Is pilot a good job for female?
Why Women Should Pursue Their Pilot Career?
If you find yourself pondering the question, ‘Can a woman be a pilot?’, I have compiled a list of reasons why women should pursue their pilot careers and break all the stereotypes around it.
This blog is composed of a list of reasons why women should pursue their pilot career. Whether you are considering a career change or have always had a passion for aviation, these reasons will show you why more women should become pilots.
To give you an idea of the evolution of women pilots, I will share a few historical women aviators. This will give you an idea where women’s aviation history began, and the barriers that prevented more females from entering the aviation world. Then I will talk about 8 reasons why women should purse their professional pilot careers from pilot demand statistics to personal enjoyment.
Can women be pilots?
Blanche Scott was the first female to fly in 1910 when the plane she was allowed to taxi became airborne.
Raymonde de Laroche was a French pilot who became France’s first female pilot in 1910.
Harriet Quimby also became America’s first licensed female pilot in 1911.
Anne-Marie Jansen was the first female fighter pilot in 1997.
Else Haugk became the first Swiss woman to earn a pilot’s license in May of 1914.
These are the names of a few female pilots who made a mark in women’s aviation history. As time passed, more and more women have become professional pilots and joined the the growing number of women in aviation.
Since 1907, women have been flying powered aircraft, but most of them were limited to working in private sector jobs before 1970. For a long time, a male pilot faced less restrictions and discrimination than his female counterparts.
Women who overcame these barriers and found success in various aerospace industries have become role models and helped younger generations of women continue to advance their careers.
8 Reasons Why Women Should Pursue Their Pilot Career
Demand for Female Pilots
In 1960, female pilots only made up 3.6% of all pilots worldwide. Today, that percentage is close to 9%. While this increase is an improvement, it is not increasing fast enough.
Historically, aviation careers were seen as essential only for men to take on. The reason behind this belief is the fact that the aviation industry was not gender diverse and kept women sidelined to positions outside of the cockpit.
Today, these views have drastically changed and more companies are looking to add women to their flight crew. More operators are advocating for gender equality by bringing in more female commercial pilots and straying away from the idea that women can only be flight attendants.
Malori Wagner, helicopter admissions and business development manager, speaks about her experience encountering the demand for more pilots today: «Our team attended HAI Heli Expo 2022 and noticed that there are more jobs than ever for helicopter pilots right now. If you are thinking about becoming a helicopter pilot, the time is now and the jobs are there.»
More and more companies are seeking women to fill positions in management, flight instruction, air traffic control, and as commercial pilots.
Fill the Pilot Shortage Gap
Every year the demand for pilots is growing and the airline industry in particular is feeling that pressure. The number of new pilots is not keeping up with the anticipated demand.
Going back to the ratio of male to female pilots, there is huge difference. The industry has been working to address the pilot shortage for years but most of these pilot positions are being filled by male pilots.
This is where women come into action. As we see, there is a demand for females in the aviation sector and a demand for pilots in general. This industry needs more women to pursue their pilot career and take over the controls.
Airlines have not been the only ones effected by the pilot shortage. There has been a pilot shortage since 2018 for in the helicopter industry. Recently, this shortage has gotten worse.
Pursing a flying career can put you on the past to job security. There are many positions that need to be filled now and in the years to come just waiting for women to take that step into the aviation field.
As I just mentioned, job security is a huge reason to become a pilot. While commercial airline pilots are the first thing that come to mind when hearing the word pilot, there is an endless amount of diverse job opportunities in various industry segments that a pilot can pursue.
If you’re looking to become an airplane pilot, some possible jobs include cargo pilot, charter pilot, test pilot, agricultural pilot, and even firefighter pilots. As long as you reach the minimum hours required for these positions, your possibilities are endless.
On the other hand, if you’re more intrigued in flying helicopters, then the list is just as long. Some available jobs would be tour guide pilot, EMS pilot, utility pilot, firefighter pilot, and search and rescue pilot.
The qualification for most pilot jobs is holding a medical certificate, commercial pilot license and reaching a certain number of flight hours per the job type.
Just like trade jobs, for years this field was very male dominated and not many women thought of entering the world of aviation. In the last several years, more women have been joining the trades and recognizing large job opportunities within these fields. In the same regard, more women are joining the aviation industry and opening themselves up to a whole new world of job opportunities.
If you’re looking for more flexibility between work and your personal life, aviation will fit right into a list of careers that offer this balance. Being a pilot comes with a flexible schedule over a fixed daily schedule.
