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Qantas Airways is one of the most popular airlines in the world and it is also listed as the 8th best airline of 2021 by the Skytrax World Airline Awards. So, working as a professional airline pilot for such a reputed company is a dream for every aviation enthusiast.

Are you also interested to become a Qantas Airways Pilot but don’t know how to? This article is for you if you are looking for every piece of information such as requirements, recruitment process, cadet pilot program, salary, benefits, and so on to apply for the pilot vacancy at Qantas.

With that short introduction, let’s start our journey by exploring some basic details of Qantas Airways.

About Qantas Airways

IdentityNational Flag Carrier of Australia
World’s 8th Best Airline of 2021 (Skytrax World Airline Awards)
HubBrisbane Airport (BNE)
Melbourne Airport (MEL)
Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD)
FleetOver 120 aircraft
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
Airbus A380
Airbus A330
Airbus A320
Boeing 737
Boeing 717
DestinationOver 90 international destinations in 36 countries across Asia-pacific, Europe, South Africa and the Americas.
Codeshare AgreementsOver 90 international destinations in 36 countries across Asia-pacific, Europe, South Africa, and the Americas.

How to Become a Qantas Airways Pilot?

The Australian flag carrier announces vacancies for pilots on its official website. As an applicant, you must meet minimum qualifications and go through various assessments to get selected for the post.

At Qantas, you can join the flight crew with three different options.

  • Direct Entry Trainee Second Officer
  • Direct Entry First Officer
  • Jetstar Cadet Pilot Program

Now, let’s explore all these options in detail.

Direct Entry Trainee Second Officer

Trainee Second Officer is the entry-level position offered by Qantas Airways to pilots with less flying experience. The selected trainee second officers perform critical duties on Airbus A330, A380, and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

Selected Second Officer Trainees go through professional flight training at Qantas Flight Training facility. They will also work with experienced Qantas pilots to boost their technical skills to get ready for flying and upgrading to the First Officer position.

Qantas Airways Pilot Requirements for Direct Entry Trainee Second Officer

To become eligible for the Direct Entry Trainee Second Officer, you must meet the following requirements.

  • Applicants must be Australian Citizens or hold Australian Permanent Residency status.
  • Must hold a valid passport with at least 12 months validity.
  • Must obtain a current CASA Class 1 Medical Certificate.
  • Must hold an Australian ATPL or CPL.
  • Must have passed all ATPL subjects.
  • Must hold a Part 61 Multi-Engine Aeroplane Class Instrument Rating (MEIR).
  • Must hold endorsements for IAP 2D and IAP 3D on Australian Instrument Rating.
  • Must hold a current Instrument Proficiency Check.
  • A minimum of 500 hours as a Pilot in Command (PIC) or 300 hours as a PIC in a Multi-engine airplane or 250 hours as a PIC in a powered fixed-wing airplane.

Direct Entry First Officer

Candidates can also apply for the Direct Entry First Officer vacancy at Qantas Airways to fly QantasLink aircraft including Dash-8 Q400, 300, and 200 aircraft.

To apply for the First Officer position, you need to meet the following requirements.

  • Applicants must hold Australian ATPL or CPL with pass marks in all ATPL theory subjects.
  • International applicants must visit CASA to convert overseas licenses.
  • Applicants must obtain ICAO English Language Proficiency Level 6.
  • Must hold a current CASA Class 1 Aviation Medical Certificate.
  • Must be able to pass drug and alcohol tests.
  • Must hold a current passport with a validity of at least 12 months.
  • Must obtain legal authorization for access to all Qantas ports.
  • Must hold current endorsements for Instrument Approach 2D and 3D on a current Australian Instrument Rating – Multi Engine Aeroplane.
  • A minimum of 700 hours of flight time is required.
  • A minimum of 250 hours as PIC of a Muti-Engine Aeroplane (MEA) (excluding ICUS & SIM); or 250 hours or greater PIC of a single-engine turbine aircraft greater than 3,400kg MTOW (excluding ICUS & SIM); or 250 hours or greater as a co-pilot in a multi-engine turbine, multi-crew aircraft (excluding ICUS & SIM).

Australia / New Zealand A320 First Officer (Jetstar)

Jetstar Airways is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Qantas Group that operates in Australia, and New Zealand with state-of-the-art Airbus A320, and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Jetstar offers opportunities for aspiring pilots to join the flight crew team as an Australia/New Zealand A320 First Officer. Candidates need to fulfill the following requirements to apply for the post.

  • 1500 hours of total aeronautical experience
  • 500 hours PIC or FO on multi-engine
  • 250 hours PIC (may include 150 hours PICUS)
  • Hold an Australian ATPL (Part 61) or CPL with passes in all Australian ATPL subjects
  • Hold an Australian Multi-Engine Aeroplane Instrument Rating with a 2D and 3D endorsement
  • ICAO English Language Proficiency Level 6 on your Licence
  • Current Class 1 medical certificate issued by CASA
  • A current passport with unrestricted access to all Jetstar ports of call with at least 12 months’ validity 
  • Experience in a multi-crew operation or successful completion of a multi-crew cooperation course
  • Ability to pass a pre-employment medical 
  • The ability to pass a Drug and Alcohol Test
  • The ability to hold an Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC)

National Jet Systems

National Jet Systems (NJS) represents a wholly-owned subsidiary airline of the Qantas Group. At present, NJS effectively runs the Boeing 717, and is on the brink of launching the Airbus A220 into its fleet.

With headquarters in Adelaide, NJS has established bases in Brisbane, Sydney, Hobart, Canberra, and Melbourne. Pilots can join NJS if they fulfill the following mentioned requirements.

