Sara Hedbrandh Strömberg

How does the job market for pilots look in Europe?


How does the job market for pilots look in Europe?

Demand for new pilots

The job market for pilots look great. We have a lot of pilots that are going into retirement which means that it opens up for new up-and-comers in the industry. There is a big demand for flight instructors at the moment, therefore, if you now decide to complete a pilot training program and thereafter continue to become a flight instructor then it will result in more job opportunities for you. 

In the next 16 years the global fleet will double from more than 21 670 aircraft in the global fleet to over 43 920 aircraft (source: Boeing) and pilots are needed to fly those planes. So, if you want to get into an aviation career and become a pilot, now is the time.


How long does it take to get a job after graduation?

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Our students are given a conditional job offer when they get admitted to the school and our goal is to have our students employed within 12 months after graduation. The time from graduation to the first flying varies a lot depending on the supply and demand in the market. Some classes are fortunate to graduate in a pristine time and we have classes and students who have been offered employment even before they graduated from our programs. Usually it takes one to three months, however, for some students it may take longer.

>>Read more about our conditional job offer<<


How many students get a job shortly after graduation?

In 2015, 2016, and 2017 we had a 100% employment rate from our integrated programs. In 2018 the numbers dropped a little bit so the first half of 2018 we have an 88 % employment rate meaning that 88% of those who graduated in the first 6 months of 2018 are employed as first officers today. For the second half of 2018 the number is lower at 65 % employment rate, however, many of our students have interviews set up and we expect that number to increase fairly quickly.

Employment rate graph for OSM Aviation Academy

What is career support?

  • Writing a resume
  • Motivational letter
  • Prepping for interviews
  • Fly Boeing 737 simulator

For our alumni that are not included in the conditional job offer we have something called Career Support. That means that when you get closer to graduation we help you with your resume, your motivational letter, prepping you for your first interview, but in addition, all of our alumni can come back to the school and fly our Boeing 737 simulator together with one of our instructors in preparations for an interview and that is valid for as long as it takes to land your first job. If you get a job interview after 6 months, you get to come back to the school, practice in the simulator with us and you will be ready for your first interview and assessment.

Airplane from the back

Should you not get the first job, then you can still come back and do training and preparation for additional interviews. We don’t give up until our students are hired.

Is the recruitment for new pilots decreasing?

Our perception is that the recruitment is increasing right now, more and more airlines are seeing that it is a struggle to find enough qualified pilots to fill their seats.

Cockpit and two pilots wide

Which airlines are hiring the most right now?

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There are several airlines who have started hiring that have not been hiring in a long time. This is a very changing industry and it goes up and down based on airlines and region. At the moment, there are at least seven airlines hiring right now in Europe. 

(Send us an email to get the most updated information)

In June 2019 CityJet, SAS, Flybe, DHL, Eurowings, SunExpress and Ryanair has been hiring, so there are plenty of job opportunities to apply for.

What do you need to land you first job?

Do you need a 1000 flight hours to get an airline job? It can be difficult to get a clear image if you have not ventured into the world of aviation yet as to what is actually true or what is accurate. What are the requirements?

airplane flying above

European job market requirements

  • 230 hours
  • Studied an integrated program or a MPL (Multi Pilot License) at a school with strong industry connections with a good screening process

In the European job market, it is absolutely possible to graduate from a flight school and get a job with an airline with 230 hours of flying. It doesn’t matter how many hours you have at that stage. What is important in the European job market is that you have gone an integrated program or a MPL (Multi Pilot License) and that you are a student at a school with strong industry connections with a good screening selection process.

>>Which flight training program should you choose?<<  

Sunset by the wing

What to think about when picking a school

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Screening and selection process

It is a stamp of quality if the school you are looking at has a thorough selection process. It means that they are most likely to have a stronger cooperation with different airlines because they view this as very important.

At OSM Aviation Academy we require a successful Pilot Aptitude Test to ensure that you will be successful in your training and pilot career. Passing these tests will not only give you the confidence that you have the right skill set required of a pilot, it will also give you peace of mind that you will be able to pass similar tests in the future. During the tests your skills will be evaluated in the following areas: 

  1. Logical thinking
  2. Perceptual capacity (accuracy and speed)
  3. Spatial orientation
  4. Memory
  5. Multi-tasking ability
  6. Resilience
  7. Mental arithmetic (math)

You must have completed high school to sign up for the Pilot Aptitude Test. 

>>How to prepare yourself for the Pilot Aptitude Test<<

Two pilots in the cockpit


When applying for jobs integrated programs are preferable, but it’s not impossible to go the modular path and become successful as well. When you want to split up the training, the modular path is an alternative. It usually takes longer time and over time the cost will be higher especially if you factor in things like loss of income due to the longer educational period. In the modular path you will usually not be a part of the bigger group or the bigger classes, a lot of discipline is required. This model is usually good for someone who has a family or who wants to work on the side and save up money along the way.

If you are committed and you have decided to become a pilot, the suggestion is an integrated program, finish your education in two years and then getting into the airlines.

OSM Aviation Academy Instructor

Become a flight instructor

The requirements for some jobs are 1000 or even 1500 hours, so what you can do then is to become a flight instructor and gain more experience. Also, some of the airlines that require these amount of hours allow cadets, graduates, or alumni from certain schools to apply with less hours because they know about the screening and the quality of the school. They have a relationship with the school and have an impact on the schools training quality.



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Our goal is to have our students employed within 12 months after graduation. The last couple of years we have had a 100% employment rate. In 2018 that number was lower, however, we expect it to increase. Our perception is that the recruitment of new pilots are increasing, so now is the time!

At OSM Aviation Academy we offer our alumni Career Support, which means that you get the help you need to apply and land your first job. You can, among other things, fly the Boeing 737 simulator with one of our instructors to prepare for your interview. 

In Europe it is possible to get an airline job with 230 flight hours. Though, it is preferable for you to have been through an integrated program. It is also a stamp of quality if the school you are looking at has a thorough selection process. It means that the school is more likely to have a stronger cooperation with different airlines. 

If you want to make sure that you are well read before you decide on whether or not to train to become a pilot, make sure to download our Market Outlook which will give you a better understanding of the future of the aviation industry, and the demand for pilots.

Will I get a job as a pilot?



The OSM Aviation Academy blog is your destination for everything related to aviation and flight training. If you are wondering if you should become a pilot, this blog will give you insight and inspiration to fuel your decision making process. Choose your frequency down below.

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