Search and Rescue Pilot

Save lives by spotting and retrieving lost travelers, sailors, or hikers.
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Quick Stats


What do Search and Rescue Pilots do?

If you love a good thrill, have a desire to help people, and have always dreamed of getting a Pilot license, then your search for the perfect career stops right here. The position of Search and Rescue Pilot fulfills all of those wishes. Search and Rescue Pilots maneuver a plane or helicopter over the ocean or woods to search for and rescue people who are in trouble.

If you’re a Search and Rescue Pilot, you save lives. Without you, many rescues would never happen. Although you work in conjunction with a team of rescuers on the ground, a bird’s eye view is often the one that first locates stranded people. And boy, does the adrenaline start pumping when you do!

Whether it’s a couple of teenagers who ventured out too far off the coast, or a fellow Pilot who had to crash land his plane, when you find them, the search is over and the rescue begins.

You hover the helicopter so that your crew can lower a basket. Or you maneuver into position so they can parachute down to the survivor. One of the many thrills of this job is that no two calls are exactly the same.

One day, you might fly for six hours with no luck. Another day, you find might yourself landing in the frozen Alaskan tundra. Often, weather is a concern, with temperatures, wind, snow, ice, rain, sleet, hail, and lightning all affecting your plan.

And while not every mission is a success, the ones that do end well leave you with a monumental reward—a well-deserved feeling of pride.


Should I be a Search and Rescue Pilot?

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

  • Also known as: Helicopter Rescue Pilot, Helicopter Search And Rescue Aircrew Swimmer, Helicopter Search and Rescue Pilot See More

    How to become a Search and Rescue Pilot

    Search and Rescue Pilots generally graduate from high school and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate’s degree to increase your chances of finding a good job. Check out these schools offering Search and Rescue Pilot-related education!
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