Crop Dusting offers career opportunities - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Crop Dusting offers career opportunities

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - It's hard to find a job in almost any field right now. But the demand for Agriculture Pilots or cropdusters is at an all time high.

There's a school that professionally trains ag-pilots right here in south Georgia. Anyone can do it, and pilots make good money.

You've probably seen them flying in the air over south Georgia fields, often hovering only 3 or 4 feet above the ground.

"It's the best job in the world," says Billy Howell, owner of Ag-Flight Inc., a professional Ag-Pilot Training school in Bainbridge. And he's referring to crop dusting.

"People don't really understand that all these crops are not raised in the back of Winn Dixie. They're raised on the farm, and Ag Pilots help grow the world's supply," he says.

They do that by spraying chemicals on the fields that help protect and grow the crops.

And believe it or not, Agriculture Pilots are in high demand, even during turbulent economic times.

"This is the biggest shortage of Ag Pilots that I've ever seen, and I've been training here 25 years," Howell says.

Not only are Ag-Pilots easily marketable, they make good money. "The seasoned Ag-Pilot makes $90-120,000 working 6 months out of the year," he says.

That's what brought Craig Beatty here today. He has years of flying experience, but can't find a job he wants in the industry.

"The big airlines are having problems, and I always wanted to be a pilot in the military or a commercial pilot. But those jobs are few and far between, but the demand for cropdusters is high," says Beatty.

But you don't have to be a veteran flier to train at Ag-Flight. In fact, you can be like me, someone with no flying experience. But after 4-6 months of training, you'll have a new career, as a cropduster.

Plus, they say it's fun. I decided to see for myself, and they were right.

"If you think you are interested, it won't cost a thing, we'll put you in a plane, to see if you like it and if it's for you," says Howell.

And take it from me, the ride is comparable to a rollercoster. Only this ride can bring home a hefty paycheck, and help feed the world.

Ag-Flight in Bainbridge opened 25 years ago. They've trained more than 1400 people from 22 countries.

Billy Howell says 95% of the people they train find jobs.

      • Learn More about Crop Dusting-

How to Become a Crop Duster from eHow.com

About Private Pilot's Licenses

How to Apply Crop Dusting Chemicals

How to Find a Crop Dusting School

Crop Dusters and their history

About Crop Dusting and Ag Pilot Training

 

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