L3Harris Airline Academy

Qualifications to Become a Pilot in the UK & Europe

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. From pilot skills to subject requirements to become a pilot, we’re here to help you understand exactly what you need to begin your career!

Contact us   Integrated ATPL

UK Pilot Requirements

Cadets need to meet the following requirements to become a pilot in the UK (other pilot requirements may apply depending on the specific programme):

  • Be at least 17 to submit an application and 18 to commence training
  • Between 5ft 2in (157cm) and 6ft 3in (191cm)
  • Fluent in English (verbal and written)

You will also need to meet certain medical, visa and criminal requirements to become a pilot in the UK. Heathrow Medical is an AME organisation located nearby to central London and our London Training Centre. For a guide on obtaining your medical, click here.

Contact us   Integrated ATPL

L3Harris Airline Academy student

Qualifications Needed to Be a Pilot in the UK?

  • You will need a minimum of five GCSEs grade C/4 or above, or the international equivalent, including Maths, English and Science

You do not need A Levels to train as a pilot. You will require 80+ UCAS points to apply for our Degree Programme.

Contact us    Pilot training courses

Pre-flight planning

What Skills Does a Pilot Need?

In addition to the necessary requirements and qualifications needed to become a pilot, you must also possess a range of strong pilot skills and personality traits to support you with the day-to-day duties of being a pilot. The main pilot skills are:

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

What other skills do pilots need to demonstrate?

  • A good understanding of maths and physics 
  • Excellent communication 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

These essential pilot skills will help you through your pilot training and be valuable when the time comes to take on the responsibility of being a commercial airline pilot. You will use your pilot skills every day, from communicating with your Captain as a First Officer, to demonstrating your spatial awareness when you analyse flight plans.

What Personality Type Do Pilots Have?

According to recent research, pilots are generally more extraverted than the general population. In addition, the majority of pilots who took part showed a high degree of conscientiousness. 

Pilots have also been considered to have high levels of ambition, competence and a sense of duty, are warm, assertive, trustworthy and straightforward.

Contact us   Integrated ATPL

Have the Qualifications Needed to Become a Pilot?

Once you’ve met the subject requirements to become a pilot, and have developed strong pilot skills such as communication, leadership and coordination, you need to think about what type of pilot training course you want to complete.

Integrated ATPL

Our Integrated ATPL course prepares you for the role of First Officer. and gives 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.

Integrated ATPL course     Contact us

BSc (Hons) Aviation - Pilot Degree Programme with ATPL

The BSc (Hons) Aviation – Pilot Programme is a three year course that prepares you for your career as a pilot. You will gain the qualifications needed to be a pilot in the UK as well as an aviation degree.

As you will have access to student finance, you may be able to borrow up to £61,098 towards getting your pilot qualifications. Learn more about the cost of pilot training

Degree Programme     Contact us 

How Your Salary Is Likely to Grow as a Pilot

Training to become a pilot is a big commitment. However, becoming a commercial airline pilot does come with significant benefits including extensive career growth and an attractive salary.

Senior First Officer

£48,605 - £86,699 per annum*

On average, depending on airline.


£103,525 - £173,000 per annum*

On average, depending on airline.

*Glassdoor, August 2023

Contact us     How to apply

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