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Why a career in aviation isn't out of reach

You might think a career in aviation is out of reach for the average person. But the truth is, becoming a pilot could be easier, faster, and more affordable than you might think.

By TAFE Queensland

Can anyone be a pilot?

Working as a pilot is a dream career for many, but it might seem as far-fetched as becoming an astronaut. While that may have been true 50 years ago, with the rapidly increasing demand for air travel across the globe, more and more people now have the opportunity to join this growing industry.

Despite what you may think, you don't need to be wealthy or a genius to work in aviation. There's no particular subjects at school you need to have completed in order to enrol into TAFE Queensland's entry-level aviation courses.

If you want to pay your course fees through a VET Student Loan you'll just need to prove your academic suitability for the course. You can do this by supplying a copy of your Year 12 Certificate of Education, or certificate IV (or higher) qualification. Otherwise you'll need to complete the Basic Key Skills Builder (bksb) assessment tool and achieve an Exit Level 3 score.

Plus, from 2020 the lifetime VET Student Loan limit for students studying aviation at an approved provider will increase to $150,000, putting an aviation career within reach for even more Australians. TAFE Queensland also offers payment plans for eligible students that allow you to pay your course fees gradually throughout the duration of your studies. If your course costs more than the VET Student Loan cap, you may be eligible for a payment plan to help you pay the remaining gap.

If you're worried about not having any flight experience, you shouldn't be. You can enrol in either the Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence - Helicopter)(AVI50315) or Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence - Aeroplane)(AVI50215) without any previous flight training or logged hours.

Can I be a pilot if I wear glasses?

You might have heard that pilots need to have perfect 20/20 vision. The truth is your eyesight doesn't need to be perfect in order to have a career in aviation, it just needs to be correctable by glasses or contacts. If you wear glasses but are allowed to drive a car then chances are your vision is good enough to become a pilot. In order to be certain you'll need to complete a CASA Class 1 Medical, which is required in order to enrol in pilot training.

Can I be a pilot without maths or physics?

While it's often recommended to complete maths and physics at high school if you want to study aviation, it's not a requirement to get your pilot licence. TAFE Queensland doesn't require you to have completed previous studies in physics or maths in order to enrol in our aviation courses.

Is a career in aviation worth it?

You might be surprised to learn it takes less time than you might think to become a qualified pilot. With TAFE Queenland's practical courses you could find yourself flying within a year of commencing your studies.

While aviation training can be costly, commercial pilots often receive six-figure salaries, meaning the money you invest in your training will soon pay for itself. Plus, when you consider the average person spends over 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime, it makes sense to invest in a career you're passionate about. Aviation pilots enjoy high rates of job satisfaction and our graduates can go on to work anywhere in the world across a wide range of industries.