©2019 by Hillsboro Aero Academy.

Working

as a Pilot

in the USA

Working

as a Pilot

in the USA

F1 Visa, CPT and OPT

To be eligible to work in the US as a pilot or flight-instructor, you will require a work authorization.

The only way to get a work authorization with a student visa is by using a so called F1 visa. Most flightschools in the USA are currently only offering the M1 visa, which only allows you to study and not to work legally.  

After successful completion of their training, our graduates can either work at our flightschool or find other companies to work for. After they are hired, they will open their CPT, which allows them to work for the first 11½ months.

After this, the students use their OPT, which is valid for one more year. It is very important that students apply for this 90 days prior to the end of their CPT to ensure they can continue working. 

 

Our student services department supports our graduates at every step of the process.

Working during the flight training

An additional advantage of our F1 visa is the ability to work, while you are still in training. You can work for up to 20 hours per week but are only allowed to work for the flightschool, you conduct your training at. These jobs give you a good understanding and appreciation of all the departments of our school that support the training department. While this is beneficial in many ways, it also slows down your training. 

 

Gain experience and flight-time

One of the main advantages of flight training in the United States is the ability to gain flight experience. After you finish your training you will have around 200 hours in a Helicopter or 280 hours in an Airplane. During your CPT and OPT, you have the ability to work anywhere in the United States as a pilot or flightinstructor.

Some pilots only manage to fly around 800 hours during this time, while others fly close to 1600 hours.

Most people average between 1000 and 1500 hours, which is sufficient to start working in Europe

Working after your flight training

After you complete your flight training, you can work as a pilot or flightinstructor anywhere in the US.

Most pilots chose to become a flightinstructor at first, since this is one of the jobs, where you can fly a lot of hours in a short time, while improving your skills and knowledge. 

Unfortunately we can't hire all of our graduates. To offer a high quality of flight training, we hire only the best graduates. Some schools are advertising that they hire every graduate but we don't think this is realistic and don't want to set wrong expectations. To improve your chances to be hired, you should always dress and act professional and treat your classmates, instructors and other employees with respect. Remember that the aviation industry is a small industry and people will remember you. 

Due to our great reputation in the industry we are contacted on a regular basis by other companies, who are looking for pilots and instructors. 

 

Pilot pay 

Most flightschools and small aviation companies pay between $15 and $25 per hour and only pay for flight hours. Usually this is enough to pay for living-cost but is not quite enough to pay back any loans that were taken to finance your flight-training.