Becoming an airline pilot can seem to be an unachievable goal and a distant dream, but it doesn’t need to be. It is achievable and the airline industry needs more pilots in 2019 airlines are starting to see the first signs of a pilot shortage occurring. The quickest answer to the question of ‘How does I become a pilot’ is that you need a commercial pilot’s license and you achieve this by going to a flight school. However, the longer answer is a bit more complex as there are a few different ways you can go about getting the required license, both of which have their own benefits.

If you are serious about a career as a commercial pilot, you need to spend time reading and digesting the process, training methods, and understanding the job prospects once you’ve finished training. Whether you are seriously considering becoming an airline pilot, or you’re just seeking some initial background information about how to achieve it, we have everything you need to know right here. It can be a complex process, but we’ve made everything as clear and easy to understand as possible.

How to Become an Airline Pilot?

7 Steps to Become an Airline Pilot
7 Steps to Become an Airline Pilot

Earn a Private Pilot Certificate

The first step in becoming a commercial pilot is to earn a Private Pilot certificate. Starting in a single-engine plane, this stage of training focuses on the fundamentals and sets the foundation for more advanced certificates and ratings.

Add Instrument Rating

After becoming a private pilot, the next step is to earn an instrument rating which allows a pilot to fly under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) and in all kinds of weather.

Earn Commercial Pilot Certificate

Next is earning a Commercial Pilot certificate. Pilots must meet specific experience requirements and fly to a higher standard in order to become commercial pilots, which ultimately allows them to legally be paid to fly.

Earn Flight Instructor Certificate

Once the commercial pilot requirements are satisfied, obtain a Flight Instructor certificate. Becoming a certified flight instructor (CFI) allows pilots to earn a living flying, while they earn the flight experience required by airlines.

Add Multi-Engine Rating

To fly large passenger airliners, pilots must add multi-engine privileges to their pilot commercial certificate. Adding a multi-engine rating to the Commercial Pilot certificate is the final step before building experience to meet hiring minimums.

Gain Experience

Flight instructed to gain the type of quality and relevant flight experience necessary to satisfy the requirements of the Airline Transport Pilot certificate, which commercial pilots are required to hold and includes a minimum of 1,500 hours total flight time.

Commercial Pilot Job

Upon meeting the requirements of the Airline Transport Pilot certificate, you are eligible to fly for an airline and will meet the hiring minimums of most regional commercial airline pilot jobs. ATP’s Airline Career Pilot Program can take you from zero time to airline pilot job in about two years.

How to Become an Airline Pilot
How to Become an Airline Pilot

How Long Does It Take To Become An Airline Pilot

Many people look at the experience required to become a pilot for an airline and get discouraged. The requirement for a pilot to obtain an FAA Airline Transport Pilot certificate is 1500 hours. That’s a lot of hours, and that’s just the minimum number required! The factor that in with the number of pilots in the job market and you’re left wondering if you’ll ever gain enough experience to fly for an airline.

Don’t be discouraged. While the actual length of time it takes to go from zero flight hours to an airline pilot, you can be assured that with PEA, it will take you less time than the average pilot. When you fly with PEA, you’ll earn your certificates and ratings in less time than at a large university flight program, and in less time than a non-accredited pilot training center.

Specifically, how much time will it take? This depends on many things, but if you are diligent in your studies and can focus on pilot training, the program could take less than a year.

First, your progress will depend on how often you fly. PEA instructors and students fly at least two to three times per week, while students at other schools fly once a week or even less. PEA students stay on a strict FAA-approved syllabus, which means that their training is scheduled ahead of time and must be accomplished within a certain time period. Flights that are grounded due to weather or maintenance are rare, but when they do occur, they must be made up quickly in order to stay on schedule. This makes it difficult for students to procrastinate, and procrastination is sometimes the more difficult thing for pilots to overcome during pilot draining.

Airline Pilot
Airline Pilot

Your progress will also be determined by your ability to learn. Pilot training can be intense, but if you study hard, you’ll advance quickly. A student that prepares properly for a flight will be able to move on to the next lesson more quickly than a student who spends his time at the beach. Most students struggle with one topic or another, so don’t expect to soar through without any setbacks at all. Just know that the more you study, the quicker you’ll progress. At PEA, you’ll be fully immersed in aviation and will be surrounded by friends and instructors that will help keep you on track!

Finally, you’ll go through training quickly if you don’t take a lot of time off. Deciding to take six months off in the middle of a training program will result in an obvious delay. But there are many other things that can cause delays, like VISA problems, financial setbacks, or medical issues. Try to avoid these problems when possible.

How Much Does It Cost To Become An Airline Pilot

The average student completes all training in approximately one year. This is if you have no experience at all. You will start with your Private Pilot License and go on to complete a Commercial Pilot License. Then, it’s up to you how far you want to go with it. Most pilots build hours by becoming a CFI or flying cargo. What a deal! You get paid to fly as you build hours! Once you’ve logged 1,500 hours, you can decide if you want to work for a commercial airline flying passengers. We encourage you to review pilot hiring requirements.

The total cost for training varies on how well students do in their courses. On average, most students go from having no experience at all to earning a CPL with instructor ratings in 12 months. The cost also varies depending on a number of factors. On average, the cost is approximately $70,000. This is a sound investment in your future considering the median pay for an airline pilot exceeds $140,000.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Commercial Airline Pilot?

Commercial Airline Pilot Flight Time Requirements
The Faa Requires 1500 Hours For A Pilot To Become An Airline Transport Pilot. Enjoy The Security Of Gaining Those Flight Hours Through Atp’s Guaranteed Certified Flight Instructor Job Placement.

How Hard Is It To Become An Airline Pilot?

Becoming A Commercial Airline Pilot As A Civilian Will Take At Least Two Years Of Training As You Pursue Several Different Milestones. First, You Will Need To Earn A Private Pilot Certificate, Which Requires Passing A Medical Exam, A Written Exam And A Minimum Of 40 Hours Of Flight Time.

How Much Do Airline Pilots Make A Year?

Pilot Salaries Vary According To The Type Of Aircraft That They’re Flying And How Long They’ve Been At An Airline. The Median Annual Salary For The Pilot Of A Large Jet Is An Impressive $121,408. For A Small Jet, The Median Annual Salary Is $104,219. Non-jet Aircraft Pilots Make Significantly Less.

How Much Does Pilot School Cost?

The Cost Of Flight Training Varies Widely, But You Should Be Able To Get A Private Pilot License For Around $10,000, Depending On The Location, Type Of Airplane Used, Type Of Flight School, Instructor Experience, And The Pace At Which You Are Able To Learn.

How Long Does It Take To Learn To Fly?

The Requirement Is 30 Hours For The Recreational Pilot Certificate, And Most Students Complete This Certificate In 30-40 Hours. For The Private, The Minimum Is 40 Hours 20 With An Instructor And 20 Solo But Most Students Take 60-80 Hours.