How to Become Helicopter Pilot

How to Become Helicopter Pilot

How to Become Helicopter Pilot
Prashant Thapa

Helicopter pilots transport people and goods from one place to another while working in various industries. 

Helicopter pilots may rescue people during natural disasters, transfer accident victims to hospital institutions, move emergency food and medical supplies, or fly rescue personnel to disaster areas.

If you want to know more about helicopter pilots and have a keen interest in becoming one, then this article is for you to read till the end to learn about how to become a successful helicopter pilot. 

What is a Helicopter Pilot?

Helicopter pilots transport people and goods between locations while working in various businesses. Pilots may rescue natural disaster victims, fly rescue workers to disaster sites, transport accident victims to medical institutions, or move emergency food and medical supplies.

Helicopter pilots may provide passenger tours, aerial photography, and traffic information relay services. While some helicopter pilots work for private clients, others provide flight services to many clients.                    

What is the role and responsibilities of a Helicopter Pilot?

  • Check the helicopter parts, equipment, and technical system before flying.
  • Before flying, check the weather forecast and air pressure.
  • Making a checklist and planning for flying.
  • Adopting a safe route while flying.
  • Informing about safety rules and guidelines to the travelers.
  • Monitoring emergencies carefully.
  • Practicing safe takeoffs and landings.
  • Keeping track of the flight's progress and preparing a report.
  • Follow all applicable state and federal laws, regulations, and standards when operating and performing.
  • Throughout the flight, keep an eye on the plane's position, the weather, and air traffic to determine when a path change is necessary.

How to Become a Helicopter Pilot? Qualifications

Physically and mentally fit

You must pass a medical examination to verify that you are physically fit to participate in a pilot course. You must have a class 2 medical certificate minimum; the test will take a few hours. To decide whether you are fit to fly, the examiner looks at your medical history, hearing, vision, and fitness.

Various degrees in aviation

Numerous university-level aviation courses are offered, which can help you earn your air transport degree and commercial pilot's license. You must have passed 2-3 A-Levels or obtained the equivalent qualifications to join a university course. As soon as you are accepted to college, the system instructs you on the laws, rules, and regulations governing aviation and gives you the chance to earn your air transport pilot's license at a discounted rate.

Acquire private aviation training

Suppose a university degree is not the best option, but you still want to become a helicopter pilot. In that case, you can enroll in private courses offered by businesses and flight training organizations. You must first obtain your private pilot's license to fly. You can do this by taking flying classes and passing a written exam. The ability to gain experience is yours once you have gotten your private pilot's license, but doing so can be costly.

Certificate or Licenses

Pilots carrying passengers or goods must hold a commercial pilot certificate or a license. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have 250 hours of flight experience to be eligible for a commercial pilot's license. An aspiring pilot must undergo a medical check that includes a physical and a vision test to ensure he has no conditions that would prevent him from safely flying the aircraft.

Flight Experience

While certain professions could require candidates to have 500 to 1,000 hours of professional flight experience, others might enable recent graduates from flight schools to earn experience. To develop your skills as a helicopter pilot, look for entry-level positions. To convince potential employers that you have the skills required to operate helicopters safely, ensure your resume is up to date and displays the appropriate training and education you have completed.

Other Skills

  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Strength of character
  • Ability to stay calm
  • Mathematical ability

Steps to Becoming a Successful Helicopter Pilot

Academic Requirement

  • passed class 10th from a recognized board.
  • +2 from with physics and mathematical knowledge.
  • minimum 60% aggregate in Aviation College to pursue BTech/BSc or even BBA in aviation.

Acquire more knowledge after high school

After passing their board examinations for class 12, individuals who want to become helicopter pilots can do the courses that applicants might take at the bachelor's level like BTech in aeronautical engineering, BSc in aviation, and BBA in aviation or airport management.

Aspirants can pursue an MTech, MSc in aviation, or even an MBA in airport management for their post-graduate studies.

Experience (work and related fields)

Students might work at different institutions after graduation and obtain flying experience. In addition, working as a helicopter pilot can be exciting, challenging, and constantly changing, but becoming one requires extensive training and experience. A career as a helicopter pilot combines an adventurous spirit with the technical expertise to control massive aircraft with rotors instead of wings.

Training (job or related fields)

This field is quite different; flying aircraft is very expensive, and training for them. The cost of the helicopter and the flight instructor will change depending on the actual aircraft flown and the fees the school charges. Additionally, the cost of training for helicopter pilots is slightly higher than that of training for fixed-wing pilots. For PPL and CPL training, you must spend a minimum of US$68,000, whereas the Professional Pilot Program demands a minimum of US$115,000.


Compared to other vocations, helicopter pilots can make a good living. Helicopter pilots frequently begin their careers as tour pilots or Certified Flight Instructors (CFI). If you work hard and demonstrate to your instructors that you are a good student, you may have the opportunity to work as an instructor yourself. Many flight schools prefer to hire their top graduates back as CFIs. You can operate single- and multi-engine helicopters for commercial, recreational, or emergency services.

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Employment areas

  • Transportation areas 
  • Cargo Delivery services 
  • firefighting operations
  • Aerial surveying and photography 
  • media industry 
  • Agriculture
  • Emergency services
  • Law enforcement
  • Entertainment industry.

