Nonflying jobs that lead to being noticed as a potential pilot

Any ambitious aviator is willing to do what is necessary to get a foot in the door. That said, there are definitely more efficient ways than others … What is there to be said about getting a scheduling job, or a flight planner, that would then garnish one’s way to being noticed as a pilot ( with or without experience)? In short, I’ve heard some have received the chance at the stick/yoke even after working some of these nonflying jobs.

I know few ramp agents move onto a pilot career, and also a lot of flight attendants. The most I’ve noticed are flight attendants.


Companies that need pilots hire pilots. It’s really that simple. This goes from your local flight school all the way to the airlines. If you’re making sandwiches at Bob’s Deli and Flight Academy, it doesn’t matter how well you slice the cheese, if they need an instructor they’re going to hire a licensed, well trained instructor. Period. While people in those positions often transition, they really have no leg up on anyone else.

If you’re truly an “ambitious aviator” and want a flying gig you need to get trained and build time and experience. To get a job as a pilot you have to be a pilot.


1 Like


While, of course, there are some outliers that have managed to network their way into an airplane, it is not considered an established segue into flight training. Nor is it the most efficient route.

What’s your situation now? Are you having a hard time finding the means to enroll in a flight training program? Or are you not in a place to do that right now and you’re just wondering if pursuing a non-flying job will pave a path to more opportunities?


Very insightful help from you gentlemen.

I’m a military pilot that has gone through SUPT with T-6, T-1, and KC-135 mission qual and have flown oceanic and deployments. I know flying. I just lack the hours, experiences and knowledge of the aviation industry from the civilian side. While mil experience is a perk I know that isn’t a guarantee, especially with my low hours. I’m not from ground zero, and I’m humble, but I’m a type of person that wants to see every angle. You have answered my question. Hit the ground running, strive to be a good CFI, build the hours and succeed.


Keep in mind that those ramp agents, flight attendants, etc that move into a pilot career do so because they take the leap of faith and go to flight school. Nobody looks at an agent loading bags or a flight attendant serving drinks and thinks “they would make a great pilot”, it just does not work that way. These people become pilots because they train to be pilots, build their hours and apply. Prior experience in some other facet of aviation really has very little to do with it.