As a pilot, there are numerous opportunities for you to earn income outside of your regular salary. From flying freelance to starting your own aviation-related business, the possibilities are endless. In this post, we’ll share 10 proven ways to make money as a pilot.
1. Corporate Piloting
One of the most popular ways to earn extra income is by flying corporate jets or private aircraft for wealthy clients. This is not a job for new pilots, as they typically require significant experience and ratings for larger jet aircraft. However, if you have the necessary certifications and expertise, you can make a handsome sum.
2. Flight Instruction
Flight instruction is an excellent way to earn extra income as a pilot. With the growing demand for pilots, there is always a demand for flight instructors. You can work as a flight instructor on a part-time or full-time basis, depending on your availability. You can also focus on specific areas of instruction, such as tailwheel flying or instrument training.
3. Airline Pilot
If you’re a commercial airline pilot, you can also pick up additional shifts or take on part-time work during your off days. This can involve working with other airlines or flying general aviation aircraft.
4. Charter Piloting
Charter piloting involves flying passengers to various destinations on-demand. There are many charter companies that hire pilots on a per-flight or contract basis. This can be a great way to gain experience and build hours while earning money.
5. Agricultural Flying
Agricultural flying, also known as crop dusting or aerial application, involves flying low over fields to apply fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. While this type of flying may not be glamorous or realistic for everyone, agricultural flying can be a lucrative opportunity for those interested in it.
6. Banner Towing
Banner towing involves flying a plane with a banner behind it. You can earn money by towing advertisements or banners for special events. This is a part-time gig and can be an enjoyable way to earn extra income while practicing your flying skills.
7. Aerial Photography or Surveying
Aerial photography and surveying involve creating aerial maps and capturing images and videos from the air. You can work with real estate companies or other organizations that require aerial images. This can be a lucrative opportunity if you have experience in photography or surveying.
8. Ferry Flying
Ferry flying involves delivering aircraft from one location to another. This is a particularly good option for pilots who enjoy long-distance flights. As a ferry pilot, you can deliver airplanes for businesses or private owners, and there is always a demand for this type of work.
9. Flying for Flight Schools
If you hold a commercial pilot’s license, you can work with flight schools as an instructor or as a pilot on their flight line. You can also fly students for solo and dual training. This can be a great option for those who prefer a more structured working environment.
10. Aircraft Maintenance
If you have experience in aircraft maintenance, you can work on planes as a mechanic. This is a good option for pilots who want to stay involved in the aviation industry but don’t necessarily want to be flying all the time. As a mechanic, you can work for airlines, charter companies or general aviation operators.
In conclusion, there are many ways for pilots to earn extra income outside of their regular salary. Whether it’s corporate piloting, flight instruction, or aerial photography, these opportunities offer flexibility and a chance to do what you love while supplementing your income. So, whether you’re just starting out or you’re an experienced pilot, keep these options in mind!