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Airline hiring hits record high

2022 the best year yet

Aviation industry hiring numbers are continuing to climb in 2022 with many companies offering big incentives to compete for talent.

Airline pilot Crystal Frost reacts after winning a “hook ‘em” game at the JSfirm jobs booth in the EAA AirVenture Education and Career Center. Frost said traffic was about 50 percent higher in 2021 than in 2019 for young pilots asking her about aviation careers. Photo by David Tulis.

Hiring numbers from January to May are in and 2022 has already surpassed 2021 as the best year on record for pilot hiring since 2000. Future and Active Pilot Advisors (FAPA) reported that in the past five months, airline hiring has already reached 5,526 pilots. This figure is up from the 2021 total of 5,426.

“If you are a pilot, you are finding a job,” said Sam Scanlon, managing partner for “The most popular trend right now is what we call ‘Hooks’ on These can be anything from Top Pay, Match Pay Plus, Sign-on Bonus, Flexible Schedule, Flex Time, 4 Day Work Weeks…. The list goes on and on. Companies are going to every extent possible to compete for talent in this market.

“There has been so much activity in this area that we recently developed technology for job seekers to sort by ‘Hooks.’ The job market is and will remain competitive. This past May was our largest month for job postings on, coming in with close to 45,000 jobs. This coupled with Boeing and JSfirm’s reports about the shortage of qualified aviation personnel through 2035 will continue to make aviation a top career choice.

“Our top three flying jobs remain Airline Pilots, 135 Corporate Charter, and Helicopter particularly EMS. It’s difficult to pick the top three nonflying jobs. Maintenance, Avionics, Management remain close to the top. does have another rapidly growing category which is Flight Nurses/Paramedics.”

For pilots still weighing their options, FAPA’s June 25 Pilot Job Fair and Future Pilot Forum in Denver will feature over a dozen different airlines, private aviation companies, professional flight schools, and aviation organizations. Major airlines Atlas Air and United Airlines will be on hand to speak with qualified candidates about their airlines and pathway programs.

Niki Britton

eMedia Content Producer
eMedia Content Producer Niki Britton joined AOPA in 2021. She is a private pilot who enjoys flying her 1969 Cessna 182 and taking aerial photographs.
Topics: Career, Financial

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