Are Helicopter Pilots in Demand? Growth Forecast

Are you intrigued by the exciting world of helicopter aviation but curious about the job outlook for helicopter pilots? The surprising fact is there's a substantial shortage of qualified pilots in the global helicopter industry. In an era where vertical mobility is revolutionizing transportation and rescue operations, the role of helicopter pilots has never been more critical – and the opportunities more abundant. 


This article invites you to delve deeper into this captivating scenario, unraveling the layers of a pressing challenge that the aviation community faces today. Beyond the allure of aviation's glamor lies a significant and compelling narrative of demand that outpaces supply.

As we navigate through the intricate web of statistics, trends, and insights, you'll gain a comprehensive understanding of the employment landscape, growth projections, and the intriguing possibilities that lie ahead for those who aspire to command the skies. 

Join us through the dynamics of the current demand for these high-flying professionals! 

Key Takeaways 

  • There is a substantial shortage of qualified helicopter pilots in the global industry, with a projected shortage of 61,000 pilots by 2038. 
  • The demand for helicopter pilots is growing rapidly, particularly in sectors such as tourism and emergency medical services (EMS). 
  • The job market for helicopter pilots in the United States alone is expected to grow by 6% from 2018-2028. 
  • Factors contributing to the shortage include retirement of experienced pilots, competition with other professions, and limited access to quality flight schools and training facilities. 
  • Despite the challenges, pursuing a career as a helicopter pilot offers promising job prospects and attractive salary potential.

Growth Forecast in the Helicopter Sector 

In the world of flying, the helicopter industry is growing and trying new things - it's getting ready to make good changes. This big change isn't just about numbers; it's a big shift that has lots of different parts.  

As all of this happens, the helicopter sector is experiencing significant growth, with a high demand for helicopter pilots and improved working conditions. 

High demand for helicopter pilots 

The global market currently faces a high demand for helicopter pilots, reflecting growing needs across various sectors. Exploring the core of this surge in demand, it's clear that commercial industries like tourism significantly contribute to this trend. 

Over recent decades, helicopters have increasingly become preferred options for tourists aimed at experiencing breath-taking aerial views and accessing remote tourist destinations easily. 

This shift has subsequently escalated the need for more trained helicopter pilots. Furthermore, Boeing's study has projected a potential helicopter pilot shortage of about 61,000 helicopter pilots through 2038 – an indication of imminent opportunities in this field. 

Any aspiring pilot who can navigate the training requirements stands a chance to fill these positions and potentially enjoy rewarding salary benefits due to increased job opportunities in the sector. 

Therefore, entering a career as a helicopter pilot now may be timely given these trends and future projections. 

Projected job availability and improved working conditions 

The helicopter industry is experiencing a significant growth forecast, which directly translates into increased job availability for helicopter pilots. As the demand for helicopter services continues to rise in various sectors such as tourism, emergency medical services (EMS), and transportation, more opportunities are opening up for skilled pilots as helicopter pilots play a very important role in many industries. 

According to Boeing's study, the job market for helicopter pilots in the United States alone is projected to grow by 6% from 2018-2028. This positive outlook also brings with it improved working conditions, as companies strive to attract and retain talented individuals by offering competitive salaries and better benefits packages. 

With the global pilot shortage becoming a reality, now is an opportune time for aspiring pilots to pursue their passion and secure a promising career in this dynamic industry. 


EMS Helicopter Pilot Demand and Trends in the US 

The demand for EMS helicopter pilots in the US is steadily increasing, with a projected growth in job availability and improved working conditions. 

Increasing demand for EMS helicopter pilots 

The demand for EMS helicopter pilots is on the rise, presenting exciting opportunities in this specialized field. With an increasing number of medical emergencies requiring immediate transportation, EMS helicopters play a crucial role in saving lives. 

As a result, there is a growing need for skilled and qualified pilots who can navigate these challenging situations with precision and efficiency. According to industry projections, the demand for EMS helicopter pilots is expected to continue rising in the coming years, offering excellent career prospects and job security in this rewarding sector. 

