Helicopter Pilots fly helicopters to transport passengers, mail or freight, or provide agricultural, aviation or aerial surveillance services.
Prepares and submits flight plans giving consideration to factors such as weather conditions and aircraft performance.
Flies aircraft in accordance with established air traffic control and aircraft operating procedures.
Provides flight information for flight crews and air traffic services staff.
Completes cockpit preparations and external inspections to determine that aircraft are acceptable for flight.
Monitors aircraft performance and reports on mechanical condition.
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Air Transport Professionals, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 89% of people employed as Helicopter Pilots work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 23 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 48 hours per week in their main job. This is 4 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Helicopter Pilots||All Jobs Average|
Around 67% of Helicopter Pilots live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
Queensland and the Northern Territory have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
The region with the largest share of workers is Sunshine Coast.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Helicopter Pilots is 40 years. This is the same as the all jobs average.
A large share of workers are aged 35 to 44 years.
Females make up 4% of the workforce. This is 44 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Helicopter Pilots||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||1.4||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Helicopter Pilots need a pilot licence, issued by the Civil Aviation Authority. Practical and theoretical training is usually required. Flight training is available through private flying schools. Some Helicopter Pilots also have Vocational Education and Training (VET) or university qualifications. Some Helicopter Pilots train with the Australian Defence Force.
Registration with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority is required.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Aviation Industry VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Helicopter Pilots||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||5.6||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||5.1||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Air Transport Professionals who work well in a team, can communicate clearly and are reliable.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
75%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Reading work related information.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
54%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
52%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
52%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Talking to others.
Teaching people how to do something.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Looking for ways to help people.
Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
70%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
60%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
51%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
47%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
46%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
43%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
39%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
35%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
35%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
29%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
24%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
See details that are far away.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Quickly choose the right movement of the hand, foot, or other body part when there are two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures).
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Listen to and understand what people say.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Communicate by speaking.
Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
57%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Read and understand written information.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
54%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
93%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
81%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
76%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
75%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
75%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
71%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
70%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
70%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
68%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
67%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
67%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
66%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
63%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
62%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
62%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
60%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
59%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
56%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
50%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
47%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
93%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Talk on the telephone.
92%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
90%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
89%In an enclosed vehicle or equipment
Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).
88%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
87%Outdoors, exposed to weather
Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.
86%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
86%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
86%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
85%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
85%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
85%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
Work with people in a group or team.
84%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
81%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
Work to strict deadlines.
77%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 53-2012.00 - Commercial Pilots.