Requirements to be an Airplane Pilot: Steps, License and MORE

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Following the Requirements to be an Airplane Pilot you will be able to carry out your goal of becoming one of the most important parts of the crew. A Pilot he is a specialist, someone who has been extensively trained in handling the enormous machinery that is an airplane.

This is the person who is in charge of traveling the world, taking passengers from one place to another safely. It is a job in great demand, with good forecasts for the airline industry. If you are interested in knowing everything about how to become an Airplane Pilot, don’t go! In this article we will be telling you everything.

What are the requirements to be an airplane pilot?

Let’s start at once with the Requirements to be an Airplane Pilot, which are probably the most important part of everything that we will explain to you today. These must be taken into account very seriously, some being mandatory and others very important to take into account.

Let’s see what they are,

  • Be of legal age (> 18 years) at the time of taking the exams.
  • Be in possession of the ESO title or equivalent, as a way of evidencing the completion of high school studies and the necessary preparation to start receiving information related to pilot courses. If you do not have it, you must accredit this preparation in another way.
  • Medical certificate. It must be Class 1, which you can get at any medical center authorized by the State Aviation Safety Agency (AESA). You can access the complete list of these centers here.
  • Level title Advanced from the University of Cambridge or some other equivalent course at this level (C2). This requirement is flexible in the sense that you can study in advanced English at the same time as you are studying to become a pilot.
  • Take the relevant courses, which we will talk about later.
  • License necessary to pilot and which you must acquire after preparing academically. To acquire it you must meet the requirements described above. In the following sections we will talk more extensively about said license.
  • In resonance with the medical certificate, you cannot have no disability related to the duties of a pilot. Remember that you will be sitting for hours and that you will have a very peculiar work schedule.
  • Not being afraid of heights is a fundamental requirement, which seems more than evident but which is important to bring up. Panic and / or anxiety attacks should be out of the question.
  • You should investigate very well everything related to be a pilot, including if it is better to prepare in Spain or abroad, if you can get a scholarship, what is the cost of all the courses, and so on.
  • Finally, have a great desire to be a pilot, so that you can be dedicated in your studies. Flying an airplane involves the safety of many people, including you, so there is no other option than to become the brainiac of the living room.

Once you have all these requirements in mind, you can start with the procedure that will take you to be a real pilot.

Steps to Follow to Be an Airplane Pilot

Now let’s go with the Steps to follow, now that you know what the Requirements to be an Airplane Pilot are. All these are very punctual, so let’s see at once what you should do, in this case to be a pilot of a commercial airplane.

  1. Want to do it. The first step is to be sure that you want to do it, so that you do your research and know enough to make a decision. The age at which you can start your studies is 16 years old, with the only requirement to take the exams at 18 years old.
  2. PPL license. You must take a course corresponding to Private Aircraft Pilot (PPL-A) to acquire this license. With this course you will learn to operate light aircraft, essentially for recreational or private use, without any remuneration involved.
  3. Theoretical certificate ATPL. This is the next course you must do, corresponding to the theoretical studies of Airline Transport Pilot. You can do it in a way on-line, in different companies with this offer, or in person.
  4. Perform flight hours. At the same time that you take the ATPL theory course, you can practice the knowledge that you are acquiring and thus gain experience as a way to time building. It is a minimum 70 hours required.
  5. Multi-engine aircraft rating. Once you have all the other courses completed and some experience in the air, you must proceed to take this course (ME). You will be taught about the handling of airplanes with more than one engine, instead of airplanes with only one, with a theoretical-practical strategy.
  6. Instrument flight (IR). This is the penultimate course you must do, on how to pilot using only the flight instruments, without being able to see the outside.
  7. Commercial Pilot License (CPL). We have reached the last course, which you must present at a minimum of 18 years of age. You will be evaluated for multi-engine and single-engine flight capacity.
  8. Frozen ATPL. Finally, you must get this document, which accredits all the courses you took previously: CPL, IR, ME, ATPL Theory.
  9. Start working. You are now ready to start your work at the airline of your choice.

You must bear in mind that despite the fact that there are multiple courses, most of these do not have major duration. In the end, you will be graduating at about the same time as a normal college degree: from 3-4 years, minimum 2 years.

