With the demand for skilled professionals within the Australian aviation industry currently at an all-time high, aspiring pilots across the country are being encouraged to kick start their careers in North Queensland.
Georgie Arnold, Manager at National Aviation Academy, a flight training school with bases in Townsville and Cairns, notes that North Queensland’s reliable clear skies offer an unrivalled advantage for students.
As a result, the academy is attracting talent from across Australia, with many choosing to remain in the region to live and work upon completing their qualifications.
“It’s no secret that we have some of the best weather here in North Queensland, and that means aspiring pilots can reliably complete the necessary training hours for the qualification without it being dependent on the weather conditions,” says Georgie.
“Both Cairns and Townsville airports also offer good capacity for scheduling flights, further facilitating students in accumulating flight hours with ease.”
Georgie says a career in aviation offers a broad and diverse range of benefits, including high earning potential and significant job opportunities.
However, she points out there is often a misconception that obtaining a pilot’s licence is cost-prohibitive, when in fact there are several funding pathways available that mirror tertiary studies and see aviation students enter the workforce significantly sooner.
“Students can quite literally go from the school to the sky in less than 12 months,” says Georgie.
“Most people undertaking tertiary studies are usually unable to work full-time for the three or four years of their degree and can’t earn a professional salary until the completion of their studies.
“For pilots, it only takes a maximum of 12 months to become fully accredited, which means this time next year, you could be walking into full-time employment and a professional salary.
“There are also lots of funding options through tertiary studies or registered training organisations that offer study loans to ensure that pursuing a career in aviation isn’t a large, out-of-pocket financial burden.”
Statistics reveal a remarkable gap between the number of available positions and number of trained individuals to fill them. Georgie says this gap is something that is only continuing to grow.
A Pilot and Technician Outlook 2023-204 study conducted by Boeing estimated that 649,000 new pilots, 690,000 new maintenance technicians and 938,000 new cabin crew members will be needed to fly and maintain the global commercial fleet over the next 20 years.
“There is a huge demand for jobs within the industry, which means graduates have competitive positions waiting for them at the end of the 12 months,” says Georgie.
“There is also a growing sector for female pilots, which is something National Aviation Academy continues to have a key focus on fostering.
“Aviation is a dynamic and ever-evolving industry brimming with diverse opportunities and growth for its workforce.”
Main image: One of National Aviation Academy’s fleet of planes. Image credits: Roslyn Budd (Budd Photography)
Other images: Robbie Bolton (537 Media).
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