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The Ultimate Guide to Flyer Jobs

We put this information up front, so you know exactly what you're getting into. Everyone wants to make 200k, to get out of debt, to travel and work in some of the most exciting places in the world while supporting the best in the world.  However, most aren’t willing to make a sacrifice.  If you believe you are ready, this is your starting point.  Remember, this industry isn’t for everyone.


Read the whole Guide if you really want to work in this industry. 




TIP 1:  For most positions you must have at least an active Secret Security Clearance, 4 years military experience in an aviation related field with at least one deployment.  Remember, Flyer Jobs is designed to service experienced military aviation professionals, and these are the minimum requirements basically every position posted on the site. 


As with anything there is always exceptions.  We have seen people get hired on an OCONUS contract with only a Commercial Pilots License, A&P or other significant civilian experience. Currently, this is more common in the UAS (Drone) field as it is growing faster than UAS Pilots are getting out of the Military and these contracts are understaffed.  



TIP 2: A well written resume with quantifiable results, appropriate experiences, all required licenses or certifications and flight hours (for pilots) is a requirement, if you want to work in this industry.  Specifically tailor your resume to each position you apply for and do not clutter it with anything that isn’t related to the position.  A recruiter will only initially review your resume for 10 to 15 seconds.  Your goal is to make it immediately clear that you meet all minimum requirements for each position.


If for some reason you meet most minimum requirements, but not all and you still think you would be a solid candidate for a position, then apply.  As stated above, there are always exceptions, but do everything possible to ensure that you stand out in other ways.  Show them what you bring to the table.  For example, if you are applying for a UAS position, but have never worked in the field, you may still meet most or even all requirements for a UAS position if you flew manned aircraft in the military.  However, you are competing against guys that have extensive experience, so in this case it would be very important to highlight some of your other experiences such as leadership, management, maintenance, safety and most importantly your operational experience as a manned pilot.  As a manned pilot you will have experiences that UAS pilots do not get exposure to.  Find these relevant experiences and give yourself and edge over even the more experience competition.  Exceptions mainly apply to UAS (drone) positions.  You will find very few exceptions in the Manned Aviation field.

If you need help, we do provide a resume service.  However, due to the high demand for this service and the amount of time we put into each and every resume in order to create a high quality masterpiece, we have a very limited amount of slots available per month.  Click here to learn more about our resume service.



TIP 3: Don’t get to caught up in the perfect job.  Sometimes all you need to do is get your foot in the door, because that is where the real opportunities happen. For example, if you are an Army Helicopter Pilot, you probably meet most of the minimum requirements for a UAS (drone) position.  You can use your experience gained in Army Aviation and leverage it to get into a field that currently has a massive shortage.  Once you are in the private military contractor world, you will make connection with people in the manned and unmanned arena and eventually you will get offered a position doing what you love.  Broaden your horizons and don’t be afraid to jump into something new.



TIP 4:  This tip is specifically written for Army Helicopter Pilots. We have personally seen Army Helicopter Pilots take jobs flying UAS (drones) because that’s where most of the vacancies are at currently.  Outsiders see this as settling, but what they don’t know is that an entry level OCONUS drone pilot starts out at 125K and are guaranteed to be over 190k within three years, which is more than most helicopter pilots make anyway.  Most helicopter pilots that do this do get job offers to come back to the manned side but end up staying in the UAS field because after seeing it first hand, they know that It’s the future.  This is a decision that you will have to make for yourself, but you should ask yourself why you are considering working on an OCONUS contract in the first place?  Is it to make great money and provide a better life for yourself and your family or do you really, just want to fly?  Whatever you decide, just know that there are more positions and less competition in the UAS field, but this won’t last forever. 



TIP 5:  Before you apply for an OCONUS position it’s very important to have a long conversation with your family.  It’s not uncommon to not hear anything for three months, but then one day get a call from the company asking if you can leave for training in four days.  This is a decision that needs to be made before you get the call because if you are unsure, the company will more than likely move on to the next candidate.  Know your answer before you get the call.  If you pass on position, you may not get called back for another.



TIP 6:  If you are offered a position that requires training, be ready to make a commitment.  Training is expensive and nothing in this world is free.  Companies will pay you during training and for your training, but they will want their money back.  Expect to sign a document committing to twelve months of total deployments with the company.  If for some reason you don’t complete the total agreed upon deployed time, you will be expected to pay back training cost.  It’s a legal document written by expensive lawyers and they can hold you to it.  



TIP 7:  Be flexible.  It’s common for the company to not know exactly where they are sending you or even when you will be deploying when you leave for training, especially if it’s a new contract.  Be ready to deploy anytime to basically anywhere in the world.  It may be the most hostile environment in the world or a very nice place with a chow hall, gym, great internet and other amenities. 



