What are some advantages and disadvantages of being a pilot?

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What are some advantages and disadvantages of being a pilot?

Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:

I can’t think of one disadvantage in being a pilot. There are obstacles along the way to becoming a pilot that can be overcome with planning, goals and follow-through. There can be limitations on how much you can fly like cost, weather, health, etc…


Becoming a certified and proficient pilot is very rewarding personally for me. It’s a huge responsibility that one must be personally dedicated to the safety of their passengers, cargo and equipment. Pilots need to be good decision makers and constantly evaluate risk.

As far as a career as a pilot; its much like any other career choice a person makes in their lives. You have to weigh your own preferences “pros and cons” as to your career choice and how you want to live your life. For example: travel is a big part of a professional pilot. When your single and want to see the world, travel is wonderful, a “pro.” But, when you start to have a family and want to spend more time at home with your children, travel becomes less of a priority and can be a “con.”


I’d suggest asking yourself a number of questions and categorize them in a “Advantage” column or a “Disadvantage” column. I’d also suggest you make age brackets as well to try to forecast how your priorities in life might change as you get older. (Life events: Graduate College, Meet the Partner of you dreams, Get Married, Have children, etc…)

Here are some questions I thought of myself when I was getting started:

  1. How much will it cost for training
  2. How much will college cost
  3. Can I go to the military
  4. How much income can I get as soon as I graduate training/college
  5. What will my debt load be when I graduate
  6. Who is hiring low time pilots
  7. How do I build hours and gain quality flight experience
  8. Can I volunteer my time and gain experience
  9. What are the minimum Regional airline hiring requirements
  10. What is the income of a Regional Pilot
  11. How fast can I upgrade to Captain
  12. What are the minimums for a major International Airline
  13. What is the income of a major International Airline
  14. What is the risk of Furlough/Layoff at any point during my career
  15. When and how much do I start to save form my retirement
  16. Do I want to get married and how will that affect my career
  17. Do I want to have children and how will that affect my career
  18. How much will I be home
  19. Should I consider a Corporate Pilot position instead of the airlines
  20. Should I find a local, night, daily, or seasonal flying job instead
  21. Should I become a full time instructor or simulator instructor or ground instructor


As you can see there are a lot of personal decision you’ll have to consider throughout your career as a pilot. You’ll certainly have to reconsider these questions and many others over the years as well.

Take a look at some of my other blog posts regarding becoming a pilot and how to research the steps to take.

What are the steps of becoming an airline pilot and how much time will it take?

How do I become a pilot?

I hope that helps get the thoughts and goals flowing.

Thomas Zerbarini

What are some advantages and disadvantages of being a pilot?


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