What are pilots like?

Hi there. I am a school teacher considering a career change. I’m curious about what to expect if I join this industry. Each industry attracts certain kinds of people: I’ve found that the teaching profession, for example, tends to attract people who have big hearts, but also people who are not professionally ambitious. Car salesmen tend to have certain qualities (stereotypically, at least), as do politicians, graphic designers, stage managers… you get the idea.

So, what are pilots like? I know the short answer is “all kinds of people become pilots”-- there is no “personality test” in flight school. But are there any broad generalizations that can be made about the personal qualities of pilots?



I’m sorry, but I studied and teach Human Factors and there is no single pilot personality. Different people become pilots for many reasons and I’ve met and flown with people who literally fall into every single category and personality type. What you can expect is to fly with people with very varied backgrounds. Some you’ll love and some you won’t. The good news is you’re seldom stuck with anyone more than a few days.