Ride the air currents in colorful hot-air balloons.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$35,000 – $120,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Balloonists do?

Balloons can do two things most other modes of transportation can’t do: They offer spectators on the ground a colorful show, and they provide people in the balloon with a 360-degree, bird’s-eye view of the ground below. So if you’re a Balloonist, you’re not just a Driver or a Pilot, you’re also a Showman. The whole world is your stage!

The balloon and the basket must be kept in good working order so your flight goes off without a hitch. Before each flight, you inspect the balloon itself and the rigging that attaches it to the basket. Any tears, holes, or problems you find must be corrected immediately. Keeping spare balloons on hand can help you prepare for an emergency.

Balloons can be maneuvered by the Balloonist by increasing or decreasing the height of the flame, but they’re still at the mercy of the wind and weather. Before you take off, you inspect the weather report to make sure it’s safe for you to fly. Clouds, rain, or extreme winds may force you to stay home and only dream about ballooning.

Some companies hire Balloonists to fly their balloons above large crowds of people. Before these flights, you may attach the company’s logo to your balloon or the basket. Other times, you give people rides. These guests may want to learn about how the balloon works and how you navigate it. It’s your job to show them around, explain safety regulations, and make sure everyone feels secure.

Should I be a Balloonist?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Balloon Pilot

    How to become a Balloonist

    Balloonists often have an Associate's degree or higher. Chart?chd=s:s9jraa&chl=no+college+%2814%25%29|certificate+%2846%25%29|associate%27s+%287%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2832%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,14,46
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