How long does it take to become a pilot?

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If you are thinking about pursuing a career as a pilot, an important factor in this decision is how long it will take you to become a fully fledged pilot and start flying. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question "how long does it take to become a pilot?"

The duration of your pilot training will depend on a variety of factors, such as:

  • Whether you decide to combine your pilot training with a degree in aviation, which typically takes 3-4 years
  • Or if it is important to you to get your flying qualifications straight away and start flying, in which case you can become a pilot even quicker
  • What type of pilot you want to become, such as a commercial or private pilot

How to get your pilot license

To qualify as a pilot, you might start with a Private Pilot License. This can be obtained in about 4-6 months, depending on how intensively you study the course material and complete the required hours of flight time.

If you’re wondering how to get your Private Pilot License with L3Harris, you can complete your PPL at Orlando Sanford International Airport (USA) for $12,875. Find out more about where you can complete your PPL.

You can also learn more about the steps you need to take to get your PPL and how to fund your training.

How many hours of training to become a pilot?

For the Private Pilot License you are required to complete 40 hours of flight training. As no previous experience is necessary, you can fully engage in the adventure as a pilot in training and your experienced Flight Instructor will guide you through the ins and outs of flying.

Once you have completed this first step and are holding your Private Pilot License, you can fly in and out of civil airports, but you cannot fly commercially or receive compensation for flights.

At this point, you can start thinking about your future as a pilot, which may lead you to take the steps to become a commercial pilot, for example.

How to become an airline pilot

You might have decided to take the next step in your pilot career and are wondering how to become an airline pilot. As a pilot in training, there are several ways you can become a commercial pilot:

Professional Pilot Program - The program takes around 56 weeks and you are guaranteed to be given an interview at the end of it to become a CFI with L3Harris, which will allow you to build up the hours you need to become a First Officer.

Accelerated Airline Pilot Track - If you’re wondering how to become an airline pilot in the fastest way possible, the AAPT can be completed in 12 months.

Commercial Pilot Track - If you want to become a commercial pilot but don’t want to be a Flight Instructor, you can complete the CPT. Learn about the difference between our PPP, AAPT and CPT programs

How much will your commercial pilot license cost? The PPP and AAPT both cost around $83,995, while the CPT costs approximately $66,995.

How long does it take to become a commercial pilot?

Qualifying for a commercial pilot license can take around 2 years. You will need to meet the appropriate requirements for a commercial pilot:

250 hours of flight time to receive your Commercial Pilot Certificate

1,500 hours among other requirements to apply to become a fully-fledged commercial airline pilot.

Learn more about how long it takes to complete the CPT. Once you have completed your commercial pilot requirement hours, you will qualify for the majority of regional and international commercial pilot roles and will no longer be a pilot in training!

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