How Long Does It Take To Become a Pilot? (And What To Consider)

Ideally, becoming a pilot should only take 3 to 4 years, the time it takes to get your Bachelor of Science in Professional Flight. Getting an education is also good for a consistency of training, so it’s preferred to wait to start your journey until you are in a certified school, like LETU.

How Long does it take to become an airline pilot

Types of FAA-approved program certificates

For those thinking about a career in aviation, the following are the most typical types of pilot certifications, though the list is not all-inclusive:

Student pilot certificate

Training lasts for roughly three weeks and gets you ready for the following steps in your pilot career.

Private Pilot (PPL)

Training typically lasts six to twelve months, and at least 40 hours of flight time must be logged. Prior to receiving your commercial pilot certificate, you must first become a certified private pilot. Private pilots gain experience flying single-engine aircraft without a copilot. This is not a professional certification.

Commercial Pilot (CPL)

Although the additional training required for this license can technically be completed in 12 weeks with enough accelerated training, it is more likely to take six to nine months and require 250 hours of logged flying time. You can fly professionally once you have your commercial pilot’s license, but you are still ineligible to fly large aircraft carrying passengers for a major airline. With a CPL, you could work as a skydiving instructor, flight instructor, crop duster, banner tower, running flying tours, or in a variety of other flying-related on-the-ground positions.

Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)

Only those who wish to instruct, evaluate, or recommend aspiring pilots on their individual paths to flight certification are required to possess this certificate. On the longer road to higher certification, it is not uncommon to become a flight instructor, which enables you to earn money while accruing the necessary flight hours.

Airline Transport Pilot (ATP)

Training duration varies, though some institutions offer nine-month programs. You must complete 1,500 flight hours in addition to your education, though military pilots and those with associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in aviation can reduce this requirement. The absolute prerequisite to work as a pilot for an airline is this certification.

Multi-Engine rating (ME)

The minimum requirement to work as a pilot in command for any airline is this additional rating, which can be obtained in just a few weeks.

You’ll need to allow time for schoolwork, flight hours, signing up for and passing exams, as well as fulfilling the following requirements:

How long does it take to become a pilot?

A student pilot license can be obtained in just three weeks of training, but it may take much longer to complete the necessary training to fly a commercial, private, or multi-engine aircraft. How long you train will depend on what and how you want to fly. It will take at least two years of training, certification, and practice to become a commercial airline passenger pilot under Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

To learn how long it takes for each type of pilot license to be approved by the FAA, refer to the table below:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements

1. Meet the age requirements

The following age requirements vary depending on where you are on your path to becoming a pilot:

2. Obtain a medical certificate

Depending on the type of certificate you want, you can obtain one of three classes of medical certificates to become a pilot. Each certification demonstrates that your neurological and cardiovascular system, as well as your vision, hearing, equilibrium, and mental health, are all in good condition.

Depending on your age, this class lasts either six or twelve months and is the highest level offered. You must possess this qualification if you’re a commercial pilot over 60 years of age and considering ATP certification in order to obtain a high-ranking, pilot-in-command title. More stringent criteria apply to first-class status, such as passing an electrocardiogram (EKG) to assess cardiovascular function.

An annual certification is required for any pilot using their commercial pilot privileges. This certificate still has very high standards for vision even though it is less rigorous than first class.

Private use pilots must have third-class medical certification, which must be renewed every 24 to 60 months depending on their age. Less thoroughly than the higher qualifications, the third class examines neurological and cardiovascular functioning, balance, mental health, and vision, hearing, and balance.

3. Be proficient in English

Communication is especially crucial to safe air travel. To fly US aircraft abroad, you must be able to communicate with other flight crew members in both spoken and written English.

4. Complete testing and get endorsements

All pilots are required to sign up for and pass the airman knowledge and practical test, with different licenses having different full requirements. Professional pilots can hold a variety of titles, each of which has specific qualifications, with captain being the highest rank.

5. Obtain vision and/or instrument rating

IFR or VFR are the two flight regulations that apply to all aircraft. It takes about 50 hours to earn an instrument rating, including 20 hours of in-flight training, and allows a pilot to fly in any weather, including clouds, rain, and other weather that may reduce visibility.

For your student or private pilot license, you do not need to obtain an instrument rating; however, career pilots must do so. You can choose to operate in Class A airspace or in airspace above 18,000 feet if you have an instrument rating.


How long does it take to become a pilot of a plane?

Requirements. To become an airline pilot, one must complete 1,500 hours of flight time, which can be completed in two years.

Is it hard to become a pilot?

A commercial airline pilot must complete extensive coursework, training, and log countless hours in the air. Anyone who loves to travel and enjoys a challenge may find that becoming a commercial pilot is a rewarding career path, but it takes a lot of dedication, commitment, and hard work.

How much does a pilot earn?

The salary in the first scenario could range from $73,100 to $88,000. In the second, captains make from $131,300 to $190,000. Keep in mind that the pay for a pilot can increase by up to three times as a first officer becomes a captain, depending on years of experience.

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