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Dream job for high-flyers: 558,000 new pilots needed

There's some good news for all the would-be pilots out there, as Boeing estimates soaring vacancies across the aviation profession over the next 20 years.

According to the U.S. aerospace giant, the world will need 558,000 new commercial airline pilots over the next two decades, as global airlines continue to build their fleets.


Airline pilot aviation
Jacom Stephens | Getty Images

There will also be a need for 609,000 additional commercial airline maintenance technicians, Boeing said in its latest "Pilot and Technician Outlook" report, out on Monday.

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"The challenge of meeting the global demand for airline professionals will not be solved by one company alone," Sherry Carbary, vice president of Boeing Flight Services, in a press release on the report.

"Aircraft manufacturers, airlines, training equipment manufacturers, training delivery organizations, regulatory agencies and educational institutions are all stepping up to meet the increasing need to train and certify pilots and technicians."

Noah Clayton | Getty Images

Between 2015 and 2034, an average of 28,000 new pilots and 30,000 new technicians are expected to be required each year.

But before you enroll at flying school, it's worth noting that the majority of the demand is expected to be from Asia-Pacific, where 226,000 new pilots will be needed over the next 20 years.

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By comparison, 95,000 new pilots will be needed in the U.S., with the same number required in Europe, according to Boeing.

The company said the rise in demand reflected the planned addition of 38,000 airplanes to global fleets by 2034.

Interested? A chief pilot at Boeing earns between $101,773 and $246,219 per year, according to payscale.com.

However, would-be pilots often have to fund their own training, which can run to hundreds of thousands of dollars. And finding a first job can be tough, with some airlines only recruiting those with experience of flying jet aircraft.