Working as a commercial pilot in the airline industry is a very rewarding career as one not only receives an exceptional salary, but reaps the rewards of full medical insurance, pension, and free flight benefits, which allows for unlimited worldwide travel for the employee and immediate family members. Before we discuss how to become a pilot, let’s figure out if there is a demand for professional pilots during the pandemic crisis.
During these uncertain times of COVID-19, the demand for pilots around the globe is very inconsistent.
Prior to the pandemic, there was a large demand for commercial pilots in much of Asia, including China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Japan.
Therefore, if the demand for pilots in a certain country is low, that doesn’t necessarily mean the same for other countries as it is solely based on the region’s economic performance.
Even though the aviation industry has had its challenges this year, the experts are predicting that passenger travel volume will be back to pre-COVID-19 numbers within two years, which is why the best time to start thinking about becoming an airline pilot would be right now.
A commercial pilot is an airman who has the required aviation skills and experience and who holds an FAA Commercial Pilot Certificate, which enables the individual to fly for hire.
To receive these credentials, one must undergo several training programs with a certified flight instructor either privately, at a flight school, or at an accredited university, (One which offers aviation training, along with a college degree).
This type of training will teach an individual all of the aspects of aviation operation and how to successfully pass the necessary examinations to receive the required certificates.
An individual must hold a first or second class medical certificate and have had a total of 250 flight hours logged.
Becoming a commercial pilot today is not as difficult or expensive as one might think. You do not have to enlist in the military or enroll in an upper educational institution. There are over 600 flight schools in the United States that offer more financially efficient courses with lower duration times towards completion. One may receive their commercial pilot certificate in as little as 6-8 months at a cost of only $53,000. Let’s find out how to get a commercial pilot license.
The first component of the training model begins with the Private Pilot Program, which is the foundation that lies at the base of all professional pilot certificates.
The Private Pilot Program includes a minimum of 35 hours of theory and 35 hours of flight training, along with a successful completion of both the written and practical examinations.
The average duration of the private course is approximately 6-8 weeks.
The second step towards obtaining a commercial pilot license is successfully completing the Instrument Rating Course.
This rating allows you to fly in clouds and other difficult meteorological conditions out of sight of the horizon. The program consists of 35 hours of practical training (airplane and simulator flights) and 35 hours of theory.
As part of the program, there will be both written and practical examinations that must be passed.
After completing the program, one will have accumulated a total of 70-100 flight hours. It is a valuable asset that underpins your professional skills in an aviation career, which is generally the equivalent of experience. The more hours you have flown, the higher your qualifications and value to a potential employer.
The duration of the Instrument Rating Course will take approximately 6-8 weeks.
The third and final step is the actual Commercial Pilot Training Program. Pilots must meet specific experience requirements and fly to become commercial pilots that ultimately allows them to legally be paid to fly.
This course includes at least 120 hours of flight training (simulator and airplane) and 35 hours of theory. The majority of the program consists of time building or solo flight.
The FAA requires a commercial pilot to have at least 190 flight hours (if enrolled under Part 141) or 250 hours (if enrolled under Part 61). As with the Private and Instrument Courses, there will be the written and practical exams that would have to be completed successfully.
Now that a candidate has received his Commercial Pilot Certificate with Instrument Rating, it is time for the process to seek employment with an air carrier.
Normally, most major carriers in the United States will not employ pilots with 250 hours of flight time, as many have a 600-1200 hour minimum time requirement depending on the operator.
However, there are many companies around the world in countries such as Russia, India, China, Saudi Arabia, and many others that would require the minimum flight time hours of only 250-300 hours. The road to becoming a pilot on a major air carrier is a very extensive and grueling process. However, the reward is well worth it in the end. As a commercial pilot, one makes a living by traveling to many destinations all over the world. Pilots are able to bear witness to the most magnificent sights from above such as breathless sunsets, miles of blue ocean, various cloud formations, and even the majestic Northern Lights.
The program in its’ entirety from the beginning will take approximately 6-8 months. To be qualified and successfully complete the program, one must possess:
Are you ready to turn your plans into reality? Define your goals to navigate your career path. You probably have more questions now that you’ve learned how to become a commercial pilot. We would be happy to answer any questions you have so do not hesitate to contact us.