How to Become a Crop Dusting Pilot

Becoming a pilot and flying is a career that many people long for. Being up in the sky provides a sense of freedom for some and flying is exciting. Unfortunately however, aspiring pilots are often disappointed when they learn that new commercial airline pilots can often make less than $25,000 per year. Living on that income is hard for a single person and even more difficult for those who have a family to support. Also, commercial flying jobs are not as available as they once used to be.

Rather than becoming a commercial pilot, there is another flying field that is in demand and has opening. This flying field is crop dusting and the money can also be better for those who elect this pilot niche. While crop dusters do not fly to lavish locations around the world, there are a lot of pilots in this field who have or who will be retiring over the next few years. There is also always a demand because the crops need to be dusted in order to be protected from bugs and other parasites that may harm them.

While not for everyone, many pilots have elected to squash the idea of piloting commercial planes and have instead chose crop dusting careers. How does one become a crop duster? Here are some simple steps to take:

  • The first step in becoming a crop dusting pilot is to train to become a pilot. Without this training and certification, flying any type of plane is not possible.
  • Check to make sure that you have the right type of pilot’s license for the crop dusting plane.
  • Find a crop duster that you can fly with. You might want to see if any are retiring soon, as if you can find one who is, it will also open up business leads for you at the same time.
  • Since crop dusters work with chemicals, proper training in this field is also necessary. Not using the right chemicals or releasing them in the wrong concentrations can be devastating to the crops. Whether or not you will need a certification to order and use the chemicals will be up to the state that you live in.
  • Know and understand that in most cases, you will be running your own business. Therefore, you will need to have a marketing plan; you will have business expenses and you will also of course need a plane.

While more expensive to get into upfront, crop dusting pilots start out typically making triple or quadruple what commercial airline pilots make. It does depend on the area you live in however, as those who do not live in agricultural areas will not have as much business as those who do.

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