How to Become a Pilot


Do You Think About How to Become a Pilot?

You can become a pilot. Below are the basic steps on How to Become a Pilot and earning a private pilot certificate.


Step 1: Research Pilot Schools

The first step in becoming a pilot is to research your flight training options. Learn and compare available programs offered by flight schools, and pick the best match for your aviation goals. See Comprehensive LIST her.

Step 2: Take an Introductory Training Flight Lesson

Taking an introductory training flight lesson will help you see first-hand the training, aircraft, and quality of instruction a flight school will offer you. It is also a great way to get a better sense of what it’s like to fly from behind the controls. Get Started with a Free Online Lesson »

Step 3: Apply for FAA Medical Certificate

Pilots must meet basic medical requirements to fly. If you want to fly professionally, you must meet higher medical standards than recreational pilots and should apply for a first class medical certificate through an Aeromedical Examiner (AME). Get Your FAA Medical Certification her.

Step 4: Apply for FAA Student Pilot Certificate

Apply for a student pilot certificate through the FAA’s Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) website (your flight instructor can help with this). While you don’t need a student pilot certificate to start flying lessons, you will need it to fly solo during your training. Get your FAA Student Pilot Certificate here.

Step 5: Start Flight Training Lessons

Start taking flight training lessons and begin working towards obtaining the aeronautical knowledge and pilot training experience requirements needed to become a private pilot.

Step 6: Pass Private Pilot Knowledge Test

During your private pilot flight training, you will need to take and pass the computer-based FAA private pilot knowledge test. To be eligible for the test, you must receive an endorsement from your flight instructor.

Step 7: Pass Private Pilot Practical Exam

The final step in earning your FAA private pilot certificate is to take a practical exam with a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE). This exam consists of both an oral and a flight portion, and once completed you will be a private pilot.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Pilot?

Outlined below is roughly how long it takes to become a pilot in an accelerated Airline Career Pilot Program.

Starting from Zero TimeStarting with Credit for Private
Private Pilot3 Months
Commercial Pilot4 Months4 Months
Certified Flight Instructor2 Months2 Months
Total Duration 9 Months 6 Months

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Pilot?

Prices based on minimum flight time requirements as well as providing up-front, fixed-cost pricing for becoming a pilot. Below is a pricing guideline for becoming a professional pilot in an Airline Career Pilot Program. Always call multiple schools for their most up to date pricing.

Airline Career Pilot Program
40 Hours Multi-Engine
Airline Career Pilot Program
100 Hours Multi-Engine
Private Pilot
(Includes 80 Hours Flight Time)
Instrument Rating,
Commercial Pilot,
& Certified Flight Instructor
Total Fixed Price$68,000$78,000

What are the Requirements to Become a Pilot?

Below is an outline of the FAA’s pilot eligibility requirements and what it takes to become a pilot.

Private PilotCommercial PilotAirline Transport Pilot
LanguageBe able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
Total Flight Time40 Hours250 Hours1,500 Hours
(How do I get 1500 hours of flight time?)
Tests & ExamsKnowledge Test & Practical ExamKnowledge Test & Practical ExamCTP, Knowledge Test, & Practical Exam