Career Opportunities

Job Placement From NMC

Finding A Job

Aviation industry hiring is at an all-time high. NMC students have near 100% placement rates following completion of the program. Following graduation, students can expect to have around 225 hours of logged flight time. Newly graduated pilots can then apply for entry level positions in the industry, to include flight instructing, towing banners, aerial survey, or first officer positions with small freight or charter companies.

Flight Instructing

At NMC, many of our graduates to stay on as flight instructors in our program, enabling them to build flight time and experience while taking classes towards completion of our bachelor degree options. By the time they complete their 4-year degree, many of our instructors will have attained the 1250 flight hours needed to go straight to an airline job.

Pilot Job Market Prospects Are Bright

  • “8000 [pilots] a year will need to be hired to replace those who retire, to accommodate new rules around rest and to keep up with the industry’s expected growth.” – Kit Darby, “Pilot shortage looms for airlines,” USA Today, by Charisse Jones
  • Over the next 20 years, the Asia Pacific region will lead the worldwide growth in demand for pilots, with a requirement for 248,000 new pilots. North America will require 112,000, Europe 104,000, the Middle East 58,000, Latin America 51,000, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) / Russia 22,000, and Africa 22,000 – 2016 Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook
  • Regional airlines are on the front lines of a growing pilot shortage that will deeply impact every corner of the industry.... Hundreds of communities have already lost some of their air service, dozens have lost all of their air service. Profitable routes are being cut because there are too few pilots to fly all of today’s routes. Fewer new pilot certificates are being issued during a period of unprecedented retirements at the major airlines. – Regional Airline Association Pilot Workforce and Training Update, October 2016.

Pilot Retirements

Opportunities for additional hiring and career advancement will be plentiful through 2022, due to a wave of FAA-mandated pilot retirements that started in 2012. These retirements are expected to create opportunities on every rung of the aviation career ladder, from major airline first officers to regional airline captains to regional first officers. Industry analysts predict that regional airline demand for first officers will exceed the supply of qualified U.S. candidates.

US Pilots with ATP licenses Reaching Age 65

  • 2013–2017 — 18,471
  • 2018–2022 — 22,473
  • 2023–2027 — 25,610

Source: “US Pilot Labor Supply,” by Kent Lovelace and Jim Higgins, University of North Dakota

Pilot Compensation

  • Regional airline pilot salaries have nearly tripled in the past 3 years, with some airlines paying new first officer hires $60,000/year. Many airlines are offering signing and retention bonuses that dramatically boost first year pay. Promotion to captain can happen in as little as 2-4 years, with transition to a major airline occurring in 6-8 years, more than a decade faster than for previous generations.
  • Industry salary sources show a 10-year Southwest Airlines captain earns more than $200,000 with three-week vacations and 15-17 days off a month. A highly experience FedEx captain can earn $250,000 or more.
  • Learn more about different carriers, their aircraft, domiciles, and pay scales at

First Officer Qualification Rule


  • A Congressional law which went into effect on August 1, 2013, requires all airline pilots to hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) license. This substantially increased the experience requirements for airline first officers from a minimum of 250 hours to 1500.
  • Congress allowed the FAA to make exceptions to the 1500-hour requirement based on the way pilots received their flight training.
  • The FAA published exceptions that allowed pilots who graduated from a college with a 2-year aviation degree to get a Restricted ATP at age 21 and 1,250 hours of total flight experience, while pilots who graduated from a college or university with a 4-year aviation degree could get a Restricted ATP at age 21 and 1,000 hours of total flight experience.
  • NMC's Aviation degree has been approved by the FAA for the 1,250-hour/age-21 exception.
  • This rule applies to airline operations and not necessarily to other industry sectors.

Examples of jobs you can get with a degree from NMC

  • Airline Pilot
  • Charter Pilot
  • Corporate Pilot
  • Freight Pilot
  • Military/Government
  • Flight Instructing
  • Seaplanes
  • Parachute Jumping
  • Glider Towing
  • Banner Towing
  • Crop Dusting
  • Pipeline Survey
  • Unmanned Aircraft Operator

In The News

Airlines Facing Pilot Crisis

Regional airlines struggle to meet flight schedules due to pilot shortage. March 23, 2016. Read more.

Pilot Shortage Prompts Airlines To Boost Wages

Regional airlines boost starting wages to attract qualified pilots. November 6, 2016 Read more.

Pilot Shortage In Alaska

Alaska needs more pilots who love to fly and love the outdoors. October 11, 2016 Read more.

Diminishing Number Of Student Pilots In The U.S.

The Federal Aviation Administration reports fewer Americans are learning to be pilots. Read the NPR story.

Between 2016 And 2035, There Will Be A 112,000 Pilot Shortfall In The U.S.

2016 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook Read more.

Pilot Job Websites

Pilot Salary Info