Careers in Aviation

How many of us as youngsters have looked in to the sky and marvelled at the aircraft flying overhead? They may be commercial aircraft, little more than a spec on a schedule to distant parts; an executive jet taking someone from the world of business or entertainment to some important meeting or event. It could be an air ambulance heading off to an emergency or military aircraft on an exercise or mission.

Whatever their purpose, they all have one thing in common. The pilots behind the controls have all gone through extensive training to pursue careers in aviation.

There are many routes in to a career in aviation. Many start flying with a friend and go on to complete a private pilot’s licence before going on to career based training. Some start at university as part of an RAF Air Squadron. Others start formal training on the back of academic study and direct entry in to a formal training programme. If you are passionate about pursuing a career as a pilot there is probably going to be a route that suits your skills, academic results and ability.

If it has captured your imagination and you are thinking of a career as a pilot, then Flying Start is here to help guide you through the choices, what is involved, where you can go for further information and help.

The Covid 19 Pandemic has had a huge impact on the aviation industry. For those who have arrived at to learn more about how to get in to the industry or about to embark on training for an aviation career, do not give up, it will pass.  The industry will need new young pilots as others leave the industry.  Even if you cannot embark on formal career training, there are opportunities to get a taste of flying.  The RAF Air Cadets are a great place to start if you are between 13 and 17 years old and some universities have RAF Air Squadrons if you are shortly to move into tertiary education.  There are also many gliding and flying clubs around the country that are worth exploring where you can start on your Private Pilots Licence

“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward; for there you have been, and there you long to return”.

Leonardo da Vinci

If you are thinking of a career in aviation as a commercial or service pilot, before going any further, it is strongly recommended that you consider taking a Pilot Aptitude Assessment.

For more info or further details follow this link: or go to the Career Development section of the Air Pilots website.


Aspiring pilot trainees can receive high-quality, effective and proven testing with the Honourable Company of Air Pilots’ Aptitude Assessment Scheme, conducted at Air Pilots House in London by experienced (current and retired) commercial and military aircrew.

  • Pilots require rare and complex skills
  • Training them is one of the most costly regimes in the world and the need for efficient pre-selection is self-evident
  • The aim is to reveal candidates’ trainability based on natural ability
  • Natural ability is synonymous with aptitude
  • Aircrew aptitude is the innate potential to develop high performance skills
  • Aptitude testing is the scientific measurement of human ability
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