  • Hold an Australian ATPL (A) or CPL (A) with MCC and passes in all ATPL theory subjects
  • Have a minimum of 1500 hours of total aeronautical experience
  • Have at least 500 hours in Command on multi-engine aircraft (may include AICUS)
  • Hold a current Multi Engine Aeroplane Instrument Rating
  • Hold a CASA Class 1 Aviation Medical Certificate

Qantas Airways Pilot Recruitment Process

  • Once you verify all the requirements mentioned above, you are eligible to apply for the Direct Entry Trainee Second Officer or First Officer vacancy. For that, you can go through the following recruitment process.
  • At first, you need to visit the Qantas Airways careers site and search for a pilot vacancy. If there is an active vacancy, you can apply online by submitting an application with the required documents and information.
  • After reviewing your application, the airline recruitment team will conduct a psychometric test and online/phone interview to select you for further assessments.
  • If you manage to pass the psychometric test and phone interview, you will undergo group activities, behavioral-based interviews, and scenarios-based interviews at the airline’s assessment center.
  • The successful completion of assessments will take you to the medical examinations. After medical, your piloting skills will be tested with simulator assessments. 
  • If you pass all the tests, you will be selected for the QantasLink First Officer position.

Qantas Airways Cadet Pilot Program

qantas airways cadet pilot program aviatechchannel

Direct Entry Second Officer and First Officer opportunities are for those with piloting licenses and flying experiences. If you are just a beginner or want to pursue your career as an airline pilot in a more systematic way, you can join the Jetstar Cadet Pilot Program.

Jetstar is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qantas Airways that offers outstanding opportunities to aspiring aviation enthusiasts to become airline pilots through an accelerated approach. Jetstar in partnership with CAE Oxford Aviation Academy provides Commercial pilot training to the selected cadets.

The Cadets graduating from Jetstar Cadet Pilot Program get the opportunity to fly Airbus A320, A321, and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The cadet training program is conducted in two phases; Phase One and Phase Two. Phase One includes 18 months of Associate Degree including full-time academic studies, pilot license theory, and flight training. After completion of 1st Phase, Cadets will undergo 40 hours of rigorous full flight simulator training provided by experienced instructor pilots.

Talking about the program cost, selected cadets can expect a total estimated program cost of $145,276 which includes university tuition fees, CAEOAA, and other fees.

The airline doesn’t guarantee job placement after the completion of the Cadet Pilot Program however, cadets will get priority for Jetstar Pilot Recruitment.

Requirements to join Jetstar Cadet Pilot Program

  • Applicants must be Australian Citizens or hold permanent residency status.
  • Must hold a valid passport with unrestricted access.
  • The minimum age requirement is 18 years on commencement of training.
  • Must hold a valid CASA Class 1 Medical Certificate.
  • Must hold an Aviation Security Identity Card (ASIC).
  • Must have completed Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or equivalent level of education.
  • Must have completed VCE Units 3 and 4 with a score of at least 20 in English and Mathematics.

Qantas Airways Pilot Uniform

qantas airways pilot uniform aviatechchannel

Qantas Airways Pilot Salary

Qantas Airways First Officer earns an average of AU$ 96,344 (US$ 70,667) per year and it can range from AU$ 71,515 (US$ 52,455) to AU$ 140,171 (US$ 102,813) per year.

Talking about the Captain’s salary, the average yearly pay is AU$ 154,496 (US$ 113,320). This can range from AU$ 138,080 (US$ 101,279) per year to AU$ 209,366 (US$ 152,566) per year.

Qantas Airways Pilot Benefits

In addition to the basic salary, Qantas Airways Pilots enjoy various benefits and perks.

  • Travel Discounts
  • Health, Vision, and Dental Insurance
  • Financial and Retirement Plan
  • Paid Vacation
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Competitive Salary Package with Bonuses
  • Discounts on products and services
  • Career Growth and Personal Development

Conclusion on Becoming Qantas Airways Pilot

Becoming a Qantas pilot is quite a journey – a mix of challenge and reward. It asks for a bunch of hard work, commitment, and dedication. But if you’re really into flying and have the right skills and qualifications, it can turn out to be a pretty fulfilling career.

Step one on the Qantas pilot path is to get a Commercial Pilot License (CPL). This involves going through a flight training program at a flight school that’s approved. Once you’ve got your CPL, you’ll need to rack up some flight experience as a commercial pilot. That could mean working for a smaller airline or doing charter flights.

When you’ve got enough experience, you can apply to Qantas for a pilot job. Qantas makes sure to pick the right people, so being ready is key. The process involves an interview, a medical checkup, and a simulator test.

If you make the cut, you’ll land a spot as a Qantas pilot. They’ve got a thorough training program for their pilots. It gets you ready for the ups and downs of flying for a big airline.

FAQs on Becoming Qantas Airways Pilot

How much do Qantas Airlines pilots make?

Qantas Airways First Officer earns an average of AU$96,344 (US$70,667) per year and it can range from AU$71,515 (US$52,455) to AU$140,171 (US$102,813) per year.

How do I become a Qantas Pilot?

You must meet all the basic qualifications and apply online via the Qantas Careers site. After that, you have to go through various assessments and tests to get selected for the Qantas Pilot. You also have the option to join Jetstar Cadet Pilot Program.

How many hours do you need to be a Qantas Pilot?

For Trainee Second Officer, you require a minimum of 500 hours total flight time whereas you require a minimum of 700 hours total flight time for Direct Entry First Officer. 

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Suman Karki
Suman Karki is the founder of the AviaTech Channel blog and YouTube Channel. He is a passionate aviation enthusiast and holds experience working as a Ground Operations Officer for Swissport International. He is currently serving as a Flight Data Feeder for FlightAware (a US-based company for Flight Tracking). Besides, he has worked as an aviation content editor for various aviation media.


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