Helicopter Pilots fly helicopters to transport passengers, mail or freight, or provide agricultural, aviation or aerial surveillance services.

    You need to pass practical and theoretical exams to qualify for your helicopter pilot licence before you can work as a Helicopter Pilot. The Civil Aviation Authority issues pilot licences. Flight training is available through private flying schools. Completing a formal qualification through either VET (Vocational Education and Training) or university may improve your chances of getting a job as a Helicopter Pilot. You can also train to become a helicopter pilot with the Australian Defence Force.

    Tasks

    • Prepares and submits flight plans giving consideration to factors such as weather conditions and aircraft performance.
    • Flies aircraft in accordance with established air traffic control and aircraft operating procedures.
    • Provides flight information for flight crews and air traffic services staff.
    • Completes cockpit preparations and external inspections to determine that aircraft are acceptable for flight.
    • Monitors aircraft performance and reports on mechanical condition.

    All Air Transport Professionals

    • $2,558 Weekly Pay
    • Moderate Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment

    Helicopter Pilots

    • 1,100 workers Employment Size
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • 89% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 48 hours Average full-time
    • 40 years Average age
    • 4% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Helicopter Pilots (in their main job) stayed about the same over 5 years:
    from 1,100 in 2011 to 1,100 in 2016.

    • Size: This is a very small occupation.
    • Location: Helicopter Pilots work in many parts of Australia. Queensland and the Northern Territory have a large share of workers.
    • Industries: Most work in Transport, Postal and Warehousing; Public Administration and Safety; and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (89%, much higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 48 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 40 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 4% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Transport, Postal and Warehousing52.7
    Public Administration and Safety25.6
    Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing9.7
    Education and Training2.9
    Other Industries9.1

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateHelicopter PilotsAll Jobs Average
    NSW22.631.6
    VIC14.125.6
    QLD39.020.0
    SA3.07.0
    WA10.410.8
    TAS1.62.0
    NT7.81.0
    ACT1.51.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketHelicopter PilotsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.4-5.05.0
    20-244.0-9.39.3
    25-3428.1-22.922.9
    35-4432.1-22.022.0
    45-5424.8-21.621.6
    55-596.0-9.09.0
    60-643.2-6.06.0
    65 and Over1.4-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationHelicopter PilotsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate5.6-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree21.8-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma36.0-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV17.3-21.121.1
    Year 1213.8-18.118.1
    Year 110.5-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below5.1-12.512.5

    You need to pass practical and theoretical exams to qualify for your helicopter pilot licence before you can work as a Helicopter Pilot. The Civil Aviation Authority issues pilot licences. Flight training is available through private flying schools. Completing a formal qualification through either VET (Vocational Education and Training) or university may improve your chances of getting a job as a Helicopter Pilot. You can also train to become a helicopter pilot with the Australian Defence Force.

    You must also be registered with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • a helicopter pilot licence issued by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
    • You might be interested in Aviation Industry VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Air Transport Professionals who work well in a team, can communicate clearly and are reliable.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Transportation

      86% Skill level

      Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

    2. Customer and personal service

      70% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    3. Geography

      63% Skill level

      Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

    4. Education and training

      60% Skill level

      Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    5. English language

      54% Skill level

      English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 53-2012.00 - Commercial Pilots.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Contact with people

      93% Important

      Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

    2. Face-to-face discussions

      93% Important

      Talk with people face-to-face.

    3. Telephone

      93% Important

      Talk on the telephone.

    4. Being exact or accurate

      92% Important

      Be very exact or highly accurate.

    5. Impact of decisions

      90% Important

      Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 53-2012.00 - Commercial Pilots.

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