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Flying to and from exotic, tropical islands seems like a very attractive job and pilots are in demand now more than ever. The key factor that could allow you to have this dream job in paradise is something called a type rating. A type rating is a permit to fly a specific type of aircraft that has definite functions that differ in some way from other planes. To compare type ratings to drivers' permits, type ratings are as if you had to be certified to drive every model of every make of every car company.
A different certification would be needed for a powerful Ford F-150 pick-up truck than a compact, sleek Toyota Corolla. Most aircraft can be flown under a simple, grouped class rating, where all aircraft of similar build and function are placed. This generalization sometimes limits the abilities and knowledge of the pilot where a type rating wouldn't. A type rating differs from a general class rating in the sense that by obtaining a type rating, a more unique and interesting aircraft can be flown, and this is often what gives certain pilots the edge over other class rated pilots.
From small Cessna aircraft, to the immense Boeing 747, type ratings are growing more and more useful in providing pilots with advanced knowledge of specific aircraft. In Europe, type ratings are becoming increasingly useful as there is virtually no class rating categorization for aircraft and a pilot must be certified to fly a very specific type of aircraft. The popularity of type ratings are also growing in the United States when, in 2006, the F.A.A. announced that aircraft requiring a flight crew of more than two would be required to take specific type ratings.
Sometimes, the type rating process can be as short as only about 20 hours of logged flight time, but can also range to around 200 hours of confirmed flight time. In addition, the prices vary from simple 1,000 dollar training certifications, as is the case with a simple private license for small aircraft, single-engine aircraft but can reach up to a total cost of 40,000 dollars to be certified, as is the case with a certification for the speedy, jet-engine Falcon 900EX (which is a popular private jet, owned by many celebrities and highly paid businessmen.)
But in the end, the time and the money show their worth with a general increase in salary and hourly pay of high ranking, type rated individuals. As a general rule for type ratings, the more specific the aircraft and the more work that is put into obtaining a type rating, the better the benefits and salary afterwards. All in all, type ratings are quickly becoming essential for every pilot. They offer increased specialties in specifically functioning aircraft and provide safer skies and safer flights for the passengers on-board.