What Does A Commercial Pilot Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Alyssa OmandacCareer, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Commercial Pilots

Commercial Pilots navigate aircraft for charter companies, firefighting, skydiving, crop dusting, and other industries. They cannot fly for major airlines, but they can continue getting flight hours to earn an Airline Pilot license later on.

Interest Match

Commercial Pilots fly airplanes for charter flights, rescue operations, aerial photography, crop dusting, and firefighting. They get paid to fly, but they do not have the credentials to be an Airline Pilot who flies for Major Airlines. They can also operate skydiving aircraft and become flight instructors.

In addition to flying the planes, Commercial Pilots need to check the systems on the aircraft before takeoff and upon landing and confer with Air Traffic Controllers. Charter pilots may have additional responsibilities. A commercial pilot only needs a high school diploma, but to continue to an Airline Pilot license, a Bachelor’s Degree is necessary.

What they do

Commercial Pilots navigate aircraft for charter companies, firefighting, skydiving, crop dusting, and other industries. They cannot fly for major airlines, but they can continue getting flight hours to earn an Airline Pilot license later on.

Fly Planes

The main responsibility of Commercial Pilots is to fly planes They fly for rescue operations, charter flights, aerial photography, firefighting, and other industries. Pilots usually start their careers as Commercial Pilots because any pilot who is paid to fly must start with this license. For most aircraft, two pilots will make up the crew in the cockpit. The more experienced pilot is normally the Captain, while the other is the First Officer. 

The most difficult part of flying is the takeoff and landing, and the Captain usually does this. Then, while they are up in the air, the Captain and the First Officer take turns flying. On very small planes, there will only be one pilot who will do all of the flying.

Preflight Checks

Another responsibility of Commercial Pilots is to perform preflight checks. There is a specific set of preflight checks on engines, hydraulics, and other systems. They need to make sure that the aircraft is safe for takeoff, and they will go over the major systems on the aircraft. It is up to them to make sure that the cargo and any baggage is loaded properly as well. Finally, they will speak to the air traffic controllers to get updates about the weather and confirm the flight route.

Communicate with Air Traffic Control and Monitor Warning Devices

Commercial Pilots need to communicate with air traffic controllers and flight dispatchers. They will coordinate their actions using this information. The warning devices will detect sudden changes in the wind patterns, and the pilot needs to be able to react immediately. They have to pay close attention and monitor warning devices and communicate with air traffic control to make sure that everything goes smoothly.

Schedule Flights, Arrange for Maintenance, and Load Luggage and Supplies

Commercial Pilots fly smaller aircraft, and they usually work as firefighters, crop dusters, charter flight pilots, and more. They will often need to schedule flights, arrange for maintenance for the aircraft, and load the supplies and luggage so that the plane is balanced.

What is the job like


You can earn a good living

The salary for a Commercial Pilot is great for an entry level job. You can work toward earning a better living by getting the hours and experience necessary to earn the next level Pilot license.

You get to fly airplanes

If you enjoy flying airplanes, this is a great job where you can fly every day and get paid to do it.

You get to leave work at work

When you go home from work, you don’t have to think about it until you return the next day. You can enjoy your time off.

You can travel for free

When you are a pilot, you can often travel for free. This is a great perk to this job.


It is expensive to become a pilot

Commercial Pilot training costs a lot of money. You need to learn how to fly, and then you train. It can be fairly expensive to get through the training and experience you need to get your Commercial Pilot license.

You have to stay in good health and fitness

Commercial Pilots have to pass medical tests regularly, and failing one can sideline you. It is important to stay healthy.

Where they work

Crop dusting
Delivery companies

Commercial Pilots work for companies that need pilots for various jobs. They cannot work as Pilots for major airline carriers, but they can fly planes for firefighting, crop dusting, aerial photography, and charter flights. They can also work for flight schools, hospitals, and delivery companies. In some circumstances, Commercial Pilots will need to spend time away from home for a few days at a time. These are all factors to consider when looking for a job.

How to become one

Step 1: Become Eligible for the License

There are several requirements, and you need to know them. You have to be 18, and you must read, write, understand, and speak English. Once you meet these basic requirements, you need to focus on earning your Commercial Pilot license.

Step 2: Get a Second Class Medical Certificate

If you want to become a Commercial Pilot, you will need to get a Second Class Medical Certificate. You should take care of this right away to make sure that you pass the health and fitness requirements before you put time into earning the license.

Step 3: Take the FAA Written Exam

You have to pass an FAA written exam for this license, so it is a good idea to take it early in your training before you spend a lot of money on the flight hours.

Step 4: Earn Your Commercial Pilot License

You will need at least 250 hours of flying experience to earn your Commercial Pilot license. You have to start with 100 hours of pilot in command time and 50 hours of cross country flying. You will also need a minimum of 10 hours of instrument training and 10 hours of complex aircraft. Then, you will take a checkride and earn your license.

Step 5: Get a Job

Once you have your Commercial Pilot license, you can start applying for jobs. There are a lot of different types of jobs out there, and it is competitive. You should start applying for jobs right away.

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

You can read more about these career personality types here.

If you want to be a Commercial Pilot, you will need excellent communication skills. You will communicate with the second pilot on flights, aircraft control, and clients. Commercial Pilots also have situational awareness of the environment, what is around them, the airplane, and the system. They are friendly and get along well with other people. They are decisive and think quickly on their feet. They need to have composure and stay calm, and they have confidence, positive attitude, and self-discipline. They also have leadership skills.

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