Are you thinking about starting a career as a pilot? Maybe you’ve already begun the journey and want to learn more about the different pilot careers available to you. With the global pilot shortage facing the industry, there is a substantial need for many different types of qualified pilots. In our new 10 part blog series Pilot Careers, we’ll look into a different career pathway each week so you can consider all your options.

Search and Rescue Pilot

If you have a passion for aviation, love adrenaline and helping others, then a Search and Rescue Pilot career is for you! Search and Rescue Pilots may be called upon at short notice flying through all sorts of weather conditions, to save lives!

How do I become a Search and Rescue Pilot? 

Search and Rescue Pilots must complete comprehensive training programs and are generally experienced Captains or pilots with jet or special mission backgrounds.

Qualification and experience varies on the employer however you will approximately require the following:

  • CASA Commercial Pilot Licence (A)
  • 3000 hours total fixed wing flight time
  • 2000 hours as pilot-in-command of which 100 hours must be night flying
  • 1000 hours jet time

You must also have the right to live and work in Australia. You must be physically fit, and a good swimmer.

What is the average salary?

Salaries vary widely depending on the employer however a Search and Rescue Pilot can earn up to around $150,000+ per year.

What are working conditions like?

Being a Search and Rescue Pilot is required to travel for significant periods of time, flying to various locations and through various weather conditions. Schedules aren’t your regular 9 to 5. It may be quiet one moment and be the next you’re required to jump into action.

As a Search and Rescue Pilot you must be flexible as rosters include on-call, weekend work and night flights. You may also be required to deploy for extended periods of time.

Who could I work for?

With the right qualifications and experience you could gain employment in the following:

  • Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)
  • State Police such as the Victoria Police Search and Rescue Squad operate state-based squads

This career is perfect for those who are a team player, can listen, communicate and work with all kinds of people. If you’re detail oriented and enjoy flying in all kinds of conditions, then a career as a Search and Rescue pilot is for you.

Want to take the first step towards becoming a Search and Rescue pilot? Check out the Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) AVI50215 and get soaring towards your goals.

If you’ve already completed your Commercial Pilot Licence and are looking at the next step to progressing into this career, the Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) AVI50415 is the next step!