How to Become a Pilot and Make a Good Living

A commercial pilot is legally licensed by the government to earn money as a pilot. They are different from a recreational or private pilot who is permitted to fly but cannot earn money from the profession. A commercial pilot holds a license from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and is often employed by major aviation companies and commercial airlines.

private pilot

Salary of a Commercial Pilot

There are various factors which determine the salary of a pilot. They include his qualifications, level of experience and the company he is working for. On average, a commercial pilot in the United States earns between $112,000 to $140,000 annually. There are also major prospects for growth in the industry. There are various factors which determine the salary of a pilot.

They include his qualifications, level of experience and the company he is working for. On average, a commercial pilot in the United States earns between $112,000 to $140,000 annually. There are also major prospects for growth in the industry.

Benefits of Working as a Commercial Pilot

Most pilots are paid a hefty salary. The lucrative paycheck is one of the main reasons for young people to aspire to become a pilot. The potential earning options increases as a person gains experience. Apart from working as a commercial pilot, people can also work for private plane services and charters which boost income prospects to an even higher level. Working as a flight instructor is also an attractive job for a trained pilot.

pilot cockpit

Pilots are entitled to a number of benefits and perks. People who work for commercial airlines especially receive a host of these benefits. These include insurance for health, life, vision, and additional dental insurance. An attractive retirement plan is also provided to the pilots. The vacation time of these pilots are paid and it increases on an incremental basis depending on the years of service. Pilots get a lot of free time as the time between flights are often large, reaching as much as two weeks in a month. This gives the pilot the opportunity to pursue other business aspirations, leisurely activities or spend some quality time with family.

Because of the nature of their profession, pilots have the opportunity to travel all over the world. In spite of a lot of time being spent in airports preparing for the next journey or taking rest, there are many possibilities to visit foreign lands, experience what the country has to offer and learn about their culture. Apart from this, the pilot, as well as his family, enjoys free travel vouchers which include visits to various parts of the world for business as well as pleasure. Some commercial airlines also provide free or discounted travel for their employees even after they retire.

world tour

The Profession offers a lot of freedom and power. Pilots have the opportunity to see the world from the sky. It is a great moment for any adventure enthusiast. Being a pilot adds a sense of adventure and excitement to the everyday mundane life. Pilots have the opportunity to visit new places and experience new cultures in different countries. Throughout the duration of his career, a pilot meets many new people and interacts with them to build a huge social circle. The government mandates that all pilots must retire by the age of 65. This enables them to pursue another career opportunity after retirement or enjoy their retired life to the fullest.

Qualifications required for becoming a Commercial Pilot

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree is a primary requisite to become a pilot. Even though the degree can be obtained in any major, it is advisable for the aspiring pilots to enroll in aeronautics or aviation bachelor’s program as this helps them gain relative expertise of the field. Irrespective of the choice of major, aspiring pilots have to complete a course in English, Aeronautical Engineering, Mathematics and Physics. Also, it is important to enroll in an aeronautics observation program that is approved by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). During the period of the course, it is also helpful to join a student club like the ALPA (Airline Pilots Association) to gain knowledge about the industry, make connections and get jobs after graduation.


Aspiring pilots have to go through a certain number of training hours of flight to qualify for being a licensed pilot. A total of 1500 hours of flight time is mandatory for being issued an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and 250 hours of flight time is required to obtain a Commercial Pilot License. The flight training can be acquired from any of the flying schools approved by the FAA or through degree programs. Pilots are also required to have at least 40 hours of instrument experience through simulation as well as in the air. People who have served in the military as pilots get an advantage in being selected by aviation companies as they have sufficient flight experience.

To obtain the license of a pilot many prerequisites have to be fulfilled which includes the minimum hours of flight training, passing the written exam, demonstration of flying ability and a test on instrument flying. Candidates also have to go through a physical test which makes sure that the applicant is not physically handicapped, has a good hearing and vision so that these issues does not interfere with the job. Some airline companies also take psychological, aptitude and drug tests for employment.

Pilot License

After having been hired by an airline company, pilots have to go through a training process again for about 6 to 8 weeks. Fresh recruits are mostly employed as co-pilots. Beginners are employed by local airline companies to gain experience and can later shift to a major airline.

It is thus a spectacular job opportunity for anyone who enjoys an interesting and adventurous life. The profession allows the pilots to travel around the world, meet new people, learn about new cultures and most importantly earn a lot of money. It is also a highly esteemed profession and is respected by society for a pilot’s ability to fly up in the air. The job also comes with many responsibilities as the lives of the passengers onboard are dependent on the credibility of the pilot. If the proper educational qualifications and training procedure is completed by a person and he is physically fit to fly aircraft then the profession of being pilot is perhaps one of the best in the market at the moment for every individual.

Richard Brock is an experienced writer who has contributed to many mainstream websites with his quality articles in consumer technology. Though he is new here, his articles are already helping tons of our daily readers to live their life better.