Flight Safety Training: Program Overview

Flight training safety programs help provide preparation for airline pilots and commercial pilots. Find out about the requirements of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for flight safety training program graduates.

Flight safety training programs are offered through flight schools. These programs provide an understanding of aviation safety, emergency response, and health and aviation law.

Essential Information

Airplane pilots are required to operate extremely expensive machinery and transport people and cargo safely. They must also know what to do in emergencies and crises. For this reason, pilot training programs typically involve courses related to flight safety. Aspiring airline pilots should complete bachelor's degree programs and have FAA pilot's licenses, whereas commercial pilots require a high school diploma, an FAA pilot's license and an instrument rating.

Career Titles Airline Pilots Commercial Pilots
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree High school diploma and specialized knowledge depending on the employer and pilot specialty
Other Requirements Several thousand hours of flight experience Instrument rating
Licensure Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) commercial pilot's license FAA commercial pilot's license
Projected Job Statistics (2014 - 2024)* 1% for airline pilots, co-pilots and flight engineers 10% increase
Median Annual Salary (May 2015)* $117,290 for airline pilots, co-pilots and flight engineers $76,150

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Since specific educational requirements for these positions vary, those interested in entering the field should ensure they are receiving the proper education for their desired career. Although there are no definitive educational requirements for pilots and flight engineers, some form of specialized training is necessary to obtain a position in the industry. This type of specialized education could benefit airline pilots and commercial pilots.

Airline Pilot

Airline pilots fly fixed-wing, multi-engine planes on scheduled routes. They transport cargo and passengers and usually are employed by airlines. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for airline pilots were expected to show little to no change from 2014 through 2024. Plans for increasing the number of passengers on all flights were cited as a reason for the decline. Median annual salaries for airline pilots were $117,290 as of May 2015.

Commercial Pilot

Commercial pilots fly airplanes and helicopters on non-scheduled routes. Generally employed by charter airlines, they could be responsible for loading bags and scheduling flights themselves. Employment of commercial pilots was expected to increase by 10% from 2014 - 2024. Median annual earnings were $76,150 in May 2015.

Flight Safety Education

While some commercial airlines prefer to hire graduates of a college degree program for pilot positions, other airlines hire those with specialized flight training. Regardless of the educational level acquired, an appropriate commercial operating license is required for pilots.

Flight Safety Career Training Programs

Flight training programs are offered through 4-year universities, community colleges, technical schools and specialized flight training schools. Specific courses might include commercial pilot flight, aviation law, aviation safety and aviation regulations.

Flight safety training programs are designed for prospective entry-level candidates or for those who are looking to advance their aviation career and promote the welfare of passengers, aviation specialists, flight attendants and civilians. Program length and availability may vary by institution.

Some schools also offer certificate programs specifically related to flight safety training. While enrolled in these training programs, students learn the fundamentals of aircraft safety, flight and management procedures in order to effectively transport passengers or materials. Other forms of career education include military experience or postsecondary certificate programs.

Course Topics in Flight Safety Programs

In order to address the various aspects of flight safety, flight safety training programs generally focus on a variety of course topics in aviation security. Pilots and flight engineers are required to remain calm and act quickly in times of crisis and panic, so they must ensure safety protocol is followed. Common course topics might include health and aviation law, fire protection, aircraft disaster investigation, safety management for mechanical maintenance, accident response preparedness, legal aspects in aviation and hazard and error management.

Flight safety training is essential for any kind of pilot, whether they are flying helicopters, transport aircraft, or commercial airliners. Flight safety courses can be taken by new pilots or by those wishing to advance their career skills. They may be included in flight training programs or offered as standalone certificate programs.

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