What Does it Take to be a Pilot in 2023? (A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming A Pilot)

What does it take to be a pilot? Well, this is a step-by-step guide that will answer your question on how to become a pilot, including courses to study to become a pilot.

If you’ve ever wondered how to become a pilot, this is the best content to help you become a great commercial pilot anywhere in the world.

Here, we discussed how to become a pilot and the qualifications, salaries, schools, etc. This content will guide you through all you need to know about becoming a pilot.

You might be burdened with these questions, such as, “Is becoming a pilot worth the cost?” What qualifications do you need to become a pilot? Let’s not bore you with questions, but I believe you have many other questions we will answer here in this article.

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Ways to Become a Pilot

During childhood, studying aviation and becoming a pilot was one of the professions that usually made the list of children when fondly asked, what do you want to be in the future?

This is one of the professions that cannot go extinct, as there will continuously be the movement of people from one location to another as it is the fastest means of transportation. To that effect, a pilot’s job is important and is held in high esteem.

So, are you desirous of becoming a commercial or private pilot? Then this article is just for you! Here, we have uncovered the best ways you can become a pilot, the qualifications to become a pilot, the salary of pilots, courses to study to become a pilot, and the best pilot schools in the world all for you. So, enjoy the ride!

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Steps to Become a Pilot in 2023

What Does it Take to be a Pilot in 2020

Here are the steps you can take to become a pilot in 2023.

Step 1: Obtain a College Degree in Aviation

The first step in becoming a pilot is obtaining a degree. To obtain a degree in aviation, you must enroll in available programs. While a degree may not be required, obtaining a college education gives you an edge over others. Oftentimes, employers prefer pilots with advanced education. Commercial airlines tend to prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree over individuals with an associate’s degree.

To get a good educational foundation as a pilot, you must major in aeronautic engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, or computer science. Indeed, obtaining a college education in aviation cannot be overemphasized.

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How to become a Pilot After Graduation

Step 2: Gain Flying Hours

After obtaining your college degree in aviation, the next step one needs to focus on is gaining flying hours.

Flight hours mean the time spent in the sky on an aircraft. Usually, it is meant to show pilots’ experience; the more flight hours a pilot has, the more experience.

How Important Are Flying Hours?

Pilots take great pride in using flight time to self-validate their experience level or express to others how experienced they believe they are. Total hours flown is almost always near the top of a pilot’s resume.

How to Gain Flying Hours

How to Gain Flying Hours

If your goal is to land an airline pilot job and you’ve earned your commercial pilot certificate and instrument rating, your next priority is to put in the flight time that job requires.

Here is a simple guide that will help you gain flight hours

  • Get a Job at the Airport
  • Hang Out at the Airport
  • Be a Friend … and a Safety Pilot
  • Share Flight Time
  • Join the Military
  • Fly Aerial Photographers

Also, the FAA, or Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is a governmental body of the United States with powers to regulate all aspects of civil aviation in that nation as well as over its surrounding international waters, licenses flight instructors and flight schools to assist pilots in earning required flight experience.

Numerous pilots start their careers as flight instructors and become commercial pilots in the long run in the wake of increasing flying time and experience.

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Step 3: Obtain a Pilot’s License

To obtain a commercial pilot’s license from the federal government, pilots must pass a physical examination to ensure they have good vision and hearing and no physical impairments that may interfere with flight performance. There is also a written exam that includes safety information and a skills test seen by an FAA-certified instructor, and candidates must pass this too.

Step 4: Complete Additional Tests and Training

There are extra tests that candidates may be required to scale through, and licenses to have those might be required depending upon the sort of pilot position. The FAA offers a wide range of different kinds of certifications, for example, airworthiness certificates and medical certificates. Certain airlines may likewise require their pilots to take psychological and intelligence tests.

Step 5: Work as a Pilot

This is among the ways to follow becoming a pilot, and here, you must have had some experience of what it looks like to be a pilot, as pilots commonly advance with experience. This can be achieved by being a co-pilot and employed in different industries, for example, emergency services, agriculture, or reforestation.

