Pilot forecast

Take your career to new heights

Due to a variety of factors, including demographics, mandatory retirement ages, early retirements due to COVID, and the growth in demand for pilots, there is increasing evidence of a pilot supply issue throughout the industry. Experts project that demand for pilots will exceed supply globally in the next year or two and continue throughout the next decade. 

280,000
new pilots needed over the next 10 years
New pilots needed per region
252K new commercial pilots
needed over the next 10 years
Active
2023
351K
Remain active
252K
Replacement
99K
Growth
153K
2032
504K
Active
351k
2023
504k
153k
99k
252k
Growth
Replacement
Remain active
2032
Explore the commercial aviation forecast
32K new business aviation pilots needed over the next 10 years
Active
2023
57K
Remain active
31K
Replacement
26K
Growth
6K
2032
63K
Active
57k
2023
63k
6k
26k
31k
Growth
Replacement
Remain active
2032
Explore the business aviation forecast
Parked planes waiting for pilots
The pilot supply issue can already be seen in the United States, where several regional airlines are cutting service and parking airplanes due to a lack of qualified crew. 

Several thousand pilots took early retirement at the height of the pandemic, and thousands more will be facing mandatory retirement at age 65 in the next few years. At the same time, traditional pilot entry points, including the military and self-funded trainees, are producing fewer pilots.
38% of pilots in the United States are over 50 years old
Source:  FAA
Exciting opportunities on the horizon
Several regional airlines have begun offering significantly increased compensation packages to attract new pilots. Steps such as guaranteed placement and sponsorships have been implemented to reduce the financial risk of flight training programs. Airlines have also begun outreach programs to show aviation as an attractive career choice, encourage interest in flying as a career, and bolster STEM education efforts.
39% growth
in pilot demand
from 2023 to 2032
567K
active civil pilots forecasted for 2032
504K
commercial pilots
63K
business aviation pilots
Breaking barriers in the skies
Diversity is welcoming a new generation of pilots into the flight deck. The industry has recognized that talent takes on all shapes and colours. Even though there is still room for improvement, movements such as CAE’s Women in Flight are meant to encourage women to register for flight schools and join the many women who have recently become pilots.
Currently, only 10% of the 757,000 FAA registered pilots of all categories are women
Source: FAA
Hear from those whose careers took flight...
Pamela Behr
Training Manager, Learjet 60, Learjet 60XR and Challenger 601,
Business Aviation and Helicopter Training at CAE
Where passion meets success
A career as a pilot is both rewarding and satisfying on many levels. In a fast-paced environment like aviation, being a pilot means to successfully overcome challenges daily.
As pilots, we are connected by our passion for aviation. For me, this passion has been with me all my life, passed down by my father. When we first start our careers, our flying lessons begin with small aircraft like the C172. From there, the exploration begins, and the passion keeps on growing.
I would advise anyone considering a career in aviation to go for it! The sector is rapidly growing and there are many opportunities for success.
Lauren Beam
First Officer at Jet Edge  
CAE Women in Flight ambassador
Get started and reach your ultimate goal
Over the last 10+ years, there has never been a more opportune time to enter the aviation industry than right now. The lead time from when one begins pilot training to making it to the airlines is shorter than we have seen in a long time.
The most difficult part of becoming a pilot is taking the first step to do so. A great place to start would be a visit to your local CAE flight school. There, you can take a discovery flight to get a taste for what it feels like to be in control of an airplane, find a mentor, and network with others in the aviation community.  
Set small goals that are steppingstones to achieving your ultimate goal, create a timeline and get started!
Alicia Hunt
President, Flight Instructor Trainer at CAE Phoenix
CAE Women in Flight ambassador
Every experience counts
If you love adventure, problem-solving, structure, and travel then it would be hard to find a better fit than being a pilot.
As a pilot, I never get tired of the amazing view and it feels incredibly good to touch down safely, knowing you did your part to make air travel as safe as possible! I personally had zero background in aviation before getting started - in fact, I worked in the arts!  Still, every experience gained have contributed to my skills as a pilot. We need people from all backgrounds.
Flight school is challenging, but with guidance and support, you'll be amazed at what you can achieve. Reach out and find your mentors and supporters!
What you can do today
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