30 Helicopter Jobs for Recent Graduates

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 14, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Helicopter pilots undergo hours of training courses, flight instruction and piloting experience before entering the workforce as licensed professionals. Entry-level jobs for recent flight school graduates exist in many industries and organizations. If you have an interest in piloting helicopters and attending flight school, you can benefit from an understanding of the roles available to you after graduation. In this article, we provide a list of 30 entry-level helicopter jobs for recent graduates looking to enter the workforce and work with helicopters.

15 entry-level helicopter jobs for recent graduates

Here are 15 entry-level positions available to individuals who recently graduated from helicopter pilot programs with salaries and a description of duties. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries:

1. Tour guide

National average salary: $35,311 per year

Primary duties: A tour guide performs informational tours and programs for groups of visitors and individuals in various locations or landmarks. Many commercial helicopter businesses use pilots and helicopter equipment to provide private aerial tours. Tour guide positions offer a common way for new pilots to practice skills and gain experience. The primary duties of a helicopter tour guide include communicating information, piloting aircraft, transporting passengers and following safety protocols.

2. Patient transporter

National average salary: $36,907 per year

Primary duties: A patient transporter handles the transportation and movement of medical patients in emergency situations. Many medical facilities such as hospitals and surgical centers utilize helicopters to transport patients who need immediate care. The primary duties of a helicopter patient transporter include flying aircraft, navigating emergency situations, loading patients and landing planes.

3. News reporter

National average salary: $38,082 per year

Primary duties: A news reporter works to investigate and communicate current events to the public. Many news stations use helicopter equipment to gather footage and information from an aerial view. As a news helicopter pilot, primary duties include transporting reporters and collecting aerial videos and images.

4. Sprayer

National average salary: $38,284 per year

Primary duties: A sprayer handles the spraying and distribution of chemicals or materials. Large-scale spraying operations such as environmental pest control and crop dusting may use helicopters to cover an area efficiently. A helicopter sprayer performs tasks such as piloting equipment, aiming hoses, maintaining safety standards and following directions.

5. Logger

National average salary: $39,723 per year

Primary duties: Loggers work to cut and transport lumber supplies. Many logging operations use helicopter equipment to access and transport large loads of logs and supplies. The primary duties of a helicopter pilot in the logging industry include loading logs, securing cargo, navigating fields and maintaining delivery schedules.

6. Law enforcement officer

National average salary: $43,355 per year

Primary duties: A law enforcement officer monitors communities to enforce local and government laws and regulations and investigate crimes. Some law departments use helicopter surveillance and pilots to monitor an area or respond to large-scale emergency situations. The primary duties for law enforcement officers and helicopter officers include patrolling communities, responding to emergency calls, navigating hazardous situations and tracking crimes.

7. Firefighter

National average salary: $47,296 per year

Primary duties: Firefighters work in emergency situations to respond to calls and reports of fires. Severe conditions often require the use of helicopters for aerial firefighting procedures. The primary duties of an aerial firefighter include responding to calls, piloting equipment, aiming hoses and navigating hazardous air conditions.

Read more: Learn About Being a Firefighter

8. Utility line locator

N**ational average salary:** $47,539 per year

Primary duties: Utility line locators work to survey, find and map paths for utility lines such as electrical wires, pipes and sewage systems. Some utility locators may require the use of helicopter equipment to track paths and systems in large areas and cities. The primary duties of a utility line locator include reporting equipment, mapping paths, noting potential issues and communicating utility locations.

9. Emergency medical technician

N**ational average salary:** $49,724 per year

Primary duties: An emergency medical technician (EMT) is a trained professional who handles medical patients in emergencies. Some EMT services use helicopters and pilots to access or transport patients who need immediate care. The primary duties of an EMT helicopter pilot include flying in hazardous conditions, transporting patients and training in emergency medical processes.

10. Commercial pilot

National average salary: $50,760 per year

Primary duties: A commercial pilot handles the flight and transportation of passengers and goods. Helicopter pilots can find positions in the commercial industry at airports and organizations. The primary duties of a commercial pilot include following flight schedules, loading cargo and maintaining flight safety. A commercial pilot requires flight training and examination to earn a commercial pilot license.

11. First officer

National average salary: $54,639 per year

Primary duties: A first officer is a co-pilot or assistant to the aircraft's captain. Entry-level helicopter pilots train and gain experience as first officers to learn and practice flight skills and safety. The primary duties of a first officer include monitoring flight systems, preparing for takeoff and following directions from the captain.

12. Cargo pilot

National average salary: $74,619 per year

Primary duties: A cargo pilot works to fly aircraft equipment used to transport and distribute goods. Many distributors and organizations use helicopter equipment for cargo deliveries and require pilots to perform routes and ensure delivery schedules. The primary duties of a cargo pilot include loading planes, following delivery routes, maintaining flight schedules and coordinating shipments.

13. Border patrol agent

National average salary: $82,476 per year

Primary duties: Border patrol agents are federal employees who work to monitor, survey and regulate movement across the U.S. border. Border patrol services often extend to the use of helicopters to watch and regulate border passages. Helicopter pilots who work as border patrol professionals may perform duties such as surveillance, emergency responses and security checks.

Read more: Learn About Being a Border Patrol Agent

14. Surveyor

National average salary: $86,951 per year

Primary duties: A surveyor observes and charts areas of land or systems to create a report of the environment and conditions. The surveyor provides information for construction plans, zoning or research. Helicopter pilots may work as surveyors to fly over, observe and map the area for an organization.

Read more: Learn About Being a Surveyor

15. Flight instructor

National average salary: $92,782 per year

Primary duties: A flight instructor uses skills and knowledge to educate and guide students in flight schools and training programs. An entry-level flight instructor may work under the supervision of a more experienced pilot and instructor to gain experience and skills. The primary duties of a flight instructor include guiding simulations, assessing student performance and communicating with students about flight procedures.

15 additional entry-level helicopter pilot jobs

Here are 15 additional positions available to recent helicopter pilot graduates:

  1. Drone pilot: $44,165 per year

  2. Film crew member: $44,588 per year

  3. Air traffic controller: $45,950 per year

  4. Photographer: $49,207 per year

  5. Entertainer: $49,375 per year

  6. Deputy sheriff: $50,121 per year

  7. Park ranger: $51,404 per year

  8. Pest control technician: $53,624 per year

  9. Aircraft maintenance technician: $57,270 per year

  10. C**rop manager**: $62,604 per year

  11. Commander: $64,291 per year

  12. Public safety officer: $68,351 per year

  13. Aircraft mechanic: $69,800 per year

  14. Aviation consultant: $90,743 per year

  15. Federal agent: $115,380 per year

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