Qualifications To Become A Pilot

In this article we will discuss about the various requirements such as education, license and skills needed to become a qualified pilot.

Updated by TCM Staff on 11th June 2020

Prospective students tend to make the decision of becoming a pilot in no time however pursuing this career path can be confusing. You tend to float in a pile of questions arising as to how to begin? Which flight school to choose? What are the requirements? 

A pilot is skilled in operating and controlling the plane's engines to navigate the aircrafts for the purpose of transportation. With high technicality and training acquired a pilot is well versed in monitoring the light conditions, safety conditions, fuel consumption, jetlag, fatigue and others. 

However, to fulfil your dreams of becoming a pilot you'll need to learn about the simple steps to follow systematically. This article aims at helping you understand the requirements and qualifications to earn a job in the aviation industry.

Requirements to become a Pilot

Usually there are simple requirements to land a job in addition to the knowledge in the field and practicality. They are,

  • You must be 23 years or older

  • Complete pilot training and earn a certification

  • Hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate

  • Trained for about 1,500 hours as a pilot

  • Completed 50 hours in multi-engine airplane

One misconception is that most of you think that you will meet all these requirements after attending a flight school or an aviation program. Once you complete education, you must gain sufficient experience under a flight instructor. 

Aviation college/ university

Attending a variation program at college is a four years program which induces knowledge on concepts on aviation technology, flight dynamics, aerodynamics, aerospace computing and others to train you towards professionalism. Also you can gain experience on the latest  technologies and equipment under this program.

One disadvantage is, the cost of the program is high and usually you could end up bowling student loans or scholarships for financial aid. 

Keep in mind, if you choose to collegiate the aviation program, ensure it is offered by accredited organizations such as Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) or the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).

Fast-Track Airline Programs

These accredited  programs like PEA are an effective, less expensive, quick method to become a pilot. In this program, it isn't necessary for you to meet any specific requirements and you are allowed to gain experience to become a professional with zero flight hours experience.  You can take about a year to complete this program. While choosing these programs, it is necessary to consider cost, aircraft types, instructor availability, location, living conditions, placement statistics. 


To earn a license, you are required to gain a certain specific number of hours of flight experience. Also, you must take up and clear the  written exam and by demonstrating your flying abilities, your potentials and your knowledge through an instrument flying rating exam. Also the series of exams include the physical exam to determine your vision power, hearing and physical abilities. 

Professional Experience

To get employed at an aviation industry, you are required to prepare well and clear an array of tests such as physical, written test, drug test, psychological  and other. After clearing these, you are given training for 6-8 weeks additional to 25 hours of flight time. Continuing education and getting certification from diverse specialisations give you opportunities to advance your career. 

Skills Required 

  • Communication skills 

  • Leadership skills

  • Critical thinking

  • Good decision making

  • Clarity in thoughts

  • Technically sound

  • Good physical conditions

  • Proactive and quick learner

  • Team player


Experience and training play major roles in becoming a profession. With this high paying job and with higher job growth aiming at becoming a pilot is surely rewarding worth spending time on. Also read how long it takes to become a pilot to clear out other questions regarding the pilot’s career path. 

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