How much does it cost to become a pilot? Being a pilot is one of the best jobs in the world. It is highly paid, respected, and appreciated by everyone. So what’s stopping you from becoming a pilot? Well, a career in this field involves many sacrifices. One of the biggest sacrifices is the money invested. Becoming a pilot requires a serious investment, but if you really want it, it can be done.
First of all, you need to decide what type of pilot you want to be? Do you want to fly for the joy of flying without being paid or do you want to become a pilot and earn money from it? Since most people who want to be pilots want to get paid for it, we will look at how much it costs to become a commercial pilot (pilots who get paid for their services).
A. Airline pilot
To become an airline pilot you have mainly two alternatives: Integrated professional pilot training program and modular professional pilot training program.
1. Integrated professional pilot training program
This is the most common way to become an airline pilot. It involves choosing an aviation school and going through all the steps to become an airline pilot with it. This option is a full-time job and can take around 2 years depending on your skills and workload. So, how much does it cost to become a pilot with this option? In the US, the price for the Integrated professional pilot training program starts at $87,000 (according to FlyBySchool) and can go up to over $100,000 at some flight schools. However, in Europe the prices are a little lower, costing around $70,000.
2. Modular professional pilot training program
Compared to the integrated program, this option is part-time, and the student can do other things while studying for the pilot license. However, this program can take much longer than two years, and each step will have to be paid for in turn. How much does it cost to become a pilot for airlines with this option:
- Private pilot license (PPL)- costs around $10,000. This is the license to fly small planes without being paid.
- Instrument Rating- costs between costs between 8000$ and 10000$. You need it to learn to fly the plane using only the instruments on board the aircraft.
- Hour Building-In general, an hour of flight time costs around $150-$200 and to go to the next step requires the student to have 200-250 hours of flight time.
- ATPL Theory (Airline Transport Pilot License)- Costs around $5000. Sums up the knowledge that an airline pilot must have.
- Commercial Pilot License (CPL)- Costs between $25,000 and $35,000. This is the license required to work as a pilot and earn money from it.
- Multi Engine Instrument Rating (MEIR)- Costs are usually included in the CPL.This is a rating required to fly aircraft with more than one engine.
- Multi-Crew Co-operation Certificate (MCC)- It costs around $8000. Required to prove ability to work in adverse conditions and gain teamwork skills.
B. How much does it cost to become a cargo pilot
Cargo pilots are those pilots who fly commercial aircraft to transport different types of goods. To become a cargo pilot, you have to spend about the same amount of money as if you were an airline pilot. There is one exception: airline pilots need a minimum of 1500 hours of flying time before they can be employed by an airline, whereas cargo pilots need about 3000 hours of flying time to be able to transport cargo, according to ineed.com.
C. Flight Instructor
To become a commercial airline pilot, a minimum of 1500 flying hours is required. In order to exceed this number, most pilots choose to become flight instructors (CFI). How much does it cost to become a CFI? According to ATP Flight School, flight instructors must have a commercial pilot license or ATPL and an instrument rating. After this, they must be trained by an approved instructor to train student pilots and pass a CFI knowledge test. All this will end up costing around $50,000-$60,000, but keep in mind that after this certificate you can earn your first money flying planes. See how much a flight instructor earns here.
How much does it cost to become a pilot without getting paid for it?
Considering that there are people who want to fly just for the pleasure of flying, without earning money from it, here are some pilot licenses and how much each one costs:
- Sport Pilot License- costs $4,500
- Recreational Pilot License- costs $6,500
- Private Pilot License- costs $10,000
Although a career as a pilot requires a serious investment, there are also scholarship opportunities. If you’re interested in finding out about the possibilities of becoming a pilot even if you don’t have enough money, leave a comment below and we’ll do an article on the subject.