For instance, some pilots may start their careers flying charter planes or helicopters before working with commercial airlines. Some begin as flight instructors, allowing them to log hours while becoming progressively efficient fliers.

Step 6: Advance in the Field

Pilots follow a ranking system based on seniority. After gaining numerous years of experience, normally 5-15 years, pilots at the first officer rank may be able to progress to the rank of captain, as outlined in their contract. Larger airline establishments often have opportunities for further advancements, such as director of chief pilot positions.

To become a pilot, you need adequate training, either a degree or via the military, and experience flying.

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What Qualifications do You Need to Become a Pilot?

To the question of what qualifications you need to become a pilot, the answer is that to become a pilot; you need to hold a bachelor’s degree in aircraft operations, aviation, aeronautical engineering, or a related field. Furthermore, you will finish about two months of ground training and need above 1,500 hours of flight experience.

A few airlines will require some of the A-Levels, and commonly, emphasis is placed on the attractive quality to hold these in both Maths and Science based subjects (specifically physics).​

We suggest that you work hard at school and finish a minimum of 3 A-Levels in “core” subjects, for example, math, English, Science, Geography, History, or an Engineering type subject.

While holding a degree was a normal place among airline pilots previously, turning out to be increasingly more typical to see cadets going directly from A-Levels into flight training. With the ongoing increment in tuition fees it appears this trend will additionally increase in the years ahead.

In addition, to be eligible to become a pilot, you must be at least 18 years, hold a minimum qualification: SSC or HSC, and have a level-2 medical and mental fitness certificate.

How to Get into Flight School

Becoming a commercial or private pilot takes dedication, money, and hours of hard work. Fortunately, there are several different paths you can take as a prospective pilot to achieve your goals.

If you want to go to school full-time and get your pilot’s license as quickly as possible, you can enroll in a Part 141 school or an airline cadet program. If you want to hold a job while attending flight school, you can attend a Part 61 school to maintain flexibility. Another way to get flight training is to complete military service.

Is Flight School hard to get into?

If your career objective is to become an airline pilot, learning to fly an airplane is not the hardest. Most smaller regional airlines might ask for no more than a two-year degree, but if your goal is to be the captain of a large commercial jet in one day, you must hold a bachelor’s degree.

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What is Required to Enter Flight School?

What is Required to Enter Flight School
  1. Have a passion for flight
  2. You must have completed secondary school education
  3. Medical certification
  4. Must be 18 years or above
  5. Pass the school assessment

Best Pilot Schools in the World

The best pilot schools in the world include:

SchoolsTuition Fees Range
Purdue University Aviation College$10,000-$28,000
University of North Dakota$8,000-$20,000
Ohio State University Aviation College$4,223-$10,023
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University College of Aviation$48,992-51,000
Western Michigan University Aviation College$10,000-$24,000
San Jose State University College of Aviation$270 per credit unit
Academy CollegeN/A
Hallmark UniversityN/A
Spartan College of Aeronautics and TechnologyN/A
Rio Salado CollegeN/A
Aeroism Flight AcademyN/A
Massachusetts Institute of Technology$26,725
Georgia Institute Of Technology$13,788
United States Naval AcademyFree
United States Air Force AcademyN/A

Pilot Salary | How Much are Pilots Paid?

If you have been asking this very question, “how much are pilots paid” well, you are about to uncover the salaries for a pilot. Pilot salaries differ in accordance with the type of airplane that they’re flying and the length of time they have spent at an airline. The median yearly salary for the pilot of a large jet is an impressive $121,408. For a small jet, the median yearly salary is $104,219. Non-jet airplane pilots make, in a significant manner, less.

Courses to Study to Become a Pilot

Training is for those applicants seeking a career in aviation. The course is divided into two parts: ground training and flight training. Individuals who successfully scale through the training and are then given a license afterward may pursue employment with an airline or seek a higher diploma in Aviation Science.

