How to Become a

Charter Jet Pilot

The complete career guide to be a Charter Jet Pilot: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $84,510
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 10.3%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Flexible Hours
    Career Attribute

Charter jet pilots, also known as commercial pilots, earn money by flying small groups of individuals over short distances in small airplanes. They may transport clients between islands, contract their services out for private flights, or take passengers on sightseeing tours over attractions like the Grand Canyon.

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What is a Charter Jet Pilot?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in charter jet pilot roles:

  • Transport a limited number of passengers over short distances in small airplanes
  • Schedule flights, load luggage and cargo, and converse with passengers
  • Perform or schedule routine maintenance on airplane
  • Fly planes: manage takeoffs and landings, and navigate airspace while in-flight
  • Monitor plane health during flights

A Day in the Life

Charter jet pilots operate small privately-owned airplanes, transporting small groups of passengers over short distances. They may fly the same path every day if their business is transporting people to and from a local attraction—such as to and from a nearby island or as part of a sightseeing trip over a major natural attraction—or they may fly varying paths if they contract their services out for private flights. Because smaller planes can hold less fuel, the distances charter jet pilots are able to fly are much shorter than those of major commercial airlines.

Charter jet pilots may be self-employed pilots that own their own small airplanes. In this case, pilots may be required to conduct a number of tasks unrelated to flying. They may be responsible for marketing their business, scheduling flights for customers, and scheduling and/or conducting all routine maintenance on their planes. Additionally, they may need to load planes with passenger cargo or luggage and maintain a flight registry detailing who was on flights at what times and days.

Unlike major airline planes, charter jets are rarely computer-operated, so pilots are responsible for all flight activities: takeoffs, in-air navigation, and landings. Charter jets also fly at lower altitudes than commercial airplanes, so pilots must be constantly aware of their surroundings to avoid obstacles during flights. Charter jet pilots are ultimately accountable for the safety of passengers on flights, so they must do everything in their power to ensure they conduct safe flights.

Typical Work Schedule

There is no typical schedule for a charter jet pilot. Some may work set schedules and follow the same flight paths each day, while others may work whenever needed and fly varying paths. More than 40-hour work weeks may be common for charter jet pilots as they’re often responsible for many tasks beyond simply flying their planes.

Typical Employers

Many charter jet pilots are self-employed and organize and schedule their own flights. The majority of others work for airlines that offer nonscheduled flights.

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How To Become a Charter Jet Pilot

While a high school diploma is a sufficient level of education for charter jet pilots, an aspiring charter jet pilot’s education by no means ends after high school. Charter jet pilots must be licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as commercial pilots in order to transport passengers for profit. To earn a commercial pilot’s license (CPL), you must first earn several other licenses and certifications: a Student Pilot Certificate, a Private Pilot License, and an Instrument Rating.

Each certificate and license requires a number of training and supervised flight hours and the passing of both written and practical tests. Each license or certification also has a number of prerequisites. For example, to earn a CPL, you must have completed at least one cross-country flight as a solo pilot that included at least two intermediary stops at airfields along the way. While pilots with a private pilot license may be allow to fly a plane, they cannot fly passengers for profit, so aspiring charter jet pilots must continue beyond a private pilot license to earn a commercial pilot license.

While the proper certifications and licenses may be earned from any FAA-accredited institution, some aspiring charter jet pilots choose to enroll in aviation programs offered by colleges and universities. The advantage to these programs is that certifications and licenses can be earned alongside degrees, giving students more flexibility in career choices later in life. For example, if students decide to later pursue a career as an airline pilot for a commercial airline, a bachelor’s degree will almost certainly be required.

Charter Jet Pilot Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Charter Jet Pilot salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Charter Jet Pilot's can make an average annual salary of $84,510, or --- per hour. On the lower end, they can make $53,330 or --- per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #119 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Charter Jet Pilot. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Charter Jet Pilots

  • 2.3%   Doctorate
  • 11.2%   Masters
  • 60.8%   Bachelors
  • 6.8%   Associates
  • 13.7%   College
  • 4.8%   High School
  • 0.5%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Charter Jet Pilot job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 4,500 jobs for a total of 48,000 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 10.3% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #179 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Charter Jet Pilots

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Nonscheduled air transportation 13,900 2,000 2%
Technical and trade schools; private 4,700 --- ---
Support activities for air transportation 3,200 200 0%

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