How to become a Qantas Airways Pilot in 2023? (Salary, Requirements)


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 AgreementsAir France, Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa, SriLankan Airlines, Emirates, Cathay Pacific and much more.

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 PIC in Mult-engine aeroplane or 250 hours as PIC in a powered fixed-wing aeroplane.

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).

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, behavioural based interviews and scenarios-based interviews at the airline’s assessment centre.
  • 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 an 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 that 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
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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


This is how you can become a Qantas Airways Pilot. Among the three options, you can choose one depending upon your qualification. As an experienced pilot, you can go with Second Officer or First Officer. 

And as a beginner, you have the option to choose Jetstar Cadet Pilot Program for becoming a professional airline pilot through an accelerated path.

Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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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