Career and Education Opportunities for Airline Pilots in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for airline pilots in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. There are currently 3,590 working airline pilots in Michigan; this should grow 12% to about 4,030 working airline pilots in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for airline pilots are expected to grow by about 8.4%. In general, airline pilots 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 nineteen schools of higher education in the Grand Rapids area, including one within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can get a degree to start your career as an airline pilot. The most common level of education for airline pilots is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become an airline pilot if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Airline Pilot
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 Grand Rapids 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.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Airline Pilot Training
Baker College of Muskegon - Muskegon, MI
Baker College of Muskegon, 1903 Marquette Ave, Muskegon, MI 49442. Baker College of Muskegon is a medium sized college located in Muskegon, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,214 students. Baker College of Muskegon has an associate's degree program in Airline/Commercial/Professional Pilot and Flight Crew which graduated one student 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
For more information, see the Federal Aviation Administration website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.
The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.
Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.