Hi! I’m starting the ACPP in a few months and in the meantime, I’m looking for available jobs for pilots with low flight time in case I don’t end up flight instructing with ATP. A lot of the jobs I’ve seen are looking for pilots with a minimum of 500 hours of flight time, and since the ACPP includes ~300 hours of flight time, I won’t qualify for the jobs I’ve seen. So, I have two questions: 1) What have you done/seen other pilots do as first jobs out of flight school? 2) What resources are out there to help new pilots find employment?
Welcome to the forum and if you’ve been seeking around recently, you may have found a thread about what to do after the ACPP. The MOST COMMON way and “traditional way” (today) is instructing, but what raises my eyebrow is why are you only looking at ATP for instructing? A few reasons ATP would not select you as a candidate to go through INDOC is if you were in bad standing, multiple failed checkrides, poor performance background. However, MANY flight schools are looking for instructors, just without the perks of ATP.
There are other routes that you can do to build time such as aerial photography, firefighting, banner towing, etc. CFI is the most common; however, there are obviously other avenues, but this is a short list found under 14 CFR 119.1(e) :
As per finding employment, Google, Facebook, and Climbto350 are just a few ways of coming in contact with recruiters. I would also mentioned networking at your local FBO and making friends, acquiring business cards are also a few ways to meet employers.
Some people find another time building pilot to rent a plane and split the cost to build some extra hours to hit the 500 milestone.
Networking near local FBOs will also be important for finding those kind of niche jobs. Often times opportunities aren’t posted, simply travel through word of mouth.
You are encountering one of the many reasons that I always recommend that people build their tine via flight instructing. So many jobs do have the 500 hour requirement, usually for insurance purposes, but being a CFI does not.
Furthermore, being a CFI is by far the absolute best way to build your flight time. It cements your skills and will give you a wide range of experiences. Keep in mind that you do not need to be a CFI for ATP, many people chose to work at other flight schools to build their time, it is all just a personal decision.