Commercial Pilots


Will "Commercial Pilots" be replaced by AI & Robots?

Based on the 2013 study it's unclear if this occupation will be replaced by robots/AI. This is further validated by our poll, which suggests a 42% chance of automation within the next 2 decades.

Automation Risk Level

Robots are watching

or 55% probability of automation

Projected Growth


by 2024

People Employed


as of 2019

Median Annual Wage


or $41.38 hourly

Most likely
Least likely

How this compares with other jobs: 319 out of 707

Cast Your Vote

How likely do you think this occupation will be taken over by robots/AI within the next 20 years?

People Employed (US)

Median Annual Wage (US)

Job description

Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-winged aircraft on nonscheduled air carrier routes, or helicopters. Requires Commercial Pilot certificate. Includes charter pilots with similar certification, and air ambulance and air tour pilots.

SOC Code: 53-2012

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Leave a comment

Anonymous (No chance) says
No way a plane can: start, turnoff, do the right procedures in emergency and everything else.
Aug 27, 2020 at 03:34 AM
Ali (Highly likely) says
Considering pilot wages are the second highest cost in airline business after fuel, replacing it with AI really offers opportunity.
Jun 07, 2020 at 08:43 PM
Max (Small chance) says
The public has always been a little paranoid about planes and they will continue to be for the foreseeable future. People would need to fully confident that any scenario the plane faces could be solved by the robot. Therefore, automation with pilot supervision is likely in the next 20 or so years, but not 100% automation
May 17, 2020 at 09:48 PM
Shush shush (No chance) says
Humans will not trust robots to fly a plane any time soon and malfunctions in them will cause the aviation authorities to refuse robots from working as commercial pilots.
Apr 04, 2020 at 04:47 PM
Concerned (Highly likely) says
Autopilot and self driving tech will present an issue for pilots
Mar 10, 2020 at 01:40 PM
ss (No chance) says
I think robots would be actually created for airplanes as there is already one that was tested some years ago however I don’t think anyone would trust a robot to fly an airplane with passengers.
Mar 09, 2020 at 02:34 AM
James (No chance) says
The airline industry takes safety *very* seriously. Replacing AI with a human would not improve safety. For standard, day to day operations, AI would be fine however, for emergencies, humans excel over AI. If the power on the plane is out, a human can still operate, a robot cannot. All it takes is for both engines to fail for the power to go out.
Mar 08, 2020 at 03:29 PM
EM (Likely) says
I do feel like it is very likely that Pilots in general will eventually be overrun by robots. People are already working on planes or smaller aircraft that drive the user to wherever they need to go without being operated by a person. It is likely and I agree that it is something you should be worried about eventually if you are a pilot.
Mar 04, 2020 at 05:12 PM
talib says
its already taking the job it should be around 90%
Mar 02, 2020 at 07:14 AM
Bob says
I don’t think you actually understand how autopilot works.
Also if think 44% was generous check to see what they say for airline pilot (commercial and airline pilot are two different thing) it’s 18% for what they call airline captain
Aug 27, 2020 at 03:57 PM
Tyler (No chance) says
Wishful thinking, I'm in college and plan to become a commercial pilot, please don't make it all for nothing.
Jan 24, 2020 at 05:42 AM
Corey Trevor (Small chance) says
Few passengers will be willing to fly on a pilot-less plane. Maybe some operations, like cargo, will be automated.
Dec 16, 2019 at 12:04 AM
Zio (Small chance) says
It is very likely that there will be job loss because of automation in the aviation industry. From the past 50 or so years we have went to having 3 pilots to 2 in the cockpit. However, there will always be a need for one person there to handle special case scenarios and emergencies which can happen at any time and are unpredictable, which goes against everything AI stands for. So I think in the next 20 years or is we will see some job loss as companies will only need 1 person there.
Dec 12, 2019 at 09:33 PM
Youssef (Small chance) says
From the recent 2 crashes that happened because of AI failure and people paranoid about this idea and people are still scared when humans are flying but air transport is the safest way of travel meaning that it would have HUGE impact if AI took over its possible that they could take over flying but not in two decades like by 2040 or 50
Nov 08, 2019 at 09:02 PM
Thomas (Could go either way) says
Because they will need someone to look after the robot in case something goes wrong so they might as well just have a normal pilot
Sep 02, 2019 at 08:30 AM
belal (No chance) says
I believe that even if the robot takes the job humans must oversee the operation
Aug 19, 2019 at 04:29 AM

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