Job market growth projection 

The job market for helicopter pilots is forecasted to experience a growth in the coming years, with a projected increase of 6% from 2018 to 2028 in the United States as per the estimations. 
This growth projection signifies the increasing demand for helicopter pilots, particularly in the commercial and tourism sectors. It also underscores the urgent need to address the projected shortage of nearly 61,000 helicopter pilots globally by 2038, as highlighted by Boeing. This means that nearly four times as many helicopter pilots will be needed around the world than are working right now.  
The shortage is not confined to a specific region, it's a global concern. Therefore, the outlook for helicopter pilots comes with promising career prospects, increased job opportunities, and better salary packages. 

The Shortage of Helicopter Pilots 

The shortage of helicopter pilots is predicted to become a reality, with factors such as growing demand and limited supply contributing to this industry-wide concern. 

Factors contributing to the shortage 

Factors contributing to the shortage of helicopter pilots include: 

  1. Retirement of experienced pilots: Many seasoned helicopter pilots are reaching retirement age, leading to a significant loss of skilled professionals in the industry. 
  2. Competition with other professions: The aviation industry is not the only sector facing a shortage of skilled workers. Other industries, such as technology and healthcare, offer attractive career options that may divert potential candidates away from becoming helicopter pilots. 
  3. Lack of awareness and misconceptions: Many people are unaware of the opportunities available in the helicopter pilot profession or hold misconceptions about the required helicopter pilot license and job prospects. 
  4. Limited access to flight schools and flight training facilities: Not all regions have adequate resources for helicopter pilot training, making it challenging for aspiring pilots to receive proper education and hands-on experience. 
  5. Industry perception and working conditions: Some aspiring pilots may be deterred by factors such as long flight hours, irregular schedules, time away from home, or concerns about safety risks associated with helicopter flying. 
  6. Regulatory requirements: Strict regulations regarding certifications and qualifications can be a barrier for some individuals looking to enter the field. 
  7. Lack of diversity and inclusivity: The underrepresentation of certain groups, such as women or minorities, in the aviation industry has contributed to the shortage of helicopter pilots by limiting the pool of potential candidates. 

The Future Outlook for Helicopter Pilots 

The outlook for helicopter pilots is promising, with steady job growth and increasing career opportunities in the aviation industry. 

Promising career prospects 

The career prospects for helicopter pilots are highly promising in today's aviation industry. With the growing demand for helicopter services, there is a significant need for skilled and qualified pilots to meet this demand. 

In addition to job availability, another factor that makes the career prospects for helicopter pilots promising is the attractive salary potential. As the demand for helicopter services increases, so does the compensation for skilled pilots. 

Furthermore, with advancements in technology and improvements in working conditions within the industry, being a helicopter pilot has become an even more appealing profession. 

Overall, if you're considering a career as a helicopter pilot, you can look forward to exciting opportunities and excellent growth potential. Whether it's working in emergency medical services (EMS), tourism, or other sectors of the industry, there is no shortage of options available. 

Job growth and salary trends 

The job growth and salary trends for helicopter pilots are quite promising. The demand for skilled helicopter pilots is expected to rise significantly in the coming years, leading to increased employment opportunities.  

With the growing popularity of helicopters in various industries such as tourism and emergency medical services (EMS), the need for helicopter pilots is on the rise. This increase in demand translates into favorable career prospects with excellent job growth potential. 

In terms of salary trends, helicopter pilots can expect competitive compensation packages commensurate with their skills and experience levels. Salaries can vary depending on factors such as location, employer type, and job responsibilities. However, overall, salaries for helicopter pilots tend to be attractive due to the specialized nature of their work. 

It is important for aspiring helicopter pilots to consider both job growth prospects and salary trends when making career decisions. With increasing demand and projected shortages in this field globally, becoming a professional helicopter pilot offers exciting opportunities within the aviation industry. 


The demand for helicopter pilots is on the rise, with a projected growth forecast of the need for new pilots in the sector. The shortage of non-commercial and commercial pilots has become a global concern, with factors such as increased tourism and expanding job opportunities contributing to the high demand. Aspiring helicopter pilots can look forward to promising career prospects and attractive salaries in the aviation industry. With an expected 6% job market growth from 2018-2028 in the United States alone, now is an opportune time to pursue a career as a helicopter pilot.

If you are prepared to pursue a high-demand career path, please reach out to our admissions team at 503.726.3000 or They will guide you in taking the initial steps towards a fulfilling and rewarding career.