Air Pilots, Flight Engineers, and Flying Instructors

(NOC 2271)

in All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Air pilots fly fixed wing aircraft and helicopters to provide air transportation and other services like crop spraying and aerial surveying. Flight engineers (second officers) help air pilots with monitoring, troubleshooting and maintenance of aircraft systems and with pre- and post-flight inspections. Flying instructors teach flying techniques and procedures to student and licensed pilots. Air pilots, flight engineers and flight instructors work for airline and air freight companies, flying schools and by other public and private sector aircraft operators.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 30 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

  • Estimate 705 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 2585 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline slightly over the next few years, which may affect the number of new opportunities available. With a moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Air Pilots, Flight Engineers, and Flying Instructors most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 71% of Air Pilots, Flight Engineers, and Flying Instructors who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $98,278. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

$35,301

Minimum

$109,875

Median

$203,606

Maximum

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Hourly Pay

$18.00

Minimum

$37.80

Median

$48.46

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,568

Minimum

$60,422

Median

$107,009

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Air pilots fly fixed wing aircraft and helicopters to provide air transportation and other services like crop spraying and aerial surveying. Flight engineers (second officers) help air pilots with monitoring, troubleshooting and maintenance of aircraft systems and with pre- and post-flight inspections. Flying instructors teach flying techniques and procedures to student and licensed pilots. Air pilots, flight engineers and flight instructors work for airline and air freight companies, flying schools and by other public and private sector aircraft operators.

Job duties

Air pilots:

  • Conduct pre-flight inspection of aircraft and check passenger and cargo distribution to make sure that weight and balance specifications are met.
  • Coordinate flight activities with ground crews and air-traffic control, inform crew members of flight and test procedures and direct activities of aircraft crew during flights.
  • Contact control towers for takeoff clearances, arrival instructions and other information.
  • Conduct in-flight tests and monitor functioning of aircraft equipment and systems during flights, maintain communications with flight dispatchers and weather forecasters and respond to and report in-flight emergencies and malfunctions.
  • Prepare flight evaluation reports.
  • Train pilots to use new equipment or prepare them for examinations to re-validate or upgrade existing licences.
  • May fly new or experimental planes to examine their flight performance and safety.
  • May participate in search and rescue operations, forest firefighting, aerial surveying, crop dusting and other services.

Flight engineers:

  • Inspect aircraft prior to takeoff according to pre-flight checklist and verify passenger and cargo distribution to ensure that weight and balance specifications are met.
  • Help air pilots monitor aircraft systems, equipment, and functions during flight.
  • Make in-flight repairs like replacing fuses and adjusting instruments and follow emergency procedures to compensate for equipment malfunction or failure.
  • Perform post-flight inspections, record equipment malfunctions and corrective actions taken during flight and report required repairs to ground maintenance personnel.

Flying instructors:

  • Instruct student pilots in procedures and techniques of flying aircraft and in ground-school subjects like navigation, radio procedures and flying regulations.
  • Train licensed pilots for additional certification.

Sample job titles

  • aerial sprayer
  • air pilot
  • airline transport pilot
  • airplane pilot
  • charter pilot
  • commercial airline pilot
  • flight engineer
  • flight instructor
  • helicopter pilot
  • pipeline air patrol pilot

Skills

You should have self-confidence and a strong sense of responsibility, and be a disciplined person able to work as part of the team on board the aircraft. Leadership qualities, initiative, and good communication skills are essential. You must be alert, quick-thinking, and able to perform under stress. Excellent coordination, agility, and physical and mental health are necessary. A mechanical aptitude is also important.

Job requirements

Pilots and flight engineers:

  • High school and graduation from a certified flying or aviation school are required.
  • A university degree or college diploma may be required.
  • A commercial pilot's licence or an air transport pilot's licence is required.
  • Additional licences or endorsements to fly different types of aircraft are required.
  • Flight engineers require a flight engineer licence issued by Transport Canada.
  • Structured training is provided by employers.

Flight instructors:

  • High school and graduation from a certified flying or aviation school are required.
  • A university degree or college diploma may be required.
  • A commercial pilot's or an air transport pilot's licence is required.
  • Transport Canada ratings and endorsements to provide instructions on different types of aircraft are required.

Other considerations

Helicopter operators are primarily restricted to the summer months. Employment levels are influenced by the amount of tourism activity and business travel, which both tend to vary with general economic conditions. Earnings will depend on the specific job, qualifications, and employer. Pilots who fly large jet aircraft generally earn the highest incomes, while those flying small aircraft on short domestic routes earn the least. People in these jobs usually work irregular hours including evenings, weekends, and holidays.

By the numbers

Quick look

490

employed in 2016

95.9%

employed full-time

4.1%

self employed

3.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
96.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
48.9

median age

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

25,875

employed in 2016

91.5%

employed full-time

7.6%

self employed

20.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
80%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
42.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

73.2%

Halifax

17.5%

Annapolis Valley

4.1%

North Shore

3.1%

Southern

2.1%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

77.9%

Transportation and warehousing

10.5%

Public administration

3.2%

Educational services

2.1%

Manufacturing

2.1%

Professional, scientific and technical services

What is the age of Employment?

37.0%

45-54

26.0%

35-44

16.0%

55-64

13.0%

25-34

5.0%

65+

2.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

24.2%

25-34

23.5%

45-54

23.4%

35-44

16.4%

55-64

7.7%

15-24

Top levels of education

57.1%

College Diploma

$98,560 median annual income
21.4%

High school

$99,570 median annual income
11.2%

Bachelor

$132,376 median annual income
7.1%

Trade Certification

N/A
2.0%

Diploma Below Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

33.1%

College Diploma

$59,986 median annual income
29.8%

Bachelor

$63,965 median annual income
11.9%

High school

$45,835 median annual income
9.9%

Master

$65,105 median annual income
6.9%

Trade Certification

$57,773 median annual income

Education & training

There is no information to display in this section

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Airline Transport Pilot

Not Provincially Regulated: This job may be regulated by a federal regulatory body.

Regulating body:
Transport Canada - Civil Aviation Services
45 Alderney Drive
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4K2
(800) 305-2059

Contacts

Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre
Halifax, NS
Air Transport Association of Canada
Ottawa, ON

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.