EasyJet is creating 330 new full-time jobs for pilots this year.

The recruitment drive is part of a new career structure to provide cadet and first officer opportunities for pilots.

New permanent first officer positions will be offered across all 11 of easyJet’s UK bases – Gatwick, Southend, Luton, Stansted, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Belfast.

The budget carrier has also reshaped and formalised its career structure. This will provide cadets with the opportunity to gain experience and flying hours followed by a new entrant contract for experienced first officers which in turn leads to a long-term career and the opportunity to become a captain.

Pay scales range from a starting ‘total reward package’ of £40,000 for a cadet to £54,000 for a first officer and up to as much as £146,000 for a captain.

The priority in filling the vacancies will be given to pilots employed by easyJet’s aviation training partners, CTC and Parc, who are already gaining experience as pilots with the airline.

There are more than 1,850 pilots permanently employed by easyJet with an additional 450 contracted through CTC and Parc.

The airline expects to be creating new permanent roles in both 2013 and 2014 and said it will also consider applications from pilots with appropriate experience.

Head of flight operations Captain Brian Tyrrell, said: “We offer a clear career path for pilots with the potential to move from first officer to captain more quickly than at other airlines.

“The skills and professionalism of our pilots is one of easyJet’s key strengths and we want to work with them and their representatives.”

The first step towards joining easyJet is usually be through the airline’s two training partners. They gain experience of the airline’s operations and build up their flying hours with more work in the summer than the winter. This also provides easyJet with a level of flexibility due to the seasonal nature of the industry.

Once they have flown for over 1,250 hours with easyJet and completed two years, pilots then join as permanent employees at first officer rank.

After flying for a further two years and reaching 2,500 hours, pilots then become a senior first officer and aim to become captains.

“With easyJet’s continued planned growth the time taken from first officer to captain is likely to be quicker than at other airlines,” a spokesman said.

“Beyond that there are further opportunities for pilots to develop their career whether that is into a training or management role.”