What Are The Qualifications To Become A Pilot – A commercial pilot’s license is a qualification that every pilot must obtain before being allowed to fly a commercial aircraft for compensation or lease. A commercial pilot license opens the door to a variety of employment opportunities including flying cargo aircraft, aerial photography, corporate pilot, pipeline patrol, agricultural pilot, banner towing, rescue operations and firefighting to name a few.
There are several steps to becoming a commercial pilot under FAA regulations as set forth in the Commercial Pilot ACS. At the UND Aerospace Foundation, we offer a comprehensive commercial flight training program that will provide you with the training and experience necessary to obtain a commercial pilot’s license.
What Are The Qualifications To Become A Pilot
Due to the unique nature of commercial flying, certain requirements must be met before training can begin. These include:
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Before commencing air travel, you will need to obtain a Class I or II medical certificate. This certificate ensures that a person meets all the physical and mental standards required to fly a commercial aircraft and is issued by a certified aviation medical examiner (AME).
To obtain a commercial pilot’s license, you will need to demonstrate the necessary flying experience, learn new maneuvers, obtain instrument training and improve your skills as a safe and competent pilot. Commercial flight training is more complex and rigorous than private pilot training and requires more commitment and focus.
According to FAA regulations, you must log a minimum of 120 hours of flight time for a commercial pilot certificate under Part 141 training. During training with the UND Aerospace Foundation, this time is built up along with your instrument rating.
After completing the commercial field operator certificate, one engine rated instrument rating, students can expect to complete the multi-engine field rating. This additional qualification will enable the pilot to fly for hire in a multi-engine aircraft and is a prerequisite for an Air Transport Pilot Certificate.
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The next step is to pass the FAA knowledge test. This test covers all aspects of becoming a commercial pilot, including in-depth knowledge of ATC procedures, cockpit resource management, weather systems, aviation physiology, aeronautical decision making, etc.
Taking the test earlier in your training will help familiarize you with various aspects of commercial flying. You must score 70% or higher to pass the test.
The final step is to take the FAA practical test or final checkride. This is a graded test where an FAA designated examiner will evaluate your skills and knowledge as a pilot. The test consists of oral and practical components.
At the UND Aerospace Foundation, we have been granted examination authorization by the FAA, which means our staff can administer your certificate examinations. This means our students do not need to use the services of an FAA Special Pilot Examiner (DPE), which can significantly reduce the financial and logistical burden of obtaining a commercial pilot’s license.
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This can vary depending on a number of factors. Previous flying experience, level of training, weather conditions and student availability can affect the time it takes to get your license.
The UND Aerospace Foundation’s accelerated program allows motivated students to complete their commercial pilot training in 5 months, including an instrument rating. Training may take longer for students with low or limited availability.
At UND Aerospace Foundation Phoenix, we have a reputation for producing world-class pilots built on more than two decades of continued success in meeting and exceeding industry standards in undergraduate aviation education. Our graduates are highly sought after by aerospace companies and major airlines worldwide for their unrivaled qualifications and experience.
Whether you want to enter aviation as a career or want to fly for fun, you can trust the UND Aerospace Foundation to provide you with an unparalleled flight education. All our courses are taught by highly qualified flight instructors, offering an unrivaled combination of professional skills, technical expertise and teaching experience.
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This, combined with our state-of-the-art facilities, modern fleet of aircraft and high safety standards, has allowed us to become one of the best flight schools in the country.
UND Aerospace is a world-renowned center for aerospace learning and nationally recognized for our achievements in higher education in aviation with a proven track record of providing quality education. For many years, there was a common misconception that a pilot’s career had to go through the military, but this is not the case. Civilian training options are available for those wishing to begin a career as a professional pilot. Each of these commercial pilot career paths requires different levels of commitment, requirements and experience, but both can lead to work for a major airline.
When entering the civil aviator pathway, the first step is flight training. Some flight training can be done while still in high school, but for the most part, if this is something you want to do as a career, then consider this a “higher education” route and make sure you have your high school diploma or GED. There are many types of flight schools that a student can choose from, so it’s important to do your research and ask questions about each to decide which path would be best for you and your career goals. The main options you would usually see are express flight schools, traditional flight schools and aviation schools. Any of these types of schools can get you into the airline pilot career you need, so it’s a matter of preference and personal learning style.
AeroGuard Flight Training Center is highly regarded as a fast-track flight school with its Pilot Pathway program. These flight schools offer full-time, fast-paced and structured flight courses that set students on a career path as an airline pilot with one of their regional airline partners. These schools will allow students to receive all initial certifications and assessments in as little as 10 months. This will be the fastest way to an aviation career.
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These flight schools have a paying relationship with the students. This means that students rent an airplane and a flight instructor as needed to complete their various licenses and certifications in their own program. This is more of a flexible pilot career path, allowing students to individually choose which certificates and ratings they want to achieve, as well as which days and times of the week they are willing to train. Students generally choose this option when interested in a part-time flight training program.
This route goes through a college or university. This commercial pilot career allows students to earn an aviation-related degree while students complete their flight training in “lab” style courses. Some larger universities have their own aircraft and can train on site, while others may send students to an affiliated flight school similar to Liberty University’s program at AeroGuard.
Once a student has received their ratings and commercial certifications, the next step is to build up flying experience by getting a job to earn the 1500 hours required to earn the ATP certificate. This requirement can sometimes be reduced to 1000 or 1250 hours for those holding approved aviation diplomas.
Once students have achieved 1500 hours and the ATP certificate, they can transfer their career to a regional airline as a first officer. Some flight schools have a regional partner airline where graduating students can earn their ATP during initial training at that airline after they have been hired. Some first officers move up to captain in at least 2-3 years and in at least 5 years with a regional airline, they can move up to a first officer position on a major carrier.
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While joining the military is a great pilot career, becoming a military aviator is one of the most challenging ways to become a professional pilot. Some of the obstacles that may come with becoming a fixed-wing military aviator are:
After enlisting in the military, pilots are hired for 8 years of service. Because of their significant experience, military aviators have the opportunity to go directly to an airline after serving.
Becoming a pilot is an exciting journey and a great career choice for many. It doesn’t matter which career path you choose to take on your journey to becoming a pilot, as long as it’s right for you. Do your due diligence in your research, make sure you ask lots of questions, and go for what you think is best for you and your career goals. If you would like AeroGuard to assist you in your commercial pilot career, or if you have additional questions, please feel free to fill out the form below and contact an Enrollment Advisor. We will be happy to help you! Flight School vs. college or university Do you want to be a pilot? Lesson #1: The straight line is the shortest path
One of the most confusing aviation myths perpetuated on the internet is that a pilot needs a four-year college degree to move from regional airlines to major airlines. This is simply not true. You don’t need that four-year degree to fly for the major airlines.
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While there is nothing wrong with getting a college degree, if you want to be a commercial airline pilot and know for sure that this is your life.
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