The balance between work and free time comes with a variety of jobs you find in the aviation industry. However, if you’re trying to avoid a typical 9-5 job working 5 days a week, pursuing your pilot career will fit that criteria.
Being a female pilot with a flexible schedule can be beneficial in all sorts of ways. If you have a family or are planning to have a family, having a flexible work schedule gives you more time to spend with them.
If you’re loving the flexible schedule aspect, but going to a major airline is not a goal of yours, remember, aviation is filled with diverse jobs for both airplane and helicopter pilots.
Helicopter pilots have more flexibility with numerous different job types. EMS, tours, and search and rescue are possibilities for female pilots in their career.
Getting your commercial pilots license will give you a general day-to-day flexible schedule, but it is also widely flexible depending on the type of job you pursue.
Women Welcoming Aviation Communities
Women’s community groups for professional female pilots is growing by the day.
In order to have more females feel welcomed, Women in Aviation International dedicates their focus to providing year round resources for women in any sort of aviation field. This non-profit organization was founded in 1994 to serve women in aviation and help them have a better experience in the field.
Women interested in becoming a professional helicopter pilot have the opportunity to become a Whirly Girl. This international women helicopter pilot group focuses on helicopter mentoring and sharing events to encourage networking between women pilots.
Both non-profit organizations were created to bring awareness to the growing number of women pilots and provide an amazing community from the beginning of flight training throughout a women’s professional pilot career.
There are many more groups available online and organized within flight schools themselves. At Hillsboro Aero Academy, we are seeing a growing number of women aviators that are starting their flight training journey or joining our staff. These are great ways to get your pilot career started off with hundreds of others who share a similar interest in aviation and getting involved with a supportive community.
It is well known that studying aviation is costly due to the expense of aircraft costs for training, so it is important that there are funding options available to students can stay focused on their training.
There are many scholarships being offered right now for women who are considering pursuing their aviation careers and for those currently training. Some groups like WAI have their own scholarships to help women financially through pilot training.
Scholarships like these are being funded specifically for women pilots to motivate them and help more females get through their pilot training and dive into the amazing world of aviation.
You can also find more scholarships advocating for female pilots on the Aviation Scholarships website from the Federal Aviation Administration.
If you’ve always dreamed of traveling, becoming a professional pilot will combine both your dreams of traveling and flight. You will be exposed to endless travel opportunities as a pilot.
Many airline companies provide hotel stays for their pilots once they have arrived to their destination, if they are needing to stay overnight. Depending on your next flight, this gives pilots the freedom to explore the current destination.
This cuts down on travel costs from airline tickets to hotel stays. With those two factors cut out, the cost of the trip drops drastically and instead, you’re essentially getting paid to travel! You can’t beat that.
Now this does not mean you will only be able to travel while on a shift. Another perk of being a professional airline pilot is the discount on airline tickets. Depending on your destination and the airline you’re flying with, more often than not, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of expense.
This also opens up an opportunity to experience different cultures. Being a pilot will expose you to many people from all around the world. Having the off days between flights in another place allows you to experience the people and culture in your current destination.
Unique Work Environment
No matter where you are flying, you’ll get to see the world from a unique perspective.
Unlike other jobs that may tie you down to the same building or office, you’ll have an office in the clouds with forever changing scenery.
When our Talent Acquisition Manager, Ashley Souza, was asked why she pursed her pilot certificate she mentioned that a big reason was for her love of flight, » I fly for rainbows, the sunsets, the sunrises — for the freedom and adventure.»
Whether you chose to join the airline industry or be an EMS pilot, you’ll often have the opportunity to fly somewhere new.
Where can you find a flight school for female pilots?
At Hillsboro Aero Academy, we welcome all women from around the world and strive to help more females become pilots and join the world of women in aviation. As a flight school, our mission is turning your dream of flight into a rewarding career. We offer professional pilot flight training from private pilot through certified flight instructor. If you are interested in learning more about flight training, you can click here to join the airplane webinar or click here to join the helicopter webinar. If you have any questions or want to get in touch with our admissions team, you can reach out to 1.503.726.3000 or email@example.com.
What It’s Really Like Being A Female Pilot
Maria Pettersson, a Swedish-born, Europe-based pilot who’s not only risen through the ranks regardless of her gender, but has also cultivated a prominent social media presence through her work and travels. Here, Maria talks about the process of becoming a pilot, the best and worst parts of her job and her burgeoning social media presence.
