Fly Jets, See the World, Get Rich!

The career of airline pilot isn't what it used to be in the US. It used to be prestigious, respected, and pay ridiculously well. Nowadays, either you spend 10 years flying for the military, or you starve for up to 10 years flying for the regionals. Then, finally, you get hired by a major airline and start living the good life. (But the pay today is generally less than what it was before 2001, before you even start talking about inflation.) It's not the same level of good deal that it used to be.

If you're a little more adventurous, there are pilot jobs outside the US paying incredible amounts of money right now. Bloomberg reports that some Chinese airlines are offering salaries in excess of $300,000 to fly narrow body aircraft in Asia. That's right...you can make more than a wide body Captain at Delta, United or American. Compelling, no?

A lot of these jobs offer an allowance to commute between China and the US. However, these jobs would be more doable if you actually chose to live in country. While that might be out of the question for some people, it is really an outstanding opportunity for a person or family that enjoys adventure and wants to see the world.

There are several recruiting portal websites listing these jobs. VORHoldings has several, including jobs at the airlines Qingdao and Sichuan that Bloomberg mentioned. China Aviation Recruitment also lists many of these same jobs.

Some of them require time in type, or at least in a similar type. That could be challenging for a young pilot; however, as demand continues to grow I'm sure that those requirements will get easier to meet.

If you're considering flying for a foreign airline, be sure to take a hard look at their safety & maintenance practices and at the work rules specified in their pilot contract. If you can find a good one, it's a figurative sky is the limit situation for earning big bucks to fly jets for a living. It certainly sounds a lot more like what the airline pilot job was back in the heyday. If nothing else, hopefully this demand will help drive an increase in pay and benefits for pilots back home too.