury liners. Who knows, you may even get to fly famous people to-and-from business destinations.


If you want to work for yourself, a charter, air taxi or private pilot business may be for you. Island hopper and sightseeing planes take people on small trips. Usually, these are smaller planes that can be hired for regional flights. It means that you can stay local and avoid many long, overnight trips. 

You can also work for a smaller charter company. This sort of piloting is ideal for someone who wants to make small regular trips instead of spending a lot of time on the road.

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