Too it’s important to know that you are very likely to get a job immediately. Specialists in the airline industry have very good expectations, with the creation of more than 500,000 jobs for commercial pilots in the following years, due to the increasing demand for flights in recent years.

License to be an Airplane Pilot

In the previous section we told you that you must acquire a series of licenses to become an airplane pilot. Without a doubt the most important is the CPL License, which is the consequence of the others. However, we will take the time to explain one by one, so you have no doubts.

  • PPL license

As we said, this is to learn to pilot in a more recreational and particular way than anything else. You will be able to handle single-engine planes and start your experience in the air.

To acquire it you must take a practical-theoretical course. The practical part consists of at least 45 accumulated hours. The theoretical part consists of 9 subjects directly linked to the subject of aviation.

  • Theoretical certificate ATPL

It is not a license as such, but in this course you will see 14 essential subjects to become a pilot, in addition to being able to do the time building that we briefly mention. According to One Air, 90% is online and only 10% are practical, where the theoretical part is done on the Bristol GS page, and everything is about 770 accumulated hours.

It is undoubtedly the longest short film, with more than two years of preparation.

  • Certificate of Training ME and IR

The multi-engine enablement (ME), consists of only one subject, with 7 theoretical hours and 6 practical hours to apply the theory. On the other hand, the instrumental habilitation, As we said, it will allow you to use only the flight instruments, it also follows a theoretical-practical strategy. There are 55 practical hours, both in the simulator and in MEP flight, and only 12 theoretical hours.

  • CPL license

Finally, the CPL license. This is achieved through the Commercial Pilot course (CPL-A) and consists of 15 hours of advanced flight, where 10 hours are in single-engine aircraft and only 5 in multi-engine aircraft. As we said before, you must be of legal age when registering

To obtain this license, you must undoubtedly have the basis of the certificates described above.

  • Frozen ATPL: Airline Transport Pilot License

With it you will be able to pilot a commercial airplane, receiving remuneration for it, as pilot in command. In it your previous preparations are concentrated: ME, IR, ATPL, and of course the CPL license. To get it, you must have accumulated about 1500 flight hours from past courses or practice until you reach those hours.

They may also require the ATPL license, where you will practice being a co-pilot for about 200 academic hours. Remember that doing all these courses is part of the Requirements to Be an Airplane Pilot.

Course to be an Airplane Pilot

Almost to finish, the courses you can do them in the flight schools authorized by AESA. In Spain there are more than 70 specialized in this subject, so you can buy prices and do a price-quality study before choosing one of them.

We recommend you not only focus on prices, but also on the hours of flights they offer, simulators, fleet, etc. Remember that the most important courses that you will take are the theoretical ATPL courses, the single and multi-engine flight training courses, the Commercial Pilot (CPL-A) and, of course, the PPL-A, for private flights.

The investment you will make to become an Airplane PilotOn the other hand, it will depend on the level of training you want to follow. It is a great investment, in a very competitive market, which is why we insist so much on analyzing if it is really what you would like to do.

These costs can range from 30,000 euros, through 69,500 euros, up to 100,000. This, without a doubt, is something that you should keep in mind.


Who doesn’t care if their investment will pay off? The current salaries of pilots in Spainthey are undoubtedly an indicator of this.

To put it briefly, these will depend on experience, total flight hours, and airline. Of course, those who make intercontinental and / or international flights, can perceive greater economic benefits. Also, co-pilots and command pilots will not earn the same.

On average, flight pilots can earn up to 12,500 euros per month. It may be less, if they are flights within the same country or with national airlines. As we said, it all depends on the characteristics of your job. In the end, these 12,500 euros average are equivalent to 150,000 euros gross per year, not inconsiderable.

What is it?

As you can see, a pilot is a specialist in the handling of airplanes, with a great experience behind him and a significant investment to prepare.

As with any other job, it will be experience and skills that will determine your success as a pilot, albeit with added advantages (and disadvantages) that other people don’t count.

You can have the opportunity to know other places and do what you like, and the Requirements to be an Airplane Pilot they are undoubtedly a fundamental pillar to take into account. Do not wait more!

See ya!

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