This is why it is expedient for you to take these courses and work towards coming out with flying colors. The courses to study to become a pilot are degree-type courses and include the following:

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Vocational Professional Pilot Program

US Aviation Academy

Denton, USA

US Aviation Academy’s Vocational Professional Pilot Program is the fastest way to begin your airline pilot career. Commencing with no prior experience in aviation, in less than 7 weeks, you will be good to go.

Pace: Full-time

Duration: 7 – 9 months

Teaching Language: English

Start Date: Sep 3

Study Type: Campus

Fast Track ATPL

Andorra Aviation Academy

Andorra la Vella, Andorra

This program is designed to meet the requirements for a flight crew position with European Airlines and to work as a pilot on American-registered aircraft.

Pace: Full-time

Duration: 18 months

Teaching Language: English

Study Type: Campus

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ICAO to EASA Conversion Course

Olympus Aviation Academy

Kalamaria Municipality, Greece

Pace: Full-time (Campus)

          Part-time (Online)                                           

Teaching Language: English

Study Type: Online & Campus Combined

European Aviation School of Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain +1 More

The Course is among the courses to study to become a pilot and is held under European rules AIRCREW allowing participants to obtain a commercial pilot license with Sep, Mep, and the MCC course.

Pace: Full-time

Duration: 14 months

Teaching Language: English

Study Type: Campus

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Commercial License Pilot Course

St. Thomas Flight Centre

Saint Thomas, Canada

If you have flying recreationally or becoming a commercial pilot in mind and are looking for a school to have your dream come true, the St. Thomas Flight Centre is that every school!

Pace: Full-time

Teaching Language: English

Start Date: Sep

Study Type: Campus

Private Pilot Certification

Institute of Aviation at Parkland College

Champaign, USA

Here, in sequential order, associate degree students will obtain the private pilot certificate, commercial pilot certificate, instrument rating, and multiengine rating during the program.

Pace: Full-time

Duration: 2 years

Teaching Language: English

Study Type: Campus

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Flying Lessons

Laurentide Aviation

Saint-Féréol, Canada

Learning to fly is among life’s most rewarding adventures. Whether you are considering learning to fly for recreation or to pursue a career in aviation, you can embrace an interesting one here by enrolling in this course!

Pace: Full-time

Duration: 7 – 9 months

Teaching Language: English

Start Date: Sep

Study Type: Campus

ATPL Integrated Training Course

Baltic Aviation Academy

Vilnius, Lithuania

The Integrated Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) Training Program is a highly concentrated training program aimed at helping students with little or no previous flying experience.

Pace: Full-time

Duration: 20 – 25 months

Teaching Language: English

Start Date: Sep

Study Type: Campus

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Find Scholarships to Study Abroad in 2023

Click on any of the following countries to find scholarships.

For more scholarships in 2023, visit our scholarship search engine at https://academicrelated.com.

EASA ATPL Theory Course

Flying Academy, International Flight Training Center

Prague, Czech Republic +2 More

ATPL, Airline Transport Pilot License, is the highest level of aircraft pilot certification. ATPL course is one of the courses to study to become a pilot, meant for future airline pilots.

Pace: Part-time & Full-time


33 weeks

Teaching Language: English

Start Date: Sep

Study Type: Online & Campus Combined

Aircraft Piloting

Estonian Aviation Academy

Ülenurme, Estonia

In this aeronautical course, the Commercial Pilot Licence/Instrument Rating (CPL(A)/IR) is gone after successfully passing the theoretical knowledge examinations and rating flights the pilot-trainees receive.

Pace: Full-time

Duration: 4 years

Teaching Language: English

Start Date: Aug

Study Type: Campus

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Course Private Pilot License (P.P.L)

Cretan Eagle Aviation

Heraklion, Greece

Included are at least 45 hours of flight training. Candidates additionally need to pass 9 written exams and a flight skill test at the end of the course, which is among the courses to study to become a Pilot.

