Pilot makes ‘US News and World Report’s’ 100 Best Jobs of 2021

U.S. News looked at professions that topped the list for having “the largest projected number and percentage of openings from 2019 to 2029, as determined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.” From there, the organization considered several qualities of jobs in developing its rankings: “They pay well, challenge us year after year, match our talents and skills, aren’t too stressful, offer room to advance throughout our careers, and provide a satisfying work-life balance. Whether the position is in demand is also a consideration among job seekers.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks pilot careers into airline and commercial jobs, with commercial encompassing “unscheduled flights for corporations, wealthy individuals, aerial tours, charter flights, and pesticide application.”

According to U.S. News, in 2019 pilots in those jobs earned a median salary of $121,430, ranking it No. 14 in Best Paying Jobs. It also ranked No. 3 in Best Social Services Jobs in that the profession “is more of a calling than a choice and that helping people is one of the most rewarding parts.”

Based on a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projection of a 4.8-percent employment growth for pilots between 2019 and 2029, U.S. News estimates that 6,100 pilot jobs should open during that period.

Despite the current downturn in pilot demand because of the coronavirus pandemic, aviation industry experts concur that demand will return as pilots retire, change to other professions, and air travel returns to a normal level after the pandemic. Boeing predicts a need for 763,000 pilots worldwide between 2020 and 2039, and CAE, a Canadian simulator manufacturer, projected a need for 27,000 new pilots by the end of this year and 260,000 through 2029.

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