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Five Ideal Positions for Low-Time Pilots

At, we have our finger on the pulse, boots on the ground in the aviation industry. We are constantly talking with all types of pilots, including low-time pilots, advising them on their career path and options. And, we've been in the aviation biz a long time, so we know what works.

The Bottom Line for Low-Time Pilots: Network, Network, Network

If you read no further, we need you to know as a low-time pilot, if you’d like to be gainfully employed in aviation with a flying job, “networking” is now your middle name. We’re providing a list of five ideal jobs for you as a low-time pilot below. But to get any of these jobs, the onus is on you. Use your networking skills. Become an investigator. Many times, companies like these won’t publicly advertise their jobs. You need to research companies and aviation departments in your area that do this type of flying. Then, be there, network and monitor those companies. We’re including more job search strategies below, so read on for those.

Here are the Top Five Pilot Jobs we recommend for Low-Hour Pilots:

  1. Flight Instruction. You can get hired as a flight instructor with a brand new CFI certificate and zero hours of dual. Flight schools have a continual need for instructors. The increased competition in today's market means pay rates have increased substantially. This is the perfect job for a pilot with a young family who would like to stay close to home. Find our instructor pilot jobs here.
  2. Banner Flying. Banner flying, also called "banner towing" requires a special kind of pilot, someone who's available typically 24/7 and willing to put in the extra work. You'll spend up to 8 hours a day flying low and slow around the same routes over and over. But if you see your future in flying, this is a way to put in your time and build 1,000 hours in a year.
  3. Pipeline Patrol. Many power transmission lines run through mountainous regions where water sources and dams produce electrical power. Pipeline patrol pilots fly light aircraft over all kinds of terrain, frequently at low levels, wherever electrical power transmission lines or oil and gas pipelines exist. The typical employment arrangement: you'll work for a flight department contracted by an oil pipeline or electric power company.
  4. Jump Pilot. If you're looking for a less serious job, a jump pilot position might be for you. Pilots who love scenic views and recreation - or who are into skydiving themselves - are are especially well-qualified to fly as jump pilots, .
  5. Part 135 (Charter). Opportunities abound for pilots who want to build experience at a Part 135 (Charter) Air Carrier. These companies offer the opportunity to fly often (a.k.a. a very full schedule), but have travel benefits and jumpseat privileges, sometimes allowing you to sit in the cockpit of larger airlines. View our Part 135 (Charter) pilot jobs here.

Please note: some recommend Part 91 (privately owned aircraft) for a low-time pilot. But at BizJetJobs, we don't recommend you go after these types of jobs as a pilot with fewer than 2,000 hours. Part 91 jobs are typically targeted for very seasoned, very experienced pilots. Two to three thousand hours is considered "entry-level" for these types of jobs.

Low-Time Job Search Tips

To find all low-time pilot jobs on our job board, navigate to Job Board > Position > Low Hours as shown here:

Our Flight Department Directory, searchable by location and full of points of contact like Chief Pilots, is a great place to start. To access, click Flight Departments (shown above) and search your geography of interest:

You can also research past (closed) jobs for your target job title or keyword on BizJetJobs using the search bar as shown below. Scroll to the bottom of any Pilot Jobs page and type a keyword unique to your desired job into the Search bar - in our example, "pipeline." You'll see both currently open and past jobs. Even if the job is old or filled, you can use the information you find to start networking with these organizations now. Chances are, they have an opening they’re not advertising, or they’ll have an opening in the near future. If you really want to fly for them, consider taking an administrative job to get your foot in the door.

Low-Time Pilot Job Advice Hotline

Wondering what to do as you look for work as a low-time pilot? BizJetJobs offers custom pilot job advice by phone to help inform your pilot career strategy. We've been advising top pilots during 2002, and we provide real time insights, up-to-date pilot job market information and next move strategies.

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