There are plenty of top aviation schools in Florida, and some flight schools are to train commercial pilots. Either way, the aviation career is one of the most exciting professions out there.
There are many different career paths, including commercial aviation, military aviation, general aviation, and even medical aviation. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities in the industry continue to grow.
But becoming a pilot isn’t easy. You must complete a college degree program, pass rigorous FAA exams, and earn a private pilot certificate.
Moreover, these charge thousands of dollars per semester. So how do you know where to start? This article has a comprehensive list of the best flight schools in Florida. Whether you’re looking to pursue a career as a pilot or want to learn how to fly.
Also Read: Top 10 Best Flight Schools in Louisiana
Table of Contents
Is Becoming a Pilot a Good Career?
Having a career in the aviation industry is a good deal. Your salary won’t only be attractive, but you will have the opportunity to travel around the world while working. Hence, you will be able to make money doing something you love.
Generally, it depends on what kind of job you want. If you want to fly small planes, you might be interested in becoming a commercial airline pilot in any of the flight schools in Florida. But if you want to fly big jets, you’ll probably need to attend flight school first.
Nonetheless, other factors must be considered before choosing to be a pilot. This career path comes with responsibilities. But if you love and enjoy being a pilot, the career choice is good.
How Long Does it Take to Complete Flight Schools in Florida?
The required time to complete your flight school in Florida is 1,500 and 2,500 hours. This includes your training time as well as flight time.
Furthermore, your training hours have been divided into various segments to help prepare for the FAE exams. To prepare for the FAE, pilots take aerodynamics, navigation, weather, and more courses.
You may also spend about 500 hours practicing flying skills in simulators and other structure learning materials. After passing the FAE, pilots must complete additional training to obtain other licenses.
It would be best if you understood even after obtaining the student pilot certificate, you will have to go through other processes in a commercial pilot school in Florida.
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What are the Requirements to Become a Pilot in Florida?
Whether your learning is online or offline, certain requirements must be met before you can be awarded a pilot certificate.
This guide provides information on the application process, required documents, and other essential details.
You need to be at least 17 years to enroll for flight training in Florida. Furthermore, you must be 21 years old to apply for pilot certification.
There are minimum educational requirements to become a pilot in Florida. Having a high school certificate is essential, but also you must be proficient in English in reading, writing, and speaking.
Furthermore, you must hold a valid driver’s license and pass a vision test. You also need to take a written exam and a practical flight test.
Pilots who already have their Private Pilot Certificate (PPC) or Commercial Pilot Certificate (CPL) can get their Instrument Rating (IR). To do this, they need to complete about 1,500 hours of flying time.
If you plan to fly a small plane, you will have to go to a medical examiner to prove that you are physically able to fly.
The FAA requires pilots to attend ground school before taking their first solo flight. Ground school lasts six months and includes lessons on how to land safely, navigate using charts and instruments, and handle emergencies. After completing the course, students receive their Private Pilot Certificate.
How Much Do Pilots Earn in Florida?
Florida is a great place to live, but it’s also expensive. If you are looking for a job in the state, you may be wondering how much pilots earn here. The average salary of a pilot in Florida is $65,000 per year.
This figure includes both commercial and private pilots. However, many factors can affect your pay. For example, if you work for an air carrier, you may make more than someone working for a regional airline.
Also, if you fly for a major airline, you may make more money than someone who flies for a smaller company.
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How to Become a Commercial Pilot in Florida
To become a commercial pilot in Florida, you’ll need to attend a commercial pilot school. Then pass rigorous exams and complete flight training. Here are the training process and stages you need to pass through;
- Student Pilot License(SPL); This is the first license that allows you to kickstart flight training. During this training, students thoroughly understand the theory and practice of piloting.
- Private Pilot License(PPL); The PPL allows you to fly small aircraft, such as airplanes and helicopters, for pleasure or business purposes. You can earn your private pilot license by taking an FAA-approved course of study that includes classroom instruction and flight training.
- Commercial Pilot License (CPL); This certificate enables you to become a paid professional pilot. The CPL allows pilots to fly aircraft with passenger carrying capacity. It is one of two types of FAA-issued licenses for general aviation flight operations, the other being the Private Pilot License (PPL).
