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An Aviation Career is absolutely rewarding. The quick growth rate displayed by the Aviation industry despite being hit badly by the recession is absolutely remarkable. There are various job opportunities in the aviation sector. The job opportunities after attaining your CPL (Commercial Pilot License) are not meagre. We will highlight some remarkably rewarding and interesting job opportunities once you become a CPL holder.

The government has estimated the requirement of about 1000 commercial pilots annually. About 900 CPLs were issued in 2021 to Cades from India to FTO.


What jobs can I have after getting a commercial pilot license (CPL)?

Once you have acquired the Commercial Pilot License the easiest way to get into a job in the airline is to contribute your hours and add onto them. There are n-numbers of ways in which a new Commercial Multi-IFR can get a job. The two diverging paths: one is working with ramp or docks and eventually transitioning into flights the other path is being employed as an instructor in case you have a knack towards teaching. This career line can also be extremely rewarding.

There are various other options that are open for you as well. You can become an agricultural Pilot, towing gliders, ferrying planes, instrument handling for the Cabin Crew and so on. Give a vivid thought as to what kind of job suits your aptitude, need, interests and personality. If you think you are interested in teaching you can easily become an instructor with an instructing rating and teach for a few years. The skills and attitude you acquire over the years also makes you suitable for certain job purposes.

After the completion of your training as a certified flight instructor, you can become a trainer in any renowned flying school.

You can prepare for ATPL and take a time frame of 5 years in hand. DCGA states a few requirements for the eligibility to get an ATPL. Once you have gotten your CPL, you become eligible for ATPL (Airline Pilot Transport License). This process takes quite a while to complete. One has to complete atleast 250 hours of flight time as Pilot-in-Command or as Co-pilot under supervision. There are other extensive requirements too for getting an ATPL license: 500 hours of cross country flight, a hundred hours of night flight time, and atleast 20 hours of flight time completion preceding the application for the ATPL. You can fulfil these criterion only once you have your CPL.

The difference between CPL and ATPL is that with a CPL you can act as a pilot in command for a small aircraft while ATPL guarantees you to operate as a Captain/PIC.
You can easily start off as a ground instructor and slowly climb the ladder of success.
Incase you could not bag a job in Airline as a pilot, you can join in as Cabin Crew for any airline: become a Flight dispatcher, ATC operator, radio controller and gain some experience also some clarity as to what line you want to proceed towards, eventually after a year or so you can apply for the job of a pilot. Having worked as aforementioned you might even get some priority.

Here is a list of career options/paths if you hold a CPL:

  • Airline Pilot
  • Charter/Air Taxi Pilot
  • Agricultural Pilot
  • Cargo Pilot
  • Medical Ambulance Pilot
  • Corporate Aviation Pilot
  • Co-Pilot
  • Flight Instructor 
  • Commuter Pilot
  • First Officer
  • Experimental Test Pilot
  • Captain

Airline Pilot:
Now, let us first talk about the first job opportunity: Airline Pilot. DGCA permits students to become the Pilot in Command of an aircraft and also get a decent salary for it. Once you have your Commercial Pilot License (CPL), you can take to flying single and multi-engine airplanes. You are even eligible for acting as a co-pilot in an aircraft. While you are trained for your CPL, it teaches you about how to operate in the air, aircraft testing, skill tests and various set of exams are conducted for the completion of the process.

After attaining the CPL, the candidate now becomes eligible for governed or private airlines with just 6months -1 year of training. They are paid good salary as a pilot. A Pilot who has successfully gotten their CPL (Commercial Pilot License) is now eligible to undergo advanced training ATPL (Airline Pilot Transport License).

Flight Instructors:
Incase you want to become a Flight Instructor, you have to go through a training course namely Certified Flight instructor rating to become eligible to instruct and train newbie pilots and work as an AFI (Associate Flight Instructor). Apart from the licenses, to become a Flight Instructor can be a demanding job. You will meet a number of students throughout, your theoretical explanation of concepts and description of flying manoeuvres should be in a way that it is comprehensible by each child, even for those who have a different learning style.
Airlines find it highly attractive when pilots also have an experience in teaching, this is so because they usually have more pilot in command time and flying experiences that helps them become a captain in a comparatively shorter time duration. 
With time and experience gained as an instructor, you will also be able to level up your license for teaching complex methods in aviation: multi-engine training, instrument training and also you could instruct other flight instructors. It is a decent and well-paying job.

Pilot for the Defence Forces:
You can work for Defence Forces like Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard: After a whole procedural training under the best pilots and instructors, after gaining your CPL you can apply for Defence forces. Once you work under these establishments you will be equipped with top notch piloting skills and a worthwhile experience. You can also fly some of the best aircrafts that is a dream of any Pilot. After 10-14 years of service, you can easily get into any airline and work as a commercial pilot or so on.
Job opportunities in aviation is lucrative if you have extensively listed career options for yourself and are willing to try and gain experience beyond your chosen lines. Whilst thousands dream of becoming a pilot, the choice of career remains quite narrow. It is either to complete a training program and become a First Officer or a commercial pilot. 
We shall also name a few career options that will help you gain some experience for a  aspiring pilot who has freshly attained their CPL.
You have to keep one thing in mind, the Aviation industry does value your dedicates hours and experience, but if you have newly gotten your CPL, there are ways through which you can gain experience. You can easily target Cargo flights or become a Ferry pilot. These jobs are relatively easy picks and can be considered as a stepping stone towards to larger Aviation dreams, you will gather skills and gain experience.

Commercial Pilots:
If you want to become a commercial pilot, the DCGA curriculum strictly assigns 200 hours of flying. A whole training programs is conducted. Beyond CPL training, there are few theoretical exams held by DCGA to become a commercial pilot.

Business Jet Pilots:
Business jet pilots handle medium sized jet aircrafts and are dedicated towards the course of action of their trips. Their work include: filing flight plans, arrangement for ground transportation at the destination etc. This job is comparatively relaxed as they majorly wait for their customers to come back from their business meetings and flying them back and forth as per their need. 
They should be highly flexible and effective. They can explore various locations and destinations during their flights. This job is pretty exciting.

Freight/ Cargo Pilots:
Cargo transportation across the globe is handled by freight pilots. These pilots have to be extremely careful with the cargo being loaded: the type of cargo, the weight or load of the cargo, on board. 
This job can be really good for people who are usually a night person because Cargo pilots majorly operate during the night.

Air Ambulance: 
An air ambulance pilot is an important job for an individual because there are times when the operations can be extremely demanding and complex and various factors and challenges for the pilot to overcome. Also, as an air Ambulance Pilot, their contribution is accounted for a huge service to the society. These pilots are responsible for working under extreme pressure, from delivering trauma teams to critical patients or to attend to emergencies or emergency evacuation. This job can feel extremely rewarding both monetarily and psychologically.

Aerial Fire Fighting:
Aerial fire fighting is a daredevils business, from flying air tankers and water bombers to tackling wildfires from the air it is a dynamic combination of a fireman and a pilot. Wildfires turn nature and timing against the crew, to become an aerial Fire fighter you need the agility, techniques and effectiveness.

Long Distance Ferry Flying:
If you are someone who is out there to seek some adventure, ferry flying can be a great option for you. Ferrying stands for transporting an airplane to a new base or owner. Small planes fly greater distances than usual. Planes usually need to be transported for maintenance and then given to the buyer. Most airlines require a Ferry pilot and you can also work with the Indian army by becoming a Ferry pilot. It is a dream job for anyone who loves traveling. Therefore, Long distance Ferry flying can be an interesting job opportunity.