Pilot walking on a tarmac

One of the best jobs in Canada and beyond

According to Canadian Business, pilot is one of Canada's best jobs.
Year Ranked Median salary 5-year wage growth Outlook
2019 57 $80,725 11% Positive
2018 14 $78,000 12% Positive
2017 23 $76,960 17% Positive

Canadian Business has consistently ranked the profession of pilot and flying instructor as one of Canada's best jobs. According to Boeing, the global demand for pilots is sky-high with approximately 790,000 new pilots needed by 2037. There's little doubt that the aviation industry is a path to a high-flying career.

The need for pilots is so great that International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a branch at the United Nations (UN) that oversees aviation, has made the recruitment of aviation professionals a global priority.

Where our pilots go

Our pilots work with a variety of organizations, including:

  • Captain – Latitude Air Ambulance, Learjet 35
  • Captain – Northern Thunderbird Air, King Air 350
  • First Officer – Ornge Global Air
  • First Officer – Sky Regional Airlines, Embraer 175
  • First Officers – Sunwing Airlines, Boeing 737
  • First Officer – Transwest Air, King Air 350
  • First Officers – WestJet Encore, Bombardier Q400
  • Second Officer – Cathay Pacific, Boeing 777
  • Flight Training Instructors – Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre (WWFC)

Open the door to more aviation industry careers

With a degree from the University of Waterloo, you may also work in number of industries you may not have considered, including:

  • Helicopter pilot (requires additional training)
  • Aerial and LIDAR surveying and remote sensing industry
  • Air transport associations, National Research Council (NRC), Transport Canada, and Transportation Safety Board of Canada
  • Aircraft manufacturing industry
  • Aviation dispatcher
  • Geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), and computer cartography industry
  • Professional within air navigation service provider (ANSP)
  • Royal Canadian Air Force (requires additional training and a university degree)
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) industry

Pilot career partners

The aviation industry is projecting high-demands for pilots in coming years. As an indication of the high-calibre of education at the University of Waterloo, several partnerships have been established with operators that allow for an expedited pathway from graduation to an airline pilot position. We will continue to build and strengthen our relationship with the industry to innovate and redefine aviation excellence in Canada and beyond.

Sunwing Cadet Program

Sunwing Airlines logo

In 2016 Waterloo partnered with Sunwing Airlines to launch an innovative pilot cadet program. After graduating from the university and completing flight training at Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre (WWFC) (250 hours of total flying time), cadets are directly hired by Sunwing and begin intense training on the Boeing 737 aircraft. Approximately six months after graduation, cadets are fully-qualified first officers within the airline actively flying the line (transporting passengers in normal operations).

Jazz Aviation Pathways Program (APP)

Jazz Aviation Pathways Program logo

In 2017 we were proud to become a part of the Jazz Aviation Pathways Program. This program offers two prestigious financial scholarships to senior aviation students, as well as the opportunity for top-performing graduates to transition to first officer positions within Jazz. The top-graduates selected for the Jazz APP have the opportunity to be hired directly with a minimum of 250 hours total flying time and successful completion of the Intermediate Airline Transport Rating (IATRA) written exams. All Waterloo graduates benefit from this program because, as a partner institution, other graduates (not directly accepted into the Jazz APP) are permitted into the hiring process with 1000 hours total flying time, 250 hours multi-engine time, and the IATRA or Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) exam(s) completed.

Destination Porter

Through Waterloo’s partnership with WWFC, graduates have access to the Destination Porter program. This program pairs young pilots with an experienced pilot mentor to guide their career development. Once the candidate has accumulated between 1,000 and 1,500 hours (with IATRA/ATPL exams completed) they will be placed in the interview pool for a First Officer position. Requirements include no fails on a Transport Canada flight test, no failed university courses, recommendation from school, high professionalism demonstrated at flight school, strong work ethic and self-discipline, and eligible to work in Canada.