How Long Does It Take To Become A Pilot?

This articles focuses on breaking down the time spent of meeting various levels of requirements to become pilot.

TCM Staff

11th June 2020

In a layman’s point of view, a pilot travels the world. But it has much deeper facts about becoming a pilot. With years of education and training acquired, a pilot is technically sound and possesses a number of distinctive skills. With consistent efforts and dedication, becoming a pilot requires certain steps to be followed such as gaining education, completing training and earning a license to land on a job. 

To start with, there are a number of questions that usually pop in your mind. Among them the common ones are how long it might take for you to become a pilot. This article focuses to give you a clear idea about how much time you must invest meeting the requirements to become  a pilot.  

How long does it take to become a pilot?

The answer to this question, we must consider a number of factors such as the type of license to earn, type of flight school, experience required and the time taken to clear the exams. 

Typically the time consumed to become a pilot is not more than 5 years. It usually takes about 4 years of formal education plus the amount of experience at the training program and the time to clear the exams. 

Bachelor’s degree: 4 years

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Professional flight for 4 years is a key in this profession. The formal education provides 128 credits to complete coursework such as aerodynamics, flight dynamics, aerodynamics and other. Under this program, students can also get opportunities to pursue a training program. Pursuing an accredited program or from a reputed college like LeTourneau University (LETU) gives in-depth knowledge on the mechanics and business.

Training and Experience: 1,500 hours

After earning the education, you're also required to gain experience for about 1,500 to obtain an Airline Transport Pilot Certification (ATP). 1,500 hours may seem like a large number but it's the least requirement for gaining experience and can be completed within a year. This gives you the practical knowledge and also becomes more marketable in the aviation industry. 

The fast-track training programs also give you a program where you can invest less money and less time. 

Also, to gain advancement you'll need to earn further certification such as the multi-engine flight instructor rating (MEI). The Phoenix East Aviation Program is the world's advanced flight program. 

Licensure exam: Up to 6 months

After completing your education and training requirements, the next step is to take up the list of examinations such as physical, psychological, drug, written aptitude and other exams to evaluate your abilities to work as a pilot. This requires preparation and time is investing clearing these to get employed. After earning the job, you are additionally trained for 6-8 weeks.


If you've completed these steps successfully, Congratulations on becoming a pilot! These may sound simple but it may be complicated when you start working towards your goals. Hence, we recommend you to plan and prepare for the right career for you which aligns right with your goals. Becoming a pilot may be challenging but it gives you high job satisfaction if you're really interested and committed. 

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