- Instrument Rating(IR); Instrument rating means flying without visual references in weather conditions. To obtain this rating, you must log at least 500 hours of total flight time.
- Multi-Engine Rating(MER); The MER was developed in response to the growing number of accidents involving small, single-engine piston airplanes and other light aircraft. Hence, you will be trained to fly multiple engines.
- Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL); An airline transport pilot license (ATPL) is what you need to work as a captain or first officer on a commercial airliner. You need to earn 5,000 hours of flight experience to qualify for this license.
Top 10 Best Flight Schools in Florida 2024
#1. Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers bachelor’s degrees in four areas: aerospace systems management, aircraft maintenance technology, avionics systems engineering, and aeronautics. Students interested in pursuing a career in aviation can apply for the Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Systems Management.
#2. University of South Florida Sarasota/Manatee Campus
The University of South Florida Sarasota/Manatee campus offers bachelor’s degrees in five major fields related to aviation: aircraft mechanics, avionics, aviation administration, aviation safety, and flight instruction. Students can also take classes in meteorology, human factors, and airport planning.
#3. ATP Flight Academy
This academy is an FAA-approved flight school in Orlando, Florida, offering private pilot lessons, instrument ratings, multi-engine ratings, single-engine landings, and many other courses. ATP offers a variety of ground instruction classes, including ground school and preflight preparation. ATP also provides a full range of aviation services, including aircraft sales, charter flights, and airframe service.
#4. Cirrus Aviation
This flight school is one of the best aviation in West Palm Beach, Florida. Cirrus offers pilot license training programs for both commercial and airline transport pilots. Their programs include flight simulators, instrument rating, multi-engine rating, and many other types of training.
#5. Paragon Flight School
Paragon Flight Academy is one of the best flight schools that offer flight training programs for veterans in Florida.
The school provides each student with a personalized schedule for learning based on their individual needs, academic preparation and knowledge base before class, and instructor feedback and guidance during every lesson.
Students learn to fly aircraft using their military service benefits to getting paid flight training at Paragon.
#6. Jacksonville University
The school is located near the airport and offers degrees in aviation. Students receive hands-on experience during flight training and learn how to operate aircraft while earning college credit.
The Jacksonville University School of Aviation trains students interested in becoming airline pilots. In addition to traditional classroom instruction, students attend simulator sessions where they are taught about avionics systems and how to fly different types of planes. The program is designed to prepare students for careers as commercial airline pilots.
#7. AeroGuard Flight Training Center, Florida
This is one of the best aviation schools in Florida, as it aims to provide pilots with the best training available anywhere. The school has a full-flight simulator, classroom facilities, and a fully equipped aircraft maintenance shop. Hence, learning is achievable for both private and group lessons.
#8. Epic Flight Academy
This aviation ranks in our top 10 because of the different options available for students. They offer an online flight school that allows you to study for your pilot license at your own pace. Furthermore, they have 20 years of experience in the aviation industry and hence have over 40 accredited courses to choose from. This includes private pilots, commercial pilots, instrument ratings, multi-engine ratings, and many others.
The Academy still offers a lifetime membership option if you want to continue studying after passing all the tests. This could come in handy for consultation.
#9. Aviator College of Aeronautical Science & Technology
This is one of the best flight schools for international students in Florida. They provide high-quality aviation training to students around the globe, offering a wide range of courses.
The institute strives to provide the best possible education available in the industry and to maintain an environment conducive to student success. They have received numerous awards for excellence in aviation education and were recently named “Best Aviation Training School.” Regardless, their tuition fee is affordable compared to the quality of training in the industry.
#10. Florida Aviation Academy
Florida Aviation Academy is one of the top flight schools in Florida. It offers an FAA-approved training program for pilots who want to become commercial airline pilots or private pilot instructors. Students are taught how to fly airplanes safely and professionally.
#11. Florida Flight Training Center
This institute ranks as one of the best aviation schools in Florida as it offers students an affordable way to learn how to become pilots. Students are taught from day one about safety, professionalism, and teamwork. They also get hands-on training with real aircraft.
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Watch: Top 10 Flying Schools in Florida
Best Flight Schools in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Most of these schools have been around for many years, but some newer flight schools have also popped up to meet the demand for new pilots. Many of these schools offer both private lessons as well as group classes.
- ATA Flight School
- Berichi Aviation
- North Star Flight Academy
Best Flight Schools in Tampa Florida
Forbes magazine has also named the city one of the best places for business. With all that going on, it makes sense that there are plenty of flight schools in Tampa.
- Atlas Aviation
- Tampa Bay Aviation
- Atlas Aviation
Best Flight Schools in Sanford, Florida
This city has seen steady growth due to its proximity to Orlando, making it an ideal location for those who want to live close to their jobs but still enjoy the benefits of living in a larger city. The area also offers plenty of recreational activities such as golfing, boating, fishing, camping, hiking, etc.
- Delta Connection Academy
- Orlando Christain Flying Club
- Elite Simulation Solutions
Best Aviation Schools in Sarasota, Florida
The state is home to one of the largest airports in the state, Bradenton International Airport (BRD). Nonetheless, Sarasota is known for its beautiful beaches, warm weather, and numerous outdoor activities like kayaking, sailing, surfing, swimming, and snorkeling. Several parks within the city limits provide visitors with ample opportunities.
- Heli Aviation
- Universal Flight Training
- The Pilot Phase
Flight Schools in Central Florida
Florida is a great place to learn how to fly. Many flight schools offer training for pilots of all experience levels. These are the list of the best schools in Central Florida.
- Florida Flight Training
- First Landing Aviation
- Flight Training Professionals
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Aerospace Schools in Kissimmee Florida
If you are interested in aerospace programs, there are plenty of options in Kissimmee, FL. These schools offer a variety of programs and can help you get started on your career path.
- Eagle Aerospace Academy
- South Avionics Training Center
- International Aero Academy
Flight schools in Tallahassee Florida
Tallahassee is one of the best places to live in America. It offers a great quality of living and a low cost of living. Students may take advantage of this rare opportunity in Florida.
- FL Aviation Center
- AG Flight Pilot Training
- Tallahassee Helicopters
Flight Schools in Lakeland, Florida
Lakeland, FL, is a city located on the shores of beautiful Tampa Bay. As a student, you will enjoy the view of an array of attractions, including museums, parks, shopping centers, restaurants, theaters, and much more.
- Kingsky Flight Academy
- Flight Level Aviation
- International Aero Academy
Flight Training Orlando, Florida
Orlando is a beautiful city with a great climate year-round. As a student, you will benefit from the affordable housing option in this town.
- Orlando Flight School
- D&J Aviation
- Stallion 51
Flight Training Schools in Venice, Florida.
There are many flight training schools in Venice, FL, for aspiring pilots. These include private, public, and charter schools and online learning options.
- Sarasota Aero Club
- Universal Flight Training
- Florida Flight Training Center
Flight Schools in Jacksonville Florida
Jacksonville, FL, is a great place to learn how to fly. The city has been named the best place for business and leisure travel by TripAdvisor.
- Sterling Flight Training
- Holladay Aviation
- Jacksonville Flight Training
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Best Flight Schools in Florida 2024 FAQs
Is Florida good for flight training?
Florida is great for flight training because of the large number of airports and the variety of aircraft available. The state has three major airports: Orlando International Airport, Miami International Airport, and Tampa International Airport.
There are also smaller airports such as Daytona Beach Municipal Airport, Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Palm Beach County Airports, Sarasota Bradenton Regional Airport, etc.
How long is the pilot school in Florida?
Pilot schools in Florida usually last for one year. The first semester lasts from September through December, and the second starts from January through May. During these two semesters, students learn how to fly airplanes.
However, the duration is dependent on the choice of school. Upon each graduation, you will receive a certificate of completion.
Why are so many flight schools in Florida?
Florida is one of the best places for people who want to learn how to fly. There are more than 100 flight schools in Florida, including some of the largest in the U.S., such as Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) and Pensacola College Aviation Academy (PCAA).