How You Can Become A Commercial Airline Pilot – The Steps Involved In The Process

Your dream is to fly a large 777 or maybe the A380 from your choice airline as a commercial pilot. It certainly is a dream within your reach if you have the dedication, money and time to invest in it. There are certain requirements that must be met before you will even be considered to fly for any airline. These are the steps involved in becoming a commercial airline pilot.

The Requirements

In order to become a commercial airline pilot you must meet certain educational requirements. You must have completed a training course and have experience in flying from either military training and flight experience, or a 4-year college level education specializing in Aviation Science or Bachelor of Science and obtain a bachelor’s degree. You will also need to receive a First Class medical certificate from a Federal Aviation Administration medical examiner.

Private Flight School

Unless you are enrolled in the military and training as a fighter pilot, then you will need to take private pilot lessons first. The minimum hours you need to receive your private pilot certification is 40 hours flight time. A good school will give you both ground school lessons and in-flight training and it’s a good idea to find a school with FAA oversight.

Advanced Instrument Training

You will need to receive an instrument rating through at least 50 hours of actual flying or by using a simulator. This training involves at least 50 hours of cross-country Pilot-in-Command training and 40 hours of actual or simulator training.

Become a Fight Instructor

You can become a flight instructor before you  fly commercially. In order to qualify for a commercial license you must have flight experience and many pilots gain this by being a flight instructor at their local flying school. During this time, you can work on your multi-engine certificates.


Once you have your pilot’s license and multi-engine certificates and ratings, you will then need to gain experience and flight hours. Every airline has their own minimum amount of flight hours you will need to qualify for and you must pass FAA written and flight examinations. It is likely that when you get hired by a commercial airline, you will begin work as a flight engineer or first officer before becoming a captain.

You can gain experience with jobs working as a charter pilot or an air taxi pilot. You can also gain experience as a corporate pilot on a private plane.

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