I wanted to be a vet when I was young. Until I realised that I couldn’t save every animal. Then I wanted to be a pop star, but I’m not very good at singing, so I’m glad I became a pilot.
My first job was selling hot dogs… It was at a local car bingo kiosk when I was about 12. Since then I’ve worked as a teacher, a waitress, crew coordinator and now, obviously, a pilot. As long as you work hard and show interest in what you’re doing you’ll stand out in any job.
I started studying psychology at university but soon realised it wasn’t for me… I’ve taken a course in environmental science and that really interested me – it’s a field I’d like to learn more about. In Europe you don’t have to have a university degree to start your pilot training, however, that might differ from other parts of the world.
I wanted to be a pilot because… I’ve always loved travel and I wanted to go into a profession that would let me carry on travelling. To become a pilot, you have to do a lot of pilot training. It takes about a year and a half to two years if you do it full-time. I did my training in Sweden. It was very expensive – to get your licenses in Europe costs between €60k – €80k. And that was in 2010 when I did my training, so that price is probably even higher today.
The proudest moment in my career was getting that call… I was so proud when they called me back after my pilot interview and told me that I’d passed. I never had a ‘Plan B’ career – I don’t work with Plan Bs. I set my mind to something and I make sure I do everything I can to get it done.
The biggest obstacle in my career came after I finished my pilot training… It was a very difficult time, applying to what felt like every airline in the world without hearing anything back. To keep motivation during those times was hard.
A day for me starts at 3.30am… If I’m flying. I wash my face, have a shower and do my morning stretch routine. If time allows, I also like to get 15 minutes of meditation in, but unfortunately, I don’t always have time for that. I drink a lot of water and a coffee before I head to the airport. I normally eat some fruit before we head to the airplane, after our morning briefing with the flight attendants. Then I usually have a proper breakfast on the plane once we have reached cruising flight level.
On the plane, there’s no room for errors… We learn from mistakes all the time, but I’ve never made any mistakes on the plane that have affected the safety of the passengers. But, of course, sometimes you don’t land as smoothly as you’d like, and you learn from that to do a better job next time. I fly with a different crew all the time. Who you fly with depends on where your base is and how big it is. I’m based in London, and it’s rare to fly with the same Captain and flight attendants twice. My regular flight route takes me to Europe and some parts of North Africa, mostly.
I’ve never faced prejudice as a female pilot… Perhaps surprisingly, I’ve never felt that I’ve been treated differently by or to my male colleagues. If anything, it has all been rather positive – most passengers seem happy when they find out there’s a female pilot up front. When I was based in Sicily, passengers would stick their head into flight deck and say ‘complimente’ which means something like ‘my compliments to you’.
I love cultivating my own personal on social media… I love sharing my stories, tips and tricks that can hopefully help someone else, whether they’re a traveller or wanting to become a pilot. I try to mentor people through my social media. Even if I don’t have time to sit down and personally talk with each and every person, I hope that my posts and my blog can mentor and inspire others.
Us female pilots stick together… I know other female pilots through social media and have met plenty in person. I’m not sure there’s anything in particular that makes us stick together more than with our male colleagues, but I do like to follow other female pilot Instagram accounts around the world (but I do follow male pilots, too).
I have a pretty balanced work/life schedule… On average I work roughly 10 hours a day, but some days are longer or shorter depending on the flight time. I get to see my friends and travel on my ‘off’ days. I unwind from a day at work with a workout and a nap!
I don’t tend to live out of a suitcase… We don’t do overlays or night stops with the airline I fly for, so I always get to come home to my own bed at night. That’s not the same for every airline, though – if we did do night stopovers , I can imagine that becoming quite hard. Although, I have travelled and backpacked since I was 19 years old, so to be on the go is more normal to me than being stuck in the same spot for too long.
The most stressful part of my job is the early start… Especially if the night before, you’re lying in bed awake at 7pm and stressing about not being able to fall asleep. The job of a pilot itself is not actually a very stressful job – the autopilots are flying the plane, and we program and monitor the systems to make sure they’re doing what we programmed them to do. Aircrafts today are so advanced and well-designed that it allows us to also enjoy the view whilst we’re up in the skies.
If I were to give one piece of advice to aspiring female pilots it would be… To always believe in yourself. Pilot training can be tough – it’s a lot to learn, but once you get through it, you’ll have the best job in the world. Try to enjoy is, especially the flying part of your training. Don’t compare yourself to your classmates if they go solo before you do, or if your landings are the best yet – you will get there.
