There are over 460,000 people with active airmen certificates, and almost 100,000 of those are commercial pilots. Do you dream of flying a plane?
Do you want to fly for fun or as a career? Either way, there are steps you’ll follow for your pilot’s license.
Are you wondering how to become a pilot? Keep reading!
You’ll need to be at least 16 years of age before you can start pilot training. You must speak, read, and write English. This is a Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR).
Private Pilot Applicants
Are you looking to get your license so you can fly yourself, family, and friends? Then you want a private pilot’s license.
Private pilot applicants must be 17 years of age. As with students, you need to read, write, and speak English. You’ll also need ground school and flight training.
As a commercial pilot applicant, you’ll also need to read, write, and speak English. You can apply when you’re at least 18 years of age. Commercial pilots have jobs like crop dusting, running aerial tours, and engaging in air rescue operations.
It takes at least 250 flight hours to get a commercial license.
Most airline pilots are commercial pilots first, although some come straight from the military. You’ll need at least 1,500 flight hours for an Airline Transport Pilot certificate (ATP).
Take a Ride
Before investing in your education, take a ride! Go to your nearest flight school and arrange an introductory flight. It costs between $100 to $250 dollars.
A flight instructor takes you up and answers all your questions. If you’re still interested, then take the next step…
FAA Medical Certificate
You must pass a basic medical exam and have a physician’s okay. Once you get clearance from your doctor, apply for your medical certificate.
Student Pilot Certificate
Get started on your Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA). This is your student pilot certificate. It’s not essential for beginning flight lessons but you’ll need it for flying solo when training.
Once you’ve made up your mind to fly, consider investing in an airplane. Much like cars, you can get an airplane loan and be on your way.
Ground School Options
Ground school prepares you for the FAA’s written and ground-based practical exams. There are several options.
- One-on-one with a flight instructor
- Online ground school
- In-classroom flight school
Make sure you use an FAA-approved ground school. When it’s time for your exams, you’ll need an instructor’s signature to take them. Once you’ve passed your private exam, you’ll work toward your other exams.
You’ll need lots of flight hours and specialty training for an ATP certificate. You’ll also need your instrument rating if you want to fly for the airlines.
Keep working hard and building hours. Once you have enough hours, apply for a job with a regional carrier flying small jets.
It’ll take about two years with a regional airline before you’re ready to apply for a first officer position at a major commercial airline.
Now You Know How to Become a Pilot
Now that you know how to become a pilot, it’s time to get to work. Check your eligibility and then take a test ride. If you’re still on board, get your medical clearance and student pilot certificate.
Get to work in an FAA-certified ground school and find a flight instructor. Most of all, if this is your dream, don’t give up!
Interested in learning more? Keep reading our blog!