Flying is a dream career for so many out there. The US alone boasts of having close to 500 flying schools. However, owing to global demand and stuff competition, it isn’t as easy to get into flight school, as many would deem.
Becoming a pilot takes effort, years of dedication, and proper flying training along with the right licenses. Moreover, at the outset, decide on what kind of pilot you want to become, your options could largely be between commercial and military. However, airline transport and related fields too, require pilots. Check up on the options available around flight training schools.
There are certain training courses that offer hybrid courses–clubbing both a college degree and flying courses. However, the norm is mostly to get a traditional four year degree and then follow up with a flight training course at a pilot training institute.
However, a high school degree also makes you eligible for training in flying schools, as per norms prevalent currently. This needs verification with specific schools before you are sure of the requirements. Make such choices early on, for better career planning.
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You need to be a latest 17 years old, to initiate pilot training in the USA. In order that you begin with such training, you also need a medical certificate. Most flight schools will help you through this process. In fact, if there are more internal rules governing such requirements, you will be able to gain more clarity on the same. As per the level of English, you require to obtain a license to fly, Level 4 suffices.
Here again, you can take external coaching or guidance to fulfil the same, if you are an offshore student or a non-native English speaker. As pilots, the retirement age is fixed at 65 years.
Are There Training Stages?
Yes, there are several training stages to becoming a pilot. It isn’t something to sit and consume all at once.
- Obtaining a relevant license to fly means you need to begin with a student pilot license, this helps to begin flying training. You need to be able to read, write, and converse in English, be at least 16 years old, and hold an existing FAA medical certificate.
- The next step for training is availing a private pilot license that enables you to fly solo, fly passengers, or even cargo without any monetary compensation. The age rises to 17 years here, and the other criteria remain unchanged.
- There are more specific requirements around flying hours, nautical miles’ coverage, and landings that are involved. However, these are best understood only when you are part of the training in a flying academy.
- The next stage is obtaining the commercial pilot license. This allows you to earn as a professional pilot. The age here jumps to 18 years while other basic requisites are the same. However, the flying hours here and related specifications are different. The military route is different only in terms of service years and sponsorship.
- As for the ATPL or the Airline Transport Pilot License, you need to be 21 years old; have the FAA certificate, hold a Commercial Pilot Certificate, and have the ability to read-write-speak in English. You need to clock 1,500 hours of overall time as a pilot.
Make a choice of flying school based on the kind of pilot license you want to obtain. Consider the training cost and overall budget involved in getting a course from the same. Look upon sponsorships and grants, if the need arises. Otherwise, there is financial assistance available for such courses, depending on other details involved.