Job titles

  • Hollywood pilot
  • Stunt pilot
  • Aerial cinematographer
  • Search and rescue
  • FBI pilot
  • Emergency medical pilot
  • Firefighter
  • Manage livestock
  • Flight school instructor
  • Private pilots

Salary of a Helicopter Pilot

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


Annual Average Salary of a Helicopter Pilot


$123,410 (AUD)/yr


$ 1.863.745 (ARS)/yr


72.888 € (EUR)/yr


R$129.547 (BRL)/yr


$100,911 (CAD)/yr


¥272,334 (CNY)/yr

Costa Rica

₡17 490 890 (CRC)/yr


629.809 kr. (DKK)/yr


194,046 ج.م.‏ (EGP)/yr


66 857 € (EUR)/yr


64 578 € (EUR)/yr


73.650 € (EUR)/yr

Hong Kong SAR

HK$587,250 (HKD)/yr


₹10,72,705 (INR)/yr


56.493 € (EUR)/yr


¥8,277,555 (JPY)/yr


RM115,798 (MYR)/yr


$402,478 (MXN)/yr


€ 71.291 (EUR)/yr

New Zealand

$111,582 (NZD)/yr


129 944 zł (PLN)/yr


41 058 € (EUR)/yr

Russian Federation

1 324 430 ₽ (RUB)/yr


CHF 105'831 (CHF)/yr


51.541 € (EUR)/yr


฿789,673 (THB)/yr


£53,869 (GBP)/yr


458 184 ₴ (UAH)/yr

United Arab Emirates

276,000 د.إ.‏ (AED)/yr

United States

$94,655 (USD)/yr


14.433.411 ₫ (VND)/yr

Training Course for a Helicopter Pilot

Let us talk about some degrees to become a successful Helicopter Pilot.




Diploma in Avionics Technology

Diploma in Aviation Technician - Avionics Maintenance

Advanced Diploma in Aviation Management (AVIA)

Diploma in Airframe & Powerplant Mechanics

Diploma in Aviation Technician – Aircraft Maintenance

Technical Diploma in Aviation Technician - Airframe


BS in Professional Pilot

Bachelor in Aviation Technology-Helicopter

Helicopter Control

Bachelor of aviation science 

BSc (Hons) Air Transport with Helicopter Pilot Training

Bachelor of Science in Physics

Bachelor of Science in Air Traffic

Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering

Bachelor of Aeronautical Science


Master of Aviation Science

Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Aviation Management

Master of Science Aeronautics - International Air Transport Operations Management

Master in Remote Pilot Aircraft Systems

Master of Business Administration in Aviation

MSc Aerospace Management

MSc in Advanced Air Mobility Systems


Ph.D. in Structural Integrity of Aircrafts

Ph.D. in Aviation

Ph.D. Aviation and Air Transport Management

Ph.D. in Aviation Technology and Management

Ph.D. in Aviation Management

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Aeronautical Science

Ph.D. - Doctor of Philosophy in Aviation

Pros and Cons of Becoming a Helicopter Pilot

Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a pilot is essential before you decide to pursue it. The objective is knowing what kind of work you are picking and the hurdles to anticipate. You can be ready for the profession by becoming aware of the advantages and disadvantages of being a pilot.

Advantages of becoming a Helicopter Pilot

  • High pay is received.
  • A fulfilling career.
  • You have the chance to visit different places.
  • Serving the public.
  • Unlimited learning opportunities.
  • Flexible hours and an engaging job
  • No workload at home.
  • Attractive benefits and allowances.
  • Learn new skills.
  • Freedom and authority.

Disadvantages of becoming a Helicopter Pilot

  • Training for pilots is expensive.
  • Being apart from family members for longer.
  • Although the job may be enjoyable, the timetable may be unpredictable.
  • The pressure of being in charge of your own life.
  • Most people decide to fly airlines for the rest of their lives.
  • Flight procedures are dependent on experience.
  • A routine medical examination is required of all pilots.
  • Missing significant family occasions.
  • Long flights can interfere with your sleep cycle.

How to Become a Helicopter Pilot? FAQs

Is a specific age required to take flying lessons?

The minimum age to fly solo is 16, the private pilot's license minimum is 17, and the commercial pilot's license minimum is 18.

Is it worth becoming a helicopter pilot?

Yes, Making flying your career ensures that your expenses are paid for and that you are rewarded for doing what you love, so generally, it is an excellent job.

Is learning to fly a helicopter challenging?

Yes, it may be challenging to pilot a helicopter but getting there isn't all that tough. You only need to complete the phases and obtain the training, learn the skills, tally the hours, and pass the examinations.

What advantages do helicopter pilot careers offer?

One of the most significant advantages of becoming a helicopter pilot is frequently traveling for work. Here is a list of additional advantages that helicopter pilots may experience.

Do pilots require strong mathematics skills?

When piloting rotorcraft, math skills are used extensively. Algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus are common subjects. College math courses are an option for students, or they can study on their own using books or study materials designed exclusively for pilots.

What is the average salary of a helicopter pilot?

The average salary for helicopter pilots is $42,866 per year.

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