How Long Does It Take To Become A Pilot? Comprehensive Guide With All You Need to Know

Obtaining your private pilot license will take only 3 months. Still, to be a commercial pilot, you need 1500 flying hours minimum, roughly over two years. Hence how long does it take to become a pilot will vary depending on your license requirement.

The below table outlines the type of Pilot license and the approximate duration it takes to complete the training and flies solo.

Type of Pilot License Duration
Student Certificate3 Weeks
Sports/ Recreational Pilot Certificate3 Months
Private Pilot Certificate3 Months
Certified Flight Instructor2-3 Months
Commercial Flight License 9-12 Months
Airline Transport Pilot LicenseOver 2 Years (Minimum 1500 flying hours)
Fighter/Military Pilot (Not a Standard Pilot License)Over 3 years

Mandatory Requirements That You Need To Become A Pilot 

  • Meet minimum age requirement (16 years minimum for Private Pilot License)
  • Good English knowledge
  • Good numerical and analytical knowledge
  • Good physical and mental health

How Long Does It Take To Become A Private Pilot

The prerequisite of becoming a private pilot is first to complete the student pilot certificate. This module covers the basic flight maneuvers. You need to be a minimum of 16 years of age. Most student certifications are bundled with flight lessons; hence, you will get flying experience with an instructor’s aid. After obtaining the student certificate, you can go for sports / recreational or a private pilot certificate. Sports / recreational certificates are more in flying as a sport; hence, most people will obtain the private pilot certification straight away. Sports and recreational licenses will limit you to the type of aircraft that you can fly, cannot fly at night, and have landing configuration restrictions.

Private pilot certification allows you to fly any aircraft with passengers (non-commercial) and doesn’t have any restrictions (except for those which are laid out for commercial flight license and airline transport pilot license) 

How Long Does It Take To Become A Pilot
How Long Does It Take To Become A Pilot

How Long Does It Take To Become A Commercial Flight Pilot

200 -250 hours of flight time is sufficient to be a commercial pilot, taking around 9 months. You are allowed to fly planes on paid basis except for passenger airlines. It will be the first step of flying professionally. The majority of cargo pilots carry this pilot license. 

How Long Does It Take To Become An Airline Transport Pilot

Becoming an airline transport pilot is the dream of every student who wants to be a pilot. Except for a few who wants to do piloting as a hobby. It requires an excessive number of flying hours (Minimum 1500 hours) with night flying, thorough instrument rating, and extensive theory knowledge. The process generally takes more than two years since when you obtain this license, you can fly any plane with passengers.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Certified Flight Instructor

This is the “Teachers” certificate of piloting. If you want to train students to become pilots, you need to obtain this certificate. It will help you gain the necessary flight hours to receive the commercial/airline transport pilot license. The standard course will take between 2 – 3 months. 

How Long Does it Take to Become a Helicopter Pilot

How Long Does It Take To Become A Helicopter Pilot

If you have a private pilot license, you need to complete a combined 30 hours of instructional and solo flight hours, so it would take approximately 2- 3 months to complete. If you are going to start from the beginning, it will take around 4 months.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Military (Fighter) Pilot

How Long Does It Take To Become A Military (Fighter) Pilot

The time will depend from country to country; on average, it will take 3 to 3 ½ years to complete the course. Fighter pilots require extensive training on instrument reading and need to be in the best physical condition; hence, the fighter pilot course is designed to develop those aspects. Fighter pilots need to complete their bachelor’s degree as well. Most fighter pilots are bonded for a certain period due to the high cost of the training.

We hope that you got a fair idea about how long does it take to become a pilot, after reading this article.

References

https://www.cae.com/civil-aviation/aviation-training/airline-pilot-training/

https://erau.edu/degrees

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