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Summary Report for:
53-2012.00 - Commercial Pilots

Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-winged aircraft on nonscheduled air carrier routes, or helicopters. Requires Commercial Pilot certificate. Includes charter pilots with similar certification, and air ambulance and air tour pilots.

Sample of reported job titles: Pilot, Captain, First Officer, Line Pilot, Charter Pilot, Check Airman, Flight Operations Director, Helicopter Pilot, Commercial Helicopter Pilot, EMS Helicopter Pilot (Emergency Medical Service Helicopter Pilot)

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Check aircraft prior to flights to ensure that the engines, controls, instruments, and other systems are functioning properly.
  • Contact control towers for takeoff clearances, arrival instructions, and other information, using radio equipment.
  • Start engines, operate controls, and pilot airplanes to transport passengers, mail, or freight according to flight plans, regulations, and procedures.
  • Monitor engine operation, fuel consumption, and functioning of aircraft systems during flights.
  • Consider airport altitudes, outside temperatures, plane weights, and wind speeds and directions to calculate the speed needed to become airborne.
  • Order changes in fuel supplies, loads, routes, or schedules to ensure safety of flights.
  • Obtain and review data such as load weights, fuel supplies, weather conditions, and flight schedules to determine flight plans and identify needed changes.
  • Plan flights according to government and company regulations, using aeronautical charts and navigation instruments.
  • Use instrumentation to pilot aircraft when visibility is poor.
  • Check baggage or cargo to ensure that it has been loaded correctly.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Aircraft braking systems — Autobrakes; Pneumatic emergency brake systems; Power brake systems
Aircraft communication systems — Digital communications display units DCDU; High frequency HF radio communication systems; On-board intercom systems; Ultra high frequency UHF radio communication systems
Aircraft guidance systems — Automatic direction finder ADF radio systems; Distance measuring equipment DME; Local area augmentation system LAAS receivers; Microwave landing system MLS receivers
Aircraft warning systems — Airborne collision avoidance systems ACAS; Engine indicating and crew alerting systems EICAS; Ground proximity warning systems GPWS; Traffic alert and collision avoidance system TCAS
Flight computer systems — Air data computers; Autopilot systems; Flight director FD systems; Stability augmentation systems SAS

Technology used in this occupation:

Analytical or scientific software — Pilot Navigator Software Load Balance
Data base user interface and query software — Airline Pilots Daily Aviation Logs PPC; AirSmith FlightPrompt; AV8 software; Skylog Services Skylog Pro
Flight control software — Flight simulation software
Information retrieval or search software — AeroPlanner; Notam Development Group Airport Insight
Route navigation software — Navzilla

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Knowledge

Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

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Skills

Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Abilities

Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
Response Orientation — The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

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Work Activities

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Work Context

Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 95% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Freedom to Make Decisions — 81% responded “A lot of freedom.”
Frequency of Decision Making — 75% responded “Every day.”
In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 83% responded “Every day.”
Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 75% responded “Every day.”
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 69% responded “Very important results.”
Face-to-Face Discussions — 80% responded “Every day.”
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 52% responded “Extremely important.”
Time Pressure — 64% responded “Every day.”
Physical Proximity — 44% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
24   Post-secondary certificate Help
22   Some college, no degree

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses Find Apprenticeships

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Interests

Interest code: RIE

Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

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Work Styles

Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

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Work Values

Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2013) $74,470 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 38,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%) Average (8% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 14,400
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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