I really appreciate your advice on this one and please excuse my ignorance. I already fly gliders and am passionate about aviation like many of you here. I work in software, but sometimes get fed up with being inside glued to the computer all the time and would love to find some part-time in aviation. My goal, however, is not to go to the airlines. I'd like to split my time 50-50 between coding and flying. The airline pilot lifestyle doesn't seem like it's for me and I still love writing software too.

My question is, if I invest in earning a commercial or instructor license, do you think it'd be worth it? Simply put, does it seem like job demand is getting better or worse mid-to-long term? Are a lot of you guys struggling right now with demand in the job market? I'm thinking of potentially flexible jobs along the lines of tours, instruction, search and rescue, firefighting, etc...

I'd even be willing to accept a bit of a decrease in income (compared to just doing software) if it meant getting to fly at least a few times per week.

Pursuing aviation to this degree would mean pulling funds I've saved for long-term investments I've made in the market (which you're not supposed to touch!), so it's a big decision for me.

Thanks for your tips!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Voting to keep open. Market research is an actual thing. $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Mar 2, 2022 at 2:40
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Do you think it'd be worth it? Are a lot of you guys struggling right now? Etc. are all subjective questions that aren't a good fit for this site; please see Good Subjective, Bad Subjective for tips on how to ask for facts rather than opinion. An example for an improvement can be: What is the pilot market demand outlook as of Q1 2022? $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Mar 2, 2022 at 9:18
  • $\begingroup$ Problem is part of the question has a concrete (to the extent one can be given) answer, that Koyovis has responded to, market conditions, but part of it requires a personal value judgement. It would probably be better as simply "what is the jobs outook for part-time pilots"? and leave it at that. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Mar 2, 2022 at 17:09

1 Answer 1


enter image description hereOwn work, from a Jan 2020 presentation

The long term might be looking good. I was involved in market research for civil flight training: before covid, the market showed 5% average growth per year, with temporary setbacks that were fully compensated for in subsequent years. Even in beginning 2020 there was a structural shortage of flight training capability projected for the near future.

Worldwide, covid is the largest and longest setback of all. We’re still in a recuperating phase, with here in Australia for instance ex-pilots driving trucks. It will be a while before the market will be fully restored, but growth in flight training is projected to be up to 15%.. Admittedly, from a low base.

Is it worth investing money into this? Purely financially speaking, perhaps not, salaries were under pressure from the low cost airlines. For filling out life experience with responsibility and adventure: definitely.


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