What are the best pilot qualifications and training to get ahead?

Comments (11)


What is the best training for becoming a pilot? What types of ongoing training or certifications are necessary to be an effective pilot?

What do non-traditional career paths look like?

gagandeep in Glenroy, Australia

99 months ago

no idea

IH8Attys in Los Angeles, California

91 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I am here because I was a pilot and flight instructor before I went into law. I am still interested in professional aviation.

Minimum credentials for becoming a pilot are a Commercial Pilot Certificate with single, multiengine and instrument ratings. Flight and ground instructor certificates are extremely helpful. Pilot training is offered at flight schools, fixed-based operators, aviation colleges and at small airports. One logs about 250 flight hours, more or less with more being the rule, during training.

Two hundred fifty hours are entry-level for pilots. Flight instructing is the traditional entry-level job. Advanced jobs require more experience. One generally builds that experience through increasingly advanced flying jobs.

A four-year college degree is vital to a piloting career.

Of course, airlines employ pilots. The government, corporations, charter companies, etc. also employ pilots. Right now, regional airlines are busily recruiting new-hire pilots. Regional flight time requirements have plunged considerably in the past couple of years.

Last and certainly not least, the whims of the economy directly impact pilot opportunities. Pilot hiring can be brisk in a strong economy. When a recession hits, the door slams shut abruptly and may not open again for several years.

Wow. You are all over this site. I read on one of your posts somewhere else that, if I recall correctly, you are on your third career. Why did you leave aviation for law, and what exactly do you do in the legal industry? You said flight instructing is an entry level job. That surprises me. It seems that it would require a lot of experience to be a flight instructor. What is an example of an "advanced? job? A commercial pilot for American Airlines?

If regional flight time requirements have plunged, that means pilots with less experience are being hired? That's a little scary.

IH8Attys in Los Angeles, California

91 months ago

Are you happy with your decision to go into law, or do you regret it? Do you think you will ever go back to aviation? You wrote in another post that you were still interested in it. It seems to me that aviation would be much more interesting than law, but I don't know anything about aviation.

My biggest regret is entering the legal industry. Actually, my biggest regret (or biggest mistake) should be that I didn't go to college right out of high school. That's how I ended up working odd jobs that got me nowhere. I always considered being a legal secretary one of those "odd" jobs. Even if I did make close to $60K in LA, down here, that's nothing. And even when you make good money (I never did), the money doesn't matter when you hate what you do.

nitesh in Nepal

69 months ago

this instruction has not got any sense

private pilot in San Antonio, Texas

69 months ago


What I am looking for. I want to be a cargo only pilot. Flying my own plane, making my own schedule.

Private pilot in San Antonio, Texas

69 months ago

So, I have a choice try and find a job, go to school for a bachelors in professional aeronautics I have around 72 credits left, or try to finish up my pilots certification. I like the idea of flying the md500 for the power line inspections, or flying as some kind of government pilot in south america. That really seems like a great job. So I can try to get my commercial helicopter cert and then spend yrs trying to get enough hours. Oh and I am in early 30's getting old. Anyhow, it's interesting, this being able to leave notes. Anyhow. I thought it was funny you responded. See you.

NEHA in Pune, India

68 months ago

question- I want to become pilot. NOW, I am in VIT Pune doing ETX-Engineering.Which education I have to take for pilot traning? What is minimum amount of fees required ? Colleges.

Matt in Worcester, Massachusetts

68 months ago

You guys should consider military aviation if you are looking for a long lasting, well paying career that lets you fly at more than one profile. No offense, but flying commercial aircraft really isn't too exciting plus you carry all that responsibility (that means you don't get to fly fun profiles). Now I'm not digging on it completely because I plan to fly corporate when I finish my military training career, but only in the military can you strap into a supersonic jet with only 145 hours and fly 430kts at 500 feet? If you are young and looking for a program in college that will let you fly, Air Force or Navy ROTC are great ways to fly.

Matt in Worcester, Massachusetts

68 months ago

I agree about the responsibility of flying 100million dollar jets and was being sort of facetious. Its just that I worked at an airport during college that had a pretty busy flight school, and its that noone really tells the young guys about the military flight option. Yes there are visual requirements, but right now its 20/70 waiverable to 20/200, so the option is on the table for more young guys and gals more than ever. I'm just hoping that some young people will read this thread and realize military aviation is an option too. You start at about 55K a year as a flying Lt (with BAH included) and get unmatched opportunities. Good luck to everyone with their search for information

pilotbug in West Frankfort, Illinois

65 months ago

what 4 year college would you suggest for someone who wants to get their pilots license and become a regional pilot. what are some of the best aviation colleges out there

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