Education logo

Unconventional Aviation Careers in Australia

The majority of career paths require obtaining a pilot license in Australia, revealing surprising aviation jobs worth exploring.

By Kevin LashleyPublished 2 months ago 4 min read

Are you curious about the wide range of careers within the aviation industry beyond the common roles like 'airline pilot' or 'flight attendant'? It may surprise you to learn that this industry boasts a plethora of diverse positions.

In this article, we'll shed light on many fascinating, yet often lesser-known, professions within aviation. While commercial pilots and cabin crew often take the limelight, a world of intriguing roles awaits exploration.

Most of these career paths would want you to get your pilot licence in Australia. So, what are these surprising aviation jobs worth knowing about?

Let's get into it.

Firefighting Pilots

Aviation firefighting involves piloting water-bombing aircraft to combat wildfires. Australia's bushfire seasons can be devastating, and these brave aviators are critical in controlling the flames.

Your pilot licence in Australia not only offers you a job that is exciting and comes with a profound sense of purpose. Firefighting pilots are often on the front lines, working tirelessly to protect communities and the environment. Career options include working with:

  • state firefighting agencies,
  • private firefighting companies
  • aerial firefighting contractors.

It's a challenging and rewarding career that demands skill and courage.

Aerial Survey Pilots

Aerial survey pilots use their pilot licence and a specialised aircraft equipped with advanced sensors to collect data for:

  • mapping
  • environmental monitoring
  • infrastructure development

Australia's vast and varied landscapes make aerial surveying an intriguing field. Surveyors are essential for various projects, from mapping remote regions to monitoring coastal erosion.

Opportunities exist in government agencies, surveying firms, mining companies, and environmental organisations. Aerial surveying combines aviation with the satisfaction of contributing to valuable projects.

Wildlife Survey Pilot

In Australia, wildlife survey pilots engage in low-altitude flying, assisting conservationists and biologists in studying wildlife and habitats. This hands-on role allows pilots to get up close to the natural world. Doesn't that make you want to enrol on a pilot course in Australia?

Aerial surveys extend over Australia's diverse landscapes, from lush forests to arid deserts, offering some of the most breathtaking views imaginable. This profession even branches into polar pilots who navigate the icy landscapes, aiding environmental scientists in crucial research.

Weather Research Pilot

Aviation plays a pivotal role in weather research, with pilots flying into storms equipped with specialised weather detection equipment. Australia's dynamic weather patterns provide an ideal backdrop for this career.

Some pilots venture into the heart of storms to collect critical data. These daring aviators contribute significantly to understanding and predicting extreme weather events in the region.

ISR Pilot (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance)

The Australian military often collaborates with private companies to employ ISR pilots. These skilled aviators play a vital role in placing and managing surveillance systems on the battlefield.

ISR pilots enhance military operations and security in Australia and beyond by providing intelligence on enemy positions and intent.


While skywriting might be less common today, skilled pilots can still take on contracts for specialised skywritten messages. These messages can be anything from promotional ads to heartfelt marriage proposals.

Skywriters in Australia continue to capture attention with their aerial artistry, leaving a mark on the sky and in people's hearts. Skywriters require a special pilot course in Australia.

Herd Management

Australia's vast ranching operations often require pilots to manage and track herds across expansive landscapes. Duties include cattle counting, land surveying, and even herding.

Livestock pilots in this role also facilitate the transportation of scientists and veterinary personnel, contributing to the sustainable management of herds and land.

Oil Rig Communications Pilot

Remote oil rigs in Australia rely on communications pilots to maintain contact with the mainland. These pilots fly to the rigs, collect communications, and return to relay messages.

Surprisingly, this method is often considered more cost-effective and reliable than satellite phones, showcasing the ingenuity of aviation in remote industries.


Aviation meteorologists play a vital role in ensuring safe and efficient flight operations. They provide crucial weather information to pilots, air traffic controllers, and airlines.

Australia's diverse climate allows meteorologists to work on various weather phenomena, from tropical cyclones in the north to snowstorms in the southern Alps.

Career prospects include working with the Bureau of Meteorology, airlines, or private aviation companies. It's a field where you truly get to be the unsung heroes of the skies.

Aerial Photography

Aerial photography combines a love for photography with the thrill of flying. Aerial photographers capture breathtaking images from aircraft, drones, or helicopters.

Australia's vast landscapes, from the rugged outback to pristine coastlines, provide a stunning backdrop for aerial photography. It's a unique way to showcase the country's natural beauty.

Opportunities exist in real estate, tourism, environmental conservation, and film and TV production. It's a career path that allows you to see the world from a different perspective.


In Australia, aviation offers diverse career paths beyond commercial airlines and backcountry flying. Your pilot licence in Australia can offer you an incredible opportunity to explore the world from a wider perspective.

These lesser-known roles demonstrate the versatility of aviation, combining adventure with practicality in the vast and varied landscapes of the continent.


About the Creator

Kevin Lashley

He writes in several genres. Kevin and his wife, Julia, to whom he dedicates all of his published works, and their dog, Buddy, live in Melbourne, Australia. A regular contributor to New Path Web Morning Edition.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.