TIP 8:  Don’t be a douche.  People that can’t get along with others, think they know it all and people who like drama will not last very long in this field.  We have seen a large amount of people get fired very quickly by being the person that bitches about everything, refuses to listen and learn and for even being carless.  If you get a job offer in this field, be a team player, go with the flow, learn as much as you can and become an asset to your company.  No matter how “Top Gun” you think you are, when starting out with a new company, a new team and as a civilian you are starting back at square one.  You are the low man, you are nothing, at least until you prove otherwise.  No one cares what rank you were, how important you were or how many people you oversaw while you were serving in the military. Now, you are the FNG until you show them you are not a douche.  Proving yourself shouldn’t take long as long as you are squared away and take the advice in the first part of this tip.



TIP 9:  Don’t think because you have been offered a position that you are 100% in and it’s all downhill.  You will be required to complete training and perform at a high level.  When you go to training, work hard and perform to the top of your ability.  If you aren’t making the cut, they will send you home.  This happens all the time but is mostly due to a lack of effort.  



TIP 10:  This field is not for the weak minded.  You will have times during your job search, your training and your deployments where you are frustrated, demotivated and just want to give up.  Don’t.  Remember why you started this journey and keep moving forward to accomplish your goals.  Nothing worth it is ever easy and no one said it would be.  Embrace the Suck and the rewards will be worth it.  However, until you are ready to commit, don’t even start applying.  You may only get one chance.  Don’t waste it because you weren’t sure.


TIP 11:  We made this page to answer some of the most common questions that we get because unfortunantely, we don't have the time to answer every inquiry and question that we get.  There is only so many of us and so much time in a day.  We do apologize for the inconvience.  If you find yourself having additional questions, needing guidance on how to get into the field or are looking for an opportunity to talk to and network with people currently working in the field, click here and check out our mentoring program.  It may be exactly what you need. 



1. What about Non-US Citizen?

Yes, check the website. We have jobs posted for all nationalities.  However, the majority of our jobs are for United States Citizens. 



2. Where do I send my resume?

You apply through the job posting on the Flyer Jobs website.  Do NOT send us your resumes.  We work with many different companies who post job openings on the site.


3. Do I really have to pay?

If you wish to use our services, then, yes. We are all current aviation contractors participating in operations all over the world, but we remain dedicated to providing the technology, information and support required for our brothers and sisters to be successful.  We only charge enough to cover the costs of running the site.   



4. Does reserve or guard time count?

Yes, if you have been deployed. In aviation the guard and reserves are held to the same standards, fly the same minimums and complete the same training as their active duty counterparts.  Your guard and reserve time absolutely counts.



5. I only did 3 years and 9 months but deployed twice. Can I apply?

Yes, you can apply.  Recruiters and hiring managers do have a little leeway when it comes to getting the best person for the job.  However, you’ll need to find a way to stand out and beat out the people that meet the requirements.  Be creative.  While applying for positions, it’s important to note that some contracts have a “no waivers may be granted” clause, meaning that if you don’t meet the requirements, then you are out of luck.  While these contracts are out there, they are not the majority.  We are telling you this for awareness, so don’t get discouraged if you are putting your best foot forward and not getting offers.  If you don’t give up, you will get a job offer.   



6.  What are the physical fitness requirements?



7. Remember, this is not the infantry.  In the aviation contract world, we don’t have physical fitness test.  However, it’s important to point out that we directly support some of the best in the world up to and including Army Special Forces and Navy Seal teams.  We interact with these professionals on a daily basis.  It’s important that you can talk the talk and walk the walk.  So, while there are no physical fitness standards, you will still need to look like a professional.  Slobs do not make it in this industry.



8. I ETS in one year. Can I start applying now?

It’s not recommend that you apply until you have about three months remaining on your contract.  However, it is recommended that you start your research now to find out what companies you’d like to work for and what jobs you qualify for.  All companies are NOT created equal.  At this point you still have time take action and gain some additional experience if you are lacking in a certain area.  Most importantly, it gives you time to start perfecting your resume. Do it now. Don’t wait.



9. What does XYZ job pay?

This is typically confidential due to several factors.  However, I can tell you that the majority of OCONUS positions start out at 125k and that’s if you barley meet the minimum requirements.  If you are a mid-career professional with a solid resume, your starting salary should be around the 150 – 165k range, for an OCONUS position.


10. What about females?


The aviation contract community is as open to women as it is men.  In very rare situations, there may be a specific area where you can’t go as a woman.  Most contracts have multiple sites that they operate within and your company will simply schedule you for the sites you can go to.  Being a female really is a non-issue and you are welcome to apply.