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According to Salary.com the average pilot’s salary is currently $140,601. That’s certainly enough to get by. But what about people who know how to fly, but don’t want to be work as commercial pilots? How can they make money? Flying skills are in high demand, so there will always be options for those with that knowledge. Today’s guide covers the best ideas for those curious about how to make money with an airplane.
Maybe you’re retired or just fly as a hobby. Whatever the case, there are several ways to earn cash with an airplane. They can be a sole source of income, or just to supplement it. Some don’t even require any active work on your part. We’ve put together a list of the top ways you can earn. See what our favorites are below.
Afraid of flying? No problem! Check out one of our other ideas, like How to Make Money from Sports Knowledge.
Be an Air Tour Pilot
Who doesn’t love getting a nice aerial view? It’s a beautiful way to see the sights. Being an aerial tour guide is a great way to make money with your airplane. You can set up shop independently, offering private tours and sharing history on the surrounding area. How much profit you’ll make will depend on your location, as it might not get as many tourists. So, this is an especially good option if you live in a big city with lots of tourism.
Give Flying Lessons
Teaching others to fly is another great way to make an extra income. You’ll help keep the skies safer sharing your expertise with the next generation of pilots. And, depending on how much time you have, it can either be a full or part-time job. You’ll need to be at least 18 years old and obtain a flight instructor certification to legally instruct others though. Here’s more info about the qualifications required.
Flight Instructor Programs
Agricultural Pilot Work
Offer to help local farmers who need help maintaining their crops. It takes a special sort of plane rigged with crop dusting equipment, but agricultural work can pay quite well. The website onlinedegree.com says these pilots can make up to $84,510 a year. That’s easily enough to live on. It might require a little learning if you’re not familiar with the process. And, obviously, it helps if you already live in a rural area.
Special Airmail Delivery
People live everywhere these days. But some inhabited locations are still quite remote, without easy access to everyday items. This gives you an opportunity to run supplies out every few weeks to those in need. You don’t need to be affiliated with the postal service as you’ll be working independently. That gives you flexibility in setting rates, taking custom orders, and the number of clients you’d like to take on.
Offer Private Flights
This one’s similar to offering guided tours. However, with private flights you act as an independent charter flight company for smaller groups of people. There might not be as much demand as some of the other ideas mentioned, but the amount you charge could be higher as your providing a luxury service. Like with doing deliveries, you’d be in control of managing your own orders so you wouldn’t get overworked.
Private Charter Services
Rent Out Your Airplane
Consider renting out your airplane to companies and individuals who may be in need. They might not even need it for flying. Airplanes are often used on filming sets and by those seeking an inside look. This is definitely the easiest option, with little active labor necessary. The only requirement is that you own the airplane. The demand might fluctuate now and then, but it’s still an awesome passive income stream!
Airplane Rental Sites
- Alliance Aircraft Rentals (Colorado, Oregon, California, Nebraska)
- Jettly, On-Demand Private Jet Rentals
So, as you can see, there are lots of options for making money using your airplane. They range in earning potential, but most of them could easily give you a good full-time salary. They’re also flexible as you get to be your own boss.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Please leave any questions or comments below and we’ll try to respond as soon as possible.