How Long Does It Take to Become a Commercial Airline Pilot?

How Long Does It Take to Become a Commercial Airline Pilot?

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Much like learning any new skill, training to be a pilot takes time. When you complete your schooling with Airlink Flight School, you could be ready to fly a commercial plane in 12 to 24 months. This mostly depends on how much time you want to spend every week! 

There are stringent requirements to become a commercial airline pilot, and therefore it can be easy to get discouraged. However, with the proper motivation and dedication, you will be well on your way to flying commercial planes in less time than you may think.

Steps for Securing Your Commercial License (and approx. how long each step takes)

Before starting your pilot adventure, we recommend receiving a medical certificate to ensure you are fit to fly. The further you progress towards getting your license, there are different steps that you will need to go through. Here are 5 steps to follow to become a commercial airline pilot:

1. Get Your Private Pilot License

You must complete 40 hours in the air to receive a private pilot license. This typically includes at least 20 hours with a teacher and 10 hours on your own. Along with these hours you will also be studying and practicing on the ground to prepare for your PPL test. On average, this step takes around 60 hours total for people to complete.

2. Get an Instrument Rafting

The next step after getting your PPL is to get your instrument rating. To fly above 18,000 feet (where most commercial flights take place) you will need to pass your instrument rating test. Learning this allows you to fly through clouds safely without any bearings. To do so, you will need to have a minimum of 10 hours in a plane with instrument flight training, 15 hours of instructed instrument training is also required. All in all, this step could take as little as a month to finish.

3. Put in Your 250 Hours

After all the hard work you have put in the previous steps, it is not time to slack off.  Now you need to spend at least 250 hours of total flight time under Part 61. This step tends to take the longest time to complete, although with some determination it can be finished in a relatively short amount of time.

4. Gather 1500 Hours of Experience

To be a commercial airline pilot, you are still required to have 1500 hours of experience under your belt as well as the Airline Transport Pilot Certificate. This will be where you spend a lot of time. However, the good news is that there are many different means to get your 1500 hours of experience – and you can have a good time doing it! After all, you’ll be flying a plane and making your dreams come true. 

5. Confirm You Met Your Requirements & Receive Your License

Being a commercial airline pilot is not a job to take lightly. Thanks to stringent requirements and licenses, the FAA ensures the highest proficiency possible before allowing pilots to fly precious cargo. This process is not easy by any means, but it is worth it! Once you have put in all the previous work described, you should now be ready to finally secure your license and start putting it to use!

Ready to Earn Your Commercial License?

Airlink Flight School prepares you for life as a commercial pilot with simulators and classroom settings, as well as structured flight times. Flying four to five times a week means you will get in the practice and training hours you need to be prepared for your licensing exams. Our students have the opportunity to earn their Private Pilot’s License, Instrument Rating and Commercial Pilot’s license for single and multi-engine airplanes.