How Hard Is It To Become A Commercial Pilot?
It isn’t easy to become a commercial airline pilot. The pilot training course will involve much commitment and dedication for at least 18 months (18 months on an integrated course and potentially longer on the modular course).
However, the thing that makes it particularly hard to become an airline pilot is that pilot training is incredibly expensive. Alongside working extremely hard, studying for hours a day and applying yourself fully, you will need to pay between $60,000-$100,000 to become a pilot.
However, if you are lucky enough to have access to the money, or have the facilities available to take out a loan for the training (which is what nearly all pilots that I know did), then the pilot training is more than doable. As mentioned above, it takes a great deal of work and commitment.
You will be required to:
Complete ground school and your 14 ATPL exams. These include:
Aircraft General Knowledge
Principles of Flight
Mass and Balance
Meteorology (study of the weather).
All your flying stages will see you taking flight tests to ensure you are of the level the associated pilot certificate requires. These flight tests can be complex and require a lot of prior preparation before you go flying.
You will also be required to complete a medical exam to achieve your Class 1 Medical certificate. This is required to become a professional pilot.
How Hard Is It To Get An Airline Job?
Getting a job as an airline pilot can take time. However, depending on how the aviation industry looks and if your pilot school links with partner airlines, it can be a quick process. For example, I received an airline job just days after finishing my pilot training in the UK.
Currently, America is facing a never seen pilot shortage, meaning it’s relatively easy to get a job as an airline pilot. You can read more about the pilot shortage in this post.
However, newly qualified pilots in America will be required to fly for 1500 hours before they can be employed by major airlines like United, Delta etc.
This means that after finishing flight school, they will be required to either complete some flight instruction (which requires flight instructor certification) or fly for a regional airline.
How Hard Is It To Become A Private Pilot?
It’s much easier to become a private pilot than an airline pilot. This is because you will have to conduct fewer flight hours with a flight instructor and pass fewer exams.
However, the process is still tricky and involves lots of studying. It also costs a lot of money to achieve a Private Pilots License (PPL).
You can begin training as a student pilot from a young age and achieve your pilot certificate or PPL at 17 years old. This is also sometimes known as your student pilot license.
A PPL involves far less flight time and, therefore, less experience required than a Commercial Pilots Licence or an Airline Transport Pilots Licence (the difference between a commercial pilot license and an airline pilot).
Achieving your private pilot certificate is an excellent way to start your career in aviation.
Pilot training is a complex process. There is much content to learn and apply before you have even started the flying phase.
The flying phase is hugely testing and will take your capacity to its absolute max.
However, as mentioned, many people find it hard to become a pilot due to the financing involved.