Want to Become a Pilot? Don’t Miss this Guide!

Rohan Mathew

Updated on:

If you’re a budding pilot, you must have heard at least once that Airline pilots make six-figure salaries. This is true. 

This is the pretty much reason students dream of joining an Aviation School and pursuing their career in becoming a professional pilot. Although this career comes with prominent opportunities, choosing the right school to pursue education and gain knowledge is necessary to ensure you land a high-paying job. 

So, to help you make an informed decision, we have mentioned three key aspects you should know to become a pilot.

Are You Ready to Become a Pilot?

Professional pilots are expected to have specific soft skills–or personal characteristics–fundamental to succeeding in the profession. This is why active listening & speaking skills are imperative. 

Pilots need to think on their feet to recognize and address issues in real-time, then choose the best solution. For managing tight schedules, time management skills are also critical.

If you have these things in you, it’s time to enroll yourself in a good flight school.

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The Requirements

What flight training you require depends on whether you want to be a commercial or an airline pilot. A diploma from a high school or equivalent can be enough to become a commercial pilot. However, a bachelor’s degree is required if you want to fly for major airlines or regional airlines. If you’re not sure, don’t worry. You can always return later to get a higher degree. In fact, many pilots who wish to fly airline planes start their careers as commercial pilots.

To become a good pilot, you can decide to take instructions from an independent Federal Aviation Administration-certified instructor or at an FAA-certified pilot school. You eventually will have to get a student pilot certificate. 

Although you can take lessons without one, we’d recommend attending these schools to ensure you leave no stone unturned to become a good pilot. Moreover, to qualify, you must be at least 16 years of age. You are also required to pass an FAA-Authorized Aviation Medical Examiner’s physical exam.

You can also apply for a private pilot license. You must be at least 17 years old, have completed 35 to 40 hours of flying time, depending on which flight school you attended. Note that both written and practical exams are required. You also have many options to increase your flight time.

According to FAA regulations, private pilots cannot be paid for their services. So to make a living as an airline pilot, you will need a Commercial Pilot’s License. Moreover, if you wish to fly for an airline, you must obtain an Airline Transport Pilot Certification (ATP).

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It’s a Matter of Hours

You must fly for at least 250 hours before qualifying for a commercial pilot’s license. This also includes time spent to earn your Private Pilot Certificate (PPC). You must also be at least 18 years of age & clear both a written and practical test.

Moreover, you must have at least 1,500 hours of flight time to apply for Airline Transport Pilot Certificate. Either working can do this as a commercial pilot or in the military. Additionally, you will need to pass written, practical, and physical exams.

Note that on-the-job training will be provided by an airline or on-demand air service company if they offer you a job. This will usually include between six and eight hours of ground school and 25 hours of flight time. You may also learn to fly certain types of aircraft.

Final Word

Whether airplane or helicopter pilot, getting there takes a lot. We’re sure the information mentioned above must have cleared all the air about becoming a pilot. If that’s so, all you have to do is join a good pilot school and learn the basics to become a good pilot.