Helicopter sightseeing tour pilot jobs hold a unique appeal among helicopter pilots. Being a professional helicopter pilot in any sector of the aviation industry is an incredible adventure in and of itself. But, when you add the reality that sightseeing tour pilots spend time in, and around, some of the most beautiful and treasured natural and man-made sights the world has to offer, it’s easy to see why so many pilots choose these jobs.
Certainly, being a helicopter sightseeing and tour pilot is one heck of a way to spend your time on the job. Few people experience the perspective pilots enjoy as they guide tourists through some amazing places in the world. The top destinations for sightseeing pilots is Las Vegas, Nevada. From the Las Vegas strip pilots fly clients to the Grand Canyon and other nearby national parks. Hawaii and New York City are two other incredible destinations that pilots seem to love (for a list of the top Sightseeing and Tours Companies scroll down).
Helicopter sightseeing tour pilot jobs are considered by many experts in the industry as a “Tier 1” pilot job. For the most part, Tier 1 jobs are considered an entry level pilot job (although many experienced pilots love this job due to the many perks). Helicopter Sightseeing and Tour companies are looking to hire pilots with at least 1,200 flight hours.
Typically, student pilots graduate (complete commercial flight training) with 200 to 250 flight hours and have earned at least a Certified Flight Instructor rating. At this point, these brand new commercial pilots hire on with their flight school in a Certified Flight Instructor position. Their goal is to instruct new students until they reach the 1,200 hour mark. Certified Flight Instructors can make $20,000 to $40,000 per year, but the top benefit of being a CFI is the logged flight hours they get instructing – the ticket to a Tier 1 pilot job.
Although the average salary and benefits of a sightseeing pilot vary due to the uniqueness of each location, as a general rule tour pilots make anywhere from $40,000 to $80.000 per year (not including tips received from tour clients).
People are not going to suddenly stop visiting the Grand Canyon or the Islands of Hawaii. The Grand Canyon and Hawaii are marvelous wonders that will draw people from all over the world for centuries to come. The same holds true for many of the world’s most wondrous sights (Great Pyramid of Giza, Colosseum in Rome, Stonehenge, etc..).
There is a built-in demand for helicopter pilots seeking an aviation career in a field like helicopter sightseeing tours. Helicopter pilots who lead sightseeing tours delight their passengers through an unforgettable flying and visual experience. Few aviation careers offer helicopter pilots the chance to guide people through inspiring journeys that enrich the soul.
Helicopter Sightseeing Tours may be one of the first aviation career opportunities to emerge for helicopter pilots who have logged enough flight hours to qualify for the array of jobs available to new commercial pilots. Sightseeing tours make a good fit for helicopter pilots who are interested in staying in one location. Guiding tours are also a good fit for helicopter pilots who have an appreciation of natural beauty and human achievement.