Is There an Airline Pilot Shortage?

The coronavirus pandemic has had a drastic effect on nearly every industry, and the airline industry is no different. As travel bans were enacted and airlines lost the ability to serve certain routes, many felt unsafe traveling for months. As restrictions are lifted, and travel demand increases for flights, is it true that there is an airline pilot shortage? 

In short, yes. The airline industry is an exciting and rewarding field, so why are airlines now scrambling to fill vacant roles?


The Pandemic’s Effect On the Airline Industry

The pandemic’s effect on the airline industry was twofold. As mentioned above, during the height of the pandemic, restrictions paired with the general public’s weariness of travel caused there to be a huge drop in demand for air travel. As a result, airlines furloughed several employees, saw a decrease in new hires, and also saw older pilots and other airline employees retiring, perhaps earlier than they otherwise would have.1 

With less active employees to call on with air travel demand ramping back up again, a void has been left in nearly every airline position. 


How Academic Trends in the US Have Affected Certain Skilled Jobs

Even pre-pandemic, there was a noticeable drop in attendance at vocational schools in the United States. These low numbers have negatively affected high school graduates and industries that rely on certain skilled laborers.2 

As the oldest aircraft dispatcher school in the country, providing paths for FAA dispatcher licensing and certifications, we have always recognized the importance of skilled laborers. Enrollment in vocational schools in the United States are extremely low compared to other countries such as Germany, which in 2016 reported that 47.2% of its population completed formal vocational qualifications, compared to less than 5% in the United States.2 

This low enrollment in vocational schools results from our society undervaluing these roles. High school graduates often either opt to go to work straight after graduating choose to attend a regular four-year college. There is now a large supply of college graduates and a low supply of skilled specialty workers, and as a result, wages for skilled workers have increased and will only continue to do so. This wage increase doesn’t apply only to airline workers but also to plumbers, mechanics, electricians, and others. 


What Airline Employee Shortages Mean For Prospective Students

This shortage means that airlines will be offering higher wages and have many roles to fill. As a result, if you are considering getting a flight dispatcher license, this is a great time to start. We offer streamlined education with strong ties to major airlines, which can ensure that you find a high-paying, reliable job in a field growing in demand. Our dispatchers are highly sought after by large employing companies such as Delta, United, American Airlines, and more. 

Working after attaining your high school degree or choosing to attend a college or university can be great options for your future, but you may want to pay close attention to economic and academic trends. Growing industries that lack qualified employees give potential employees large bargaining power, which is not shared in more readily supplied sectors such as those graduating with business degrees. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of our esteemed flight dispatcher school. 






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