U.S. airlines are scrambling to hire pilots as thousands of baby boomers prepare to retire. Boeing says 117,000 new pilots will need to be hired over the next 20 years to meet the growing demand.
“We do a much better job in getting the message out to out young people of the career opportunities of flying airplanes and also maintaining them as well as taking care of the customers,” says Robert Cunningham at Lone Star Flight Training in Conroe.
That's why some airlines are recruiting right out of college.
“The regional carriers have started to enter in agreements with collegiate aviation programs and entice students to come on board during their academic career,” says Kevin Kuhlman, professor of aviation and aerospace science at Denver's Metropolitan State University.
The average commercial pilot in the U.S. earns just under $100,000.