Military Pilots

Military pilots fly various types of specialized aircraft to transport troops and equipment and to execute combat missions. Military aircraft make up of one of the world's largest fleets of specialized airplanes.

The U.S. Armed Forces are composed of five separate military services: the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard (which is now part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security). Pilots within these branches train, organize, and equip the nation's air services to support the national and international policies of the government.

Those who choose to join the armed forces dedicate their lives to protecting their fellow Americans. In June 2013, more than 2.7 million people served in the armed forces, and more than 1.4 million were on active duty.


Quick Facts
Duties Fly various types of specialized aircraft to transport troops and equipment and to execute combat missions
Alternate Title(s) Air Battle Managers, Airlift Pilots, Airlift Navigators, Bomber Pilots, Bomber Navigators, Fighter Pilots, Fighter Navigators, Flight Instructors, Marine Aviation Officers, Naval Flight Officers, Navy Helicopter Pilots, Reconnaissance/Surveillance/Electronic Warfare Pilots, Reconnaissance/Surveillance/Electronic Navigators, Special Operations Pilots, Special Operations Navigators, Tanker Pilots, Tanker Navigators, Turboprop Maritime Propeller Pilots
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Good
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist in all regions
Education and Training
  • Bachelor's Degree
Related School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • Government
  • Physics
Experience Previous flight experience helpful for pilots
Skills
  • Leadership
  • Math
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Realistic
  • Technical
Licensure/Certification None
Special Requirements Must be at least 17 years old, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, never convicted of a felony, and drug free; additional physical requirements apply for pilots
Career Ladder
  • Command Pilot
  • Flight Leader
  • Senior Pilot
  • Pilot

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