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How to become an Airline Pilot | Video

Updated on August 23, 2012
av8erprince profile image

Manpreet "Prince" Singh is a FAA certificated flight instructor with about 20 years of experience as a pilot and flight instructor.

Ever thought of becoming an Airline Pilot

Ever dream of flying an airplane? Who doesn't, and who hasn't? If you are a grown up adult person now, you are simply just too busy with the life, and what life brings to you everyday to deal with, that you probably even don't know how to dream good as much as you used to. How about flying an airplane for a career, i.e. fly for an airline and then get paid for it too! I don't know why anyone would not want to be able to do this.

Who does not want to visit places. We all work very hard to save enough for that dream vacation to Bahamas, Hawaii or other exotic places. We look forward to holidays so we can go visit mom and dad, the grandpa and grandma, or go to the much awaited high school reunion. Just how do you think we travel to get all this done? Airlines. And who do you think is with the airline airplane on each single flight? You got it! The Pilot.

How to become an Airline Pilot

Airline Pilots

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Airplane cockpitPilot compassAirline cockpitAirline Pilot LogbookModern Advanced cockpit
Airplane cockpit
Airplane cockpit
Pilot compass
Pilot compass
Airline cockpit
Airline cockpit
Airline Pilot Logbook
Airline Pilot Logbook
Modern Advanced cockpit
Modern Advanced cockpit

Steps to become and Airline Pilot

Simply put, you need the following steps accomplished to become and airline pilot:

Get a Commercial Pilot's License

There are hundreds of flight training schools in the country. Just pick one that is most convenient to you, and is a reputable one of course. If you do this full time, you can expect to spend about $40K and walk away with a FAA Commercial Pilot ticket. Your pilot's logbook will have about 250-300 flight hours logged. And your pilot certificate will have an instrument rating and a multi engine rating. This is great. You are now the third of the way to your airline pilot job.

Now, there are two ways of learning to ride a fractious horse: one is to get on him and learn by actual practice how each motion and trick may be best met; the other is to sit on a fence and watch the beast a while and then retire to the house and at leisure figure out the best way of overcoming his jumps and kicks. The latter system is the safer, but the former, on the whole, turns out the larger proportion of good riders. It is very much the same thing in learning to ride a flying machine. - Wilbur Wright

Build Flight Experience

Now you need to build some more flight experience before an airlines can consider you for a pilot position. Traditionally, you are looking at 1000-1500 hours total pilot time to reach this goal. The good news is that you can get this time within a year or 2 without spending any more money. The bad news is that you will have to get your Flight Instructor certificate (after training for CFI course) and live on a lower than top executive pay for all that time. Now, is that too bad? Not really.

If you put your heart and soul into it, you can recover most of your initial training investment while building your flight time. I know a lot of people who have, and I happen to be one of them.

That is it. Now you can start applying for that airline pilot jobs. Initially you'd probably end up working for Regional Airlines like Skywest, but I bet you won't be complaining about it. It is still as much fun to fly a CRJ as a Boeing. The only difference is you won't be going to far away places like Russia and China and India. Mexico and Canada will pretty much be your limit. Oh, and I forgot the Caribbean.

Click here to learn more about What Are The Different Types