Pilots fly light planes, helicopters or airline aircraft depending on the aircraft type they are approved to fly. They may transport passengers, mail and freight within Australia or internationally on scheduled flights or charter services.

Where pilots are employed

Major employers include commercial airline companies, agricultural services, aerial surveying services, aeromedical services such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service and government agencies such as the police, forests and national parks and Customs Coastwatch.


Full-time pilots in South Australia generally earn more than $1,600 per week.

Pay cale for pilots

Job prospects

There is considerable competition for all types of employment for pilots, particularly with commercial airlines. In 2011 there were 288 people employed full-time as pilots in South Australia compared with 207 in 2006.

How to become one

To become a pilot you must obtain licences involving practical and theoretical training. The practical component is undertaken with a qualified pilot or instructor, with flight training available from private flight training schools. Check the Civil Aviation Safety Authority website to find private flying schools in South Australia.

You can do a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification in aviation, air transport or aeronautics or a degree in aviation, aviation technology or science, majoring in aviation. At school consider doing English, physics and maths. Check for course prerequisites. Ask your career adviser about starting this training at school.

See courses related to this occupation.

For more information see traineeships

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Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information.

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