L3Harris Airline Academy

Requirements & qualifications to become a pilot

Whether you’ve graduated from university or school, thinking of a career change or travelling from overseas to become a pilot, you’ll need the relevant pilot qualifications to start your journey.

What to expect?

A career as a pilot is unlike any other, full of excitement and possibilities. You will enjoy attractive pay and benefits and an office above the clouds with spectacular views and create life-long friendships with people across the globe.

Read on to discover what qualifications are needed to become a pilot as well as the pilot requirements.

What type of personality do pilots have?

A study conducted by NASA in 2004 found that pilots are generally more extraverted. In addition, the majority of the 93 pilots who took part showed a high degree of conscientiousness, ambition, competence and sense of duty, were warm, assertive, trustworthy and straightforward.

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Pilot requirements

In addition, cadets also need to meet the following requirements to become a pilot:

  • Be at least 17 to submit an application and 18 to commence training
  • Minimum height: 5ft 2in (157cm) | Maximum height: 6ft 3in (191cm)
  • Fluent in English (verbal and written). Non-native English speakers must achieve level 5.5 individual and overall in IELTS or equivalent ICAO level 4 prior to starting training
How to apply

What skills does a pilot need?

In addition to the necessary skills that a pilot must possess, the following are also important:

  • Communication and teamwork 
  • Decision making and stress management
  • Leadership

It is also preferable if you have the following:

  • A good understanding of maths and physics
  • Excellent communications skills
  • Ability to work well in a team and to demonstrate leadership skills
  • Excellent spatial awareness and coordination, and ability to remain calm under pressure
How to apply

Get in touch today and start your journey!

Do you have any questions about starting your pilot training journey at L3Harris Airline Academy? Please send us a message and our Airline Pilot Careers Advice Team will be happy to assist.


Pilot qualifications

To begin pilot training you’ll need the following qualifications:

  • A minimum of five GCSEs grade C/4 or above, or international equivalent, for example in Portugal: Secondary School (Year 12) completion certificate; which must include Maths, English and Science

You will also need:

  • EASA Class 1 Medical Certification (without restrictions)
  • UKCAA Class 1 Medical Certification (without restrictions for UKCAA licence)
  • You must have the unrestricted right to live, study and work in either the UK or the European Economic Area (EEA)/Switzerland depending on where you study. Alternatively, you will have to meet the United Kingdom Visa & Immigration Service (UKVI) or EU requirements to qualify for an applicable visa enabling you to study.  Further details on visa requirements are listed on individual course pages
  • Produce a clean criminal record check (CRC) basic disclosure certificate

If you have the above commercial airline pilot qualifications, you will be eligible to apply for the Integrated ATPL course or a Modular ATPL course.

Some cadets may opt to combine university study with pilot training. For example, the BSc (Hons) Aviation – Pilot Programme has been designed to prepare students for a career as a professional pilot. The programme has been developed between L3Harris and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and is approved by aviation regulators UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

On successful course completion, you will achieve a ‘frozen’ Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), the qualification needed to start your career as a pilot.

Co-Pilot qualifications

Co-Pilots require the same set of skills and qualifications as pilots. The difference between the two lies in rank and experience. A Captain typically is more experienced than the Co-Pilot.

Pilot training courses

Get in touch today and start your journey!

Do you have any questions about starting your pilot training journey at L3Harris Airline Academy? Please send us a message and our Airline Pilot Careers Advice Team will be happy to assist.

Modular ATPL courses

Our Modular ATPL offers a range of flight school courses to complete in bite-size chunks, allowing you to work in between pilot training to fund course fees. We offer training modules for:


  • Cost: £13,000
  • Duration: Approx. 10-weeks

Hours Building:

  • Cost: £20,000
  • Duration: Approx. 15-weeks

Theoretical Knowledge:

  • Cost: £6,950 (Classroom-Based) or £2,400 (Distance Learning)
  • Duration: Approx. 29-weeks


  • Cost: £39,500
  • Duration: Approx. 23-weeks


  • Cost: £8,900
  • Duration: Approx. 3-weeks
Our Modular ATPL courses

Integrated ATPL course

Our Integrated ATPL course is designed to prepare you for the role of First Officer, the programme give you access to state-of-the-art facilities, modern training aircraft and world class tuition, to help your dream become a reality.

On successful completion, you will graduate with a frozen ATPL issued by the UKCAA or EASA.

Our Integrated ATPL course

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