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The Reality of the US Pilot Shortage

For years aspiring pilots have continuously heard about the ongoing pilot shortage as it seems to be the excuse for every shortcoming in the airline industry. Fortunately for aspiring pilots, it is the cause of many problems. Because of this, opportunities are opening for new pilots at a dramatic rate. Employers also have to pay pilots more to attract new candidates and retain their existing staff. But why does the shortage exist? How long will it last? And what does it mean for aspiring pilots?

Current State of Things

Across the country, airlines are increasing pay and benefits for pilots. The most significant pay increases came last year when most regional carriers doubled pilot pay. Major carriers have also increased pilot pay dramatically by giving all pilots substantial bonuses of up to 30%. Major carriers, such as Delta, United, American, Southwest, and Alaska, have also been lowering their hiring minimums, making it easier for young pilots to move up to a major carrier.