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Career and Education Opportunities for Airline Pilots in Detroit, Michigan

Airline pilot career and educational opportunities abound in Detroit, Michigan. About 3,590 people are currently employed as airline pilots in Michigan. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 12% to 4,030 people employed. This is better than the national trend for airline pilots, which sees this job pool growing by about 8.4% over the next eight years. Airline pilots generally pilot and navigate the flight of multi-engine aircraft in regularly scheduled service for the transport of passengers and cargo.

The average wage in the general category of Air jobs is $30 per hour or $65,112 per year in Michigan, and an average of $30 per hour or $70,915 per year nationwide.

There are seventy-three schools of higher education in the Detroit area, including one within twenty-five miles of Detroit where you can get a degree to start your career as an airline pilot. Airline pilots usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying to be an airline pilot if you already have a high school diploma.


Airline Pilot video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, airline pilots pilot and navigate the flight of multi-engine aircraft in regularly scheduled service for the transport of passengers and cargo. They also requires Federal Air Transport rating and certification in specific aircraft type used.

Airline pilots use instrumentation to guide flights when visibility is poor. They also examine aircraft for defects and malfunctions, in line with pre-flight checklists. Equally important, airline pilots have to start engines and pilot airplanes to move passengers or freight, adhering to flight plans and procedures. They are often called upon to monitor gauges and control panels to confirm aircraft performance and to regulate engine speed. They are expected to steer aircraft along planned routes, using autopilot and flight management computers. Finally, airline pilots direct efforts of aircraft crews during flights.

Every day, airline pilots are expected to be able to quickly make decisions and take actions based upon external signs and signals. They need to understand events and object details at a distance. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for airline pilots to direct flight efforts with ground crews and air traffic control and inform crew members of flight and test procedures. They are often called upon to check passenger and cargo distributions and fuel amounts to insure that weight and balance specifications are met. They also monitor engine operation and functioning of aircraft systems during flights. They are sometimes expected to evaluate other pilots or pilot-license applicants for proficiency. Somewhat less frequently, airline pilots are also expected to make announcements regarding flights, using public address systems.

Airline pilots sometimes are asked to instruct other pilots and student pilots in aircraft operations and the principles of flight. They also have to be able to record in log books data such as flight times and fuel consumption and perform minor maintenance work, or manage major maintenance. And finally, they sometimes have to start engines and pilot airplanes to move passengers or freight, adhering to flight plans and procedures.

Like many other jobs, airline pilots must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Detroit include:

  • Air Cargo Supervisor. Direct ground crew in the loading, unloading, and staging of aircraft cargo or baggage. Determine the quantity and orientation of cargo and compute aircraft center of gravity. May accompany aircraft as member of flight crew and monitor and handle cargo in flight, and assist and brief passengers on safety and emergency procedures.


Eastern Michigan University - Ypsilanti, MI

Eastern Michigan University, , Ypsilanti, MI 48197. Eastern Michigan University is a large university located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 22,137 students and an admission rate of 75%. Eastern Michigan University has a bachelor's degree program in Airline/Commercial/Professional Pilot and Flight Crew which graduated six students in 2008.


Airmen Certification: Include the following areas:

  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Flight Engineers, Flight Navigators, Aircraft Dispatchers, and Control Tower Operators
  • 8610-1 (PDF) - Mechanic's Application for Inspection Authorization
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Mechanics, Repairman, and Parachute Riggers
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Pilots, Flight Instructors and Ground Instructors
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Sport Pilot


Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan photo by Durova

Detroit is located in Wayne County, Michigan. It has a population of over 912,062, which has shrunk by 4.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Detroit, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Detroit are priced at $108,900 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, eighty-five new homes were built in Detroit, down from one hundred fifty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Detroit are health care, educational services, and transportation equipment. For men, it is transportation equipment, construction, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 11.0% of Detroit residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Detroit is 27.0%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Detroit residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.7%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Detroit is home to the Memorial Park Marina and the Detroit Golf Club as well as Chene Park and Mallett Playground. Visitors to Detroit can choose from Corktown Inn, Clark's Motel and Days Inn of Downtown Detroit for temporary stays in the area.