MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The Myrtle Beach Academy of Aviation is a school where people can learn how to fly planes, become flight instructors and even become commercial pilots.
Leaders at the academy say now is the time to become a pilot because there's such a high demand for them in the aviation industry now.
Paul Morris, the director of operations at the academy, said many of the Vietnam-era pilots are retiring and there haven't been a lot of people interested in filling those vacancies.
"They're looking at adding 41,000 aircraft over the next two decades," Morris said of airlines. "And for that, they're going to need at least 500,000 pilots. So that means they're going to have to hire and train a pilot every 15 minutes for the next two decades."
As a result, airlines are paying top dollar for anyone looking to become a pilot.
Morris said people can go from not knowing how to fly a plane to earning six figures in around three to five years as long as someone has the time to finish the training quickly.
Training at the academy works like college credits; a person has to have a certain number of hours completed before they can become official.
Morris said once that training is over, it's typical for flight instructors to make about $25 an hour.