How to Become a Commercial Pilot

How to Become a Commercial Pilot

How to Become a Commercial Pilot
Rojina Raut

The safe and effective operation of commercial aircraft is the responsibility of highly qualified professionals known as commercial pilots. They must undergo rigorous training and fulfill stringent requirements, including earning an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate and a commercial pilot's license. Commercial pilots need to act quickly under pressure, communicate clearly with air traffic control, and constantly maintain the safety of passengers and crew. They are crucial to the aviation sector and are required for the global transportation of people and goods. To learn more, read the article below.

What is a Commercial Pilot?

A highly skilled and knowledgeable expert, a commercial pilot pilots an aircraft for pay to carry people or cargo. They go through extensive navigation, meteorology, and flight safety instruction before receiving licenses from aviation regulating agencies. Commercial pilots are accountable for ensuring the safety of their customers and staff and for operating following stringent guidelines and protocols. They must manage high-pressure circumstances with composure and professionalism and possess outstanding communication, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. For those who love aviation, becoming a commercial pilot is a highly sought-after and rewarding profession that calls for substantial education, training, and experience.

Also, See How to become Aviation Consultant

What is the role and responsibilities of a Commercial Pilot?

  • Ensure the aircraft's equipment and instruments operate well by performing pre-flight checks.
  • To protect the safety of the crew and passengers while in flight, you must navigate the aircraft, interact with air traffic control, and make choices.
  • Monitor the weather and other factors that could impact the flight.
  • To protect everyone on board, handle emergencies and make swift judgments.
  • Maintain competence and keep up to date on aviation laws and protocols.
  • Communicate effectively with the ground staff, passengers, and the aircraft crew.
  • Make sure that all corporate rules and regulations are followed.
  • To maximize efficiency and control resource use and fuel use.
  • Create and carry out flight plans while accounting for the weather and other considerations.
  • On and off the plane, represent the airline and behave like a professional ambassador.

How to Become a Commercial Pilot? Qualifications

Technical knowledge skills:

Commercial pilots must thoroughly know aerodynamics, navigation, and weather patterns. They must know the intricate equipment and systems used in contemporary aero planes and can recognise and fix technical problems.

Decision-making skills:

Pilots need to be able to act quickly under pressure and frequently with little information. To protect the safety of everyone on board, they must consider the advantages and disadvantages of several options and select the best course of action.

Communication skills:

Communication between the pilot, other flight crew members, air traffic control, and ground personnel is essential. To communicate ideas clearly and rapidly, they must be succinct in their wording.

Situational awareness skills:

Pilots must be constantly aware of their surroundings and foresee any dangers or difficulties. To ensure a successful flight, they must be able to multitask and prioritise their tasks.

Leadership skills:

The commercial pilot oversees the entire flight crew and the passengers as the aircraft's captain. In every circumstance, they must effectively lead while being composed and professional.

Adaptability skills:

Commercial pilots must be flexible because the aviation business always develops new technologies, rules, and processes. Also, they must be able to adjust to shifting weather patterns, unforeseen circumstances, and flying schedules.

Other Skills

  • Time management skills
  • Attention to detail skills
  • Spatial awareness skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Stress management skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Continuous learning skills

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Steps to Becoming a Successful Commercial Pilot.

Academic Requirements

  • The minimum required is a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • Although a bachelor's degree is not required, certain airlines favour applicants who hold one.
  • Although most airlines demand more, a commercial pilot's license requires 250 hours of flight time.
  • Universities or flight schools with FAA certification are available for aviation training.
  • According to the FAA, a private pilot's license must be obtained after 40 hours of flight time.
  • A commercial pilot's license and an airline transport pilot certificate require additional training.
  • Commercial pilots must get an FAA medical certification.
  • The FAA will administer written and practical exams to candidates.
  • A commercial pilot's license and an ATP certificate must be maintained through ongoing training and education.

Acquire more knowledge after high school.

A high school graduation or its equivalent and successful completion of a flight training course are normally needed to become a commercial pilot. Even though a bachelor's degree is not required, certain airlines choose applicants with a background in engineering, aviation, or a related industry. A minimum of 250 flying hours are required for a commercial pilot's license and can be completed at FAA-approved flight schools or academic institutions. A commercial pilot's license and an ATP certificate must be maintained through ongoing training and education.

Experience (work and related fields)

Most airline jobs for commercial pilots require substantial flight experience. To qualify for an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate, which is necessary for most commercial pilot jobs, one must have 1,500 hours of flight time. Pilots often get experience by working at entry-level occupations like crop dusting, aerial surveying, or traffic reporting, in addition to receiving flight training and instruction. Having military experience may also be advantageous when applying for commercial pilot jobs.

Training (job or related fields)

Becoming a commercial pilot combines classroom education, simulator practice, and flying training. A private pilot's license must first be obtained before continuing to complete the necessary training to earn a commercial pilot's license and an airline transport pilot certificate. Universities or flying schools that have received FAA certification provide training courses that adhere to their standards. The FAA will also administer written and practical exams for candidates to receive their licenses and certificates. A commercial pilot's license and an ATP certificate must be maintained through ongoing training and education.


