By Danny Freedman
Monday, April 25, 2005 4:05 PM
JONATHAN NEAL, 24
JOB: Flight instructor, A.T.C. Flight Training Center in Ft. Washington, Md.
SALARY RANGE: $15 to $30 per hour
EDUCATION: Bachelor's of science with emphasis in airway science from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark.
WHAT HE DOES: Neal teaches three or four students a day the rudiments of airplane anatomy, flight rules and cockpit controls. Students usually go up in a four-seat Cessna, used for its "very forgiving" nature. Even so, flight instructors must be ready "like a loaded gun" for the unexpected, said Neal. "Which way is my student going to try to kill me today?"
WOULD YOU WANT HIS JOB?: Work days can last as long as 15 hours, especially during the summer when more people want to learn. The big perk is getting time in the air for free, whether you need the hours to land a job with an airline or just enjoy seeing this power town look like an ant colony.
HOW YOU CAN GET HIS JOB: Earn private and commercial pilot's licenses, then get an instrument rating, which proves your capability to fly in bad weather. After that, you can begin the process of becoming a certified flight instructor.
This article orignally appeared in Express on July 12, 2004.