Aircraft Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers

Aircraft pilots and air traffic controllers navigate and pilot aircraft, prepare flight plans, authorise flight departures and arrivals, maintain radio, radar and/or visual contact with aircraft to ensure the safe movement of air traffic, check, regulate, adjust and test engines and other equipment prior to take-off and give flying lessons.


New workers

New workers start around £38,539. Normal pay is £67,048 per year.
Highly experienced workers can earn up to £135,108.

Available jobs

In the past year there were 29,155 vacancies for this type of job


Projected job growth over the next 8 years

Related courses

People work towards these careers by taking these courses at college and uni.

What they do most days?

  • Accompanies pupil on training flights and demonstrates flying techniques.

  • Handles emergencies, unscheduled traffic and other unanticipated incidents.

  • Plans flight route, calculate fuel consumption and optimum flying height and obtains information on weather and other conditions, such as cargo distribution.

  • Gives landing Instructions to pilot and monitors descent.

  • Directs the movement of aircraft and maintains radio and/or radar or visual contact en-route to its destination, in and out of controlled airspace or into holding areas ready for landing.

  • Maintains radio contact and discusses weather conditions with air traffic controllers.

  • Monitors fuel consumption, air pressure, engine performance and other indicators during flight and advises pilot of any factors that affect the navigation or performance of the aircraft.

  • Directs or undertakes the operation of controls to fly airplanes and helicopters, complying with air traffic control and aircraft operating procedures.

  • Directs or undertakes checks on engines, instruments, control panels, cargo distribution, fuel supplies, aircraft's stability, response to controls and overall performance.

  • Studies flight plan and makes any necessary adjustments.

Hard Skills

Hard skills are specific, learnable, measurable, often industry or occupation-specific abilities related to a position.

Skills are ranked based on the number of job adverts that list them as required skills.

  • Housekeeping

  • Data Entry

  • Numeracy

  • Booking (Sales)

  • Air Traffic Control

  • Invoicing

  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

  • Employee Engagement

  • Operations Management

  • Flight Planning

Soft Skills

Soft skills can be self-taught and usually do not necessitate a certain completed level of education.

Skills are ranked based on the number of job adverts that list them as required skills.

  • Communication

  • Operations

  • Customer Service

  • Management

  • Administrative Functions

  • Detail Oriented

  • English Language

  • Computer Literacy

  • Planning

  • Microsoft Office

How do I get a job like this?

People in these types of job started their career paths after studying courses like the ones below.