A career as a commercial pilot offers the chance to fly numerous types of aircraft, visit other locations, and make a solid living. Commercial pilots can fly domestic or international routes and work for airlines, cargo firms, or independent businesses. Opportunities for professional development include becoming a flight operations manager or chief pilot. Maintaining licenses and certificates can be difficult and require much education, training, and experience.

Employment areas

  • Airline pilot
  • Cargo pilot
  • Private pilot
  • Corporate pilot
  • Flight Instructor
  • Agricultural pilot
  • Aerial survey pilot
  • Emergency medical services (EMS) pilot
  • Government pilot

Job title

  • Airline Pilot
  • First Officer
  • Captain
  • Cargo Pilot
  • Charter Pilot
  • Corporate Pilot
  • Flight Instructor
  • Agricultural Pilot
  • Military Pilot

Salary of a Commercial Pilot

Let us see the average annual salary of a Commercial Pilot in some popular countries.


Annual Average Salary of a   Commercial Pilot


$168,527 (AUD)/yr


$ 4.805.165 (ARS)/yr


102.787 € (EUR)/yr


R$186.714 (BRL)/yr


$136,307 (CAD)/yr


¥377,388 (CNY)/yr

Costa Rica

₡25 223 093 (CRC)/yr


859.791 kr. (DKK)/yr


280,264 ج.م.‏ (EGP)/yr


90 996 € (EUR)/yr


87 934 € (EUR)/yr


100.849 € (EUR)/yr

Hong Kong SAR

HK$796,918 (HKD)/yr


₹17,96,768 (INR)/yr


76.440 € (EUR)/yr


¥11,004,657 (JPY)/yr


RM155,937 (MYR)/yr


£73,511 (GBP)/yr

United Arab Emirates

375,515 د.إ.‏ (AED)/yr

United States

$129,311 (USD)/yr


661.632.524 ₫ (VND)/yr

Training Course for a Commercial Pilot.

Let us talk about some degree to become a successful   Commercial Pilot.





Diploma in Aviation

Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering

Diploma in Airline and Airport Management

Diploma in Flight Operations and Dispatch

Diploma in Aviation Safety

Diploma in Aviation Medicine


Bachelor of Science in Aviation

Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science

Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management

Bachelor of Science in Air Traffic Management

Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance

Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Studies

Bachelor of Science in Meteorology

Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science


Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Master of Science in Aviation

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering

Master of Science in Human Factors

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Master of Science in Data Analytics

Master of Science in Operations Management

Master of Science in Emergency Management


PhD in Aerospace Engineering

PhD in Aviation Safety

PhD in Air Traffic Management

PhD in Aviation Human Factors

PhD in Aviation Maintenance

PhD in Aviation Management

PhD in Aerospace Systems Engineering

PhD in Aviation Education

Pros and Cons of Becoming a   Commercial Pilot

First, earning good pay is one of the significant benefits of becoming a commercial pilot. Commercial pilots with experience can make six-figure salaries and receive attractive amenities, including health insurance, retirement plans, and free vacation. Commercial pilots can go to locations worldwide, experience various cultures and lifestyles, and receive financial compensation. The expensive training required to become a commercial pilot is one of the biggest obstacles. It may take several years to complete the required flight hours and certifications to become a commercial pilot, and flight schools and pilot training programs can be costly. In addition, the work may require long hours and erratic schedules, which can be physically and mentally taxing. So here are some more Pros and Cons of Becoming a   Commercial Pilot. 

Advantages of becoming a Commercial Pilot.

  • Maybe earning a large salary.
  • Possibility of traveling to various locations throughout the world
  • Access to cutting-edge equipment and sophisticated vehicles
  • Exciting and challenging work
  • Career advancement possibilities
  • Flexibility throughout the workday
  • Assurance of health and advantages of retirement
  • Working in a growing industry
  • The chance to collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of experts.

Disadvantages of becoming a Commercial Pilot.

  • The high expense of certification and training
  • Long hours and erratic schedule
  • Taxing both intellectually and physically
  • Working in a stressful setting
  • The danger of radiation exposure and other health risks
  • Instability of employment amid economic downturns
  • Fewer employment openings in specific locations or specializations
  • Time spent away from family and home
  • Requires ongoing certification and training maintenance.

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How to Become a Commercial Pilot? FAQs

Is there a demand for commercial pilots?

Several airlines and other aviation businesses are eager to hire competent pilots. Thus, the answer is yes; there is now a global demand for commercial pilots.

What are some career opportunities for commercial pilots?

In addition to having the chance to develop into managerial positions or pursue specializations in fields like safety or training, commercial pilots can work for airlines, freight firms, charter services, and other organizations involved in aviation.

What are some challenges of being a commercial pilot?

The necessity to continuously maintain certificates and training and the job's physical and mental demands can all be difficulties for commercial pilots.

What are the basic requirements to become a commercial pilot?

To become a commercial pilot, you typically need to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and be able to pass a medical exam.

What type of flight training is required to become a commercial pilot?

Get a minimum of 250 flight hours, including a required amount of cross-country and solo flying hours, after finishing an FAA-approved flight training program.

Do I need a college degree to become a commercial pilot?

A college education is optional to work as a commercial pilot. However, it may be beneficial in other circumstances, such as if you wish to work in management or aviation safety.

How long does it take to become a commercial pilot?

According to your training schedule and other variables, the time to become a commercial pilot can vary, but it usually takes at least 2-3 years.

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