Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


The current demand for commercial pilots at regional airlines means that graduates of commercial aviation degree programs have the luxury of choosing a particular place of employment post-graduation. What do the majority of these graduates look for when choosing a place to work after they graduate and meet the minimum hiring requirements? The present research surveyed 134 recent commercial aviation degree students and graduates to determine what motivated their decision to work for a particular regional airline. Student’s and graduate’s motivation was measured using Vallerand et al.’s (1992) Academic Motivation Scale (AMS). Respondents who demonstrated extrinsic – identified motivation style were significantly more likely to choose a regional airline that had a higher hourly pay and had a favorable crew base. Additionally, aviation students and graduates report crew base and hourly pay as the most important factors in choosing a regional airline to work for. Time to upgrade and the recommendation of a friend are the next most important factors.