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Insiders offer aviation career advice

California Aeronautical University, JSfirm see opportunities

Aviation career opportunities are likely to remain abundant, but there are still places where aspiring pilots might go astray, according to two industry insiders who briefed a seminar crowd of about 100 on July 30 at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

JSfirm Executive Director Abbey Hutter and California Aeronautical University President Matt Johnston offered aviation career advice to around 100 people attending their July 30 seminar at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Photo by Alicia Herron. Executive Director Abbey Hutter and Matt Johnston, president of California Aeronautical University, hosted a joint seminar at the AOPA Pavilion on building a career in aviation. The crowd of about 100 people included certificated pilots seeking jobs and future pilots looking for advice on how to get started.

Johnston’s segment of the presentation included information on how to choose the right flight training option for your needs and budget, plus pertinent questions you should be asking as a potential student. He noted that those new to the industry often don’t even know where to start, and recommended asking flight schools specific questions like average time and cost to complete a rating, whether or not the school uses in-house or contracted instructors, and, interestingly, if recruiters for the college/flight school receive a paid commission upon a new student’s enrollment.

Hutter noted the rapid growth in the industry. Boeing released its 2022 Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlookon July 26, forecasting the air transportation industry will need 602,000 new pilots, 610,000 aviation maintenance technicians, and 899,000 new cabin personnel to meet expected demand through 2041—estimates that do not account for business aviation and helicopter operations.

“We need people to get in here and become pilots,” said Johnston, who expressed excitement about the future of aviation and the opportunities available to current and future students. “We want more people in the industry. It is fun and there’s a need.”

For job seekers, Hutter described the benefits of searching through, an industry leader in online, curated aviation career listings. is “like the Indeed of aviation jobs,” said Hutter, noting that it is not just for pilots and also includes mechanic jobs and positions in aviation management, among others.

Alyssa J. Miller

Alicia Herron

Publications Content Producer
Publications Content Producer Alicia Herron joined AOPA in 2018. She is a multiengine-rated commercial pilot with advanced ground and instrument flight instructor certificates. She is based in Los Angeles and enjoys tailwheel flying best.
Topics: Flight School, Financial, Career

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