See more from Maria on her Instagram @pilotmaria.
I’m a female pilot at JSX — a trendy air carrier with private-jet convenience. Here’s what my job is like.
Email icon An envelope. It indicates the ability to send an email.
Share icon An curved arrow pointing right.
Twitter icon A stylized bird with an open mouth, tweeting.
Twitter LinkedIn icon The word «in».
LinkedIn Fliboard icon A stylized letter F.
Flipboard Facebook Icon The letter F.
Facebook Email icon An envelope. It indicates the ability to send an email.
Email Link icon An image of a chain link. It symobilizes a website link url.
- Amelia Kucharski is a pilot for JSX, a trendy new airline that provides private-jet convenience.
- Kucharski said she feels lucky «every single day» to take off from her California base for an «equally beautiful destination.»
- This is her story, as told to writer Jamie Killin.
Insider recommends waking up with Morning Brew , a daily newsletter.
Loading Something is loading.
Thanks for signing up!
Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you’re on the go. download the app
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Amelia Kucharski, a California-based pilot for JSX. It has been edited for length and clarity.
I’m a pilot with JSX — a trendy, up-and-coming air carrier that provides clients with private-jet convenience. The company has recently seen significant growth, and it announced new East Coast routes in October.
I’ve never worked for a commercial airline, but I’ve been working in aviation-related jobs since I first fell in love with the idea of flying for a career. From refueling aircraft as a ramper to dispatching and coordinating flights, I made sure I was somehow involved in the aviation world.
While working toward my certificates, I worked a variety of jobs until I became a certified flight instructor and started teaching at US Aviators out of Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles, which is also where I completed the majority of my training. I loved instructing, but I was eager to move forward in my career, so I started exploring other opportunities.
JSX is a ‘hop-on jet’ service for customers who want the convenience of private air travel
When I found JSX, I was in Concord, California, looking to fly home to Burbank. I had no knowledge of its existence prior to that flight. I felt I’d stumbled upon someone’s best-kept secret.
JSX started in April of 2016, and I joined in April of 2018.
A luxury jet configured to take everyday passengers to their destination with no hassle? Same amount of security as a regular airline but no line to wait in? I started wondering what it would be like to work for the company, and a seed was planted. When I started pursuing my future career goals, JSX was the first place I applied. I was fortunate enough not to have to look any further, and they hired me on as a pilot. I was thrilled.
I think anyone can be a pilot, but it takes a certain personality to actually pursue it
I love going to work with a like-minded group of people, and it’s rewarding on a daily basis to be a part of this ever-changing industry.
It’s almost like you join a club on your first flight, and there’s a wealth of support around you — especially if you seek it out. There are so many avenues one can take as a pilot, and for everyone, there’s probably a pilot group or organization to help lead you.
With a private-style plane service, customer interactions and expectations change
I think JSX is in higher demand right now because it offers a unique experience that no other air carrier offers. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, people were drawn to JSX because of its hop-on experience. Due to COVID-19, we now have customers who want to feel secure in their travel, and our crowd-free operation is already set up to provide that.
Thankfully, I haven’t experienced many difficult customers or coworkers. My coworkers and I are always looking out for each other, and I think that emanates from our crew members to our customers.
For example, I never dreamed, especially in the aviation realm, that I would have a customer — or several, for that matter — thank our crew for a delay. We were getting our plane pushed back when we blew a tire. The other pilot and I discussed it, and we decided to have the maintenance team check that everything was OK.
This turned into almost a two-hour delay, but when customers boarded again, more than half of them thanked us personally for taking the time and ensuring their safety.
I think when the customers are relaxed at the start, it makes issues more tolerable
I think there were many factors that resulted in such a response to that particular delay, but first and foremost is that our customers are relaxed getting to the airplane. They don’t have to wait through long lines or deal with complicated parking, and they don’t have to navigate and rush to find their gate.
Then, if something does unfortunately occur to cause a delay, they get to go back to a crowd-free lounge to wait it out. No one likes to be late, pilots included, but uncontrollable factors such as weather or maintenance issues inevitably happen.
Making my rounds from the valet to the airport service concierge, to the line crew, to our maintenance techs, and to my fellow pilots and flight attendants, I realize how lucky I am to be working for such an incredible company with such an incredible team. All of us working together like clockwork making the magic of flight happen.
Then on top of that, I get to sit in an office on wheels and take off from Burbank on an always beautiful morning, overlooking my hometown en route to some equally beautiful destination. I feel lucky every single day.