Pace: Full-time

Duration: 45 – 100 hours

Teaching Language: English

Study Type: Campus & Online

Course Integrated Professional Pilot Program (IPPP)

Keilir Academy in Iceland

Reykjavík, Iceland

This Pilot Program is designed for students with no or limited previous experience. It is an extremely organized and encompassing program that concentrates on our objective of becoming a First Officer with an airline.

Pace: Full-time

Duration: 24 months

Teaching Language: English

Start Date: May

Study Type: Campus

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Integrated ATPL with Multi Crew Cooperation (MCC)

Skies Aviation Academy

Thessaloniki, Greece

The EASA Integrated ATPL Course is meant for students with zero flying experience up to a frozen ATPL in about 12 to 14 months. By getting through this program, you will be qualified to work as a First Officer with an airplane company.

Pace: Full-time

Duration: 12 – 14 months

Teaching Language: English

Start Date: Sep

Study Type: Campus

Private Pilot License

Avel Flight School

West Chicago, USA +1 More

This license permits you to be a Pilot in Command of an aircraft for any non-commercial purpose and is also the first step towards getting your Commercial Pilot License and, later, an airline job. This license also allows you to operate charity flights subject to some restrictions and may participate in similar activities, such as Angel Flight, Civil Air Patrol, etc.

Pace: Full-time

Duration: 6 – 8 weeks

Teaching Language: English

Start Date: Sep

Study Type: Campus

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Course in EASA Integrated Commercial Pilot License (Helicopter)

Bristow Academy

Titusville, USA +1 More

This flight license program is meant for students seeking employment within the European flight market.

Pace: Full-time

Duration: 12 months

Teaching Language: English

Start Date: Sep

Study Type: Campus

Scholarships for Pilot Training

Now, if you’re looking for fully sponsored flight training programs through scholarships or training aids, then stick around for a while. World Scholarship Forum has compiled a list of fully sponsored pilot training program(s) through Pilot Training Scholarships for Pilot Students.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long does it take to become a Pilot?

Becoming a Pilot takes 3 months to earn your private pilot license. It takes only over two years to become a pilot to obtain the required 1,500 hours of flight time.

How much does a pilot make a year?

According to the report by The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a Commercial Pilot is $ 77,200 yearly. The lowest-paid 10 percent of Commercial Pilotsearn is $39,430, while the highest-paid 10 percent earns beyond $147,240 yearly.

Is becoming a pilot expensive?

There’s variation in the total cost for training, which depends on how well students do in their courses. On average, most students go from having no experience to earning a CPL with instructor ratings in 1 year. The cost likewise differs depending on a numeral of factors. On average, the cost is about $70,000.

Do pilots get paid when not flying?

The amount of non-flying time is properly predictable and commensurate to flying time, so the pilots receive a little more pay for the flying time than they might otherwise. Pilots for mainline United States airlines get a high hourly rate for flight time.

Is becoming a pilot worth the cost?

Yes, it is worth it.

What Is a lady pilot called?

A lady pilot is called aviatrices.
Many people do not know this, so they call both males and females pilots.

Can commercial pilots have beards?

Having beards does not stop a pilot from getting a private or commercial license.
But, some airlines may prefer their pilots to be without beards, while others may not mind.
So, as a commercial pilot, having beards or not depends on where you work.

Do you need a 20/20 vision to become a pilot?

Yes, a good pilot must have a very clear vision.
Here are some of the visual requirements:
Near visual acuity: 20/30 without correction
– Distance visual acuity: not less than 20/70 in each eye
– Meet refraction and accommodation requirements

Conclusion: what does it take to become a pilot

By the end of 2023, it is estimated that there will be demand for up to 27,000 pilots.

Becoming a pilot is amazing, although it has some downsides, such as stress and little or no holidays.

Now that you know what it takes to become a pilot, if you are convinced this is the right career for you, then make your moves.

Academic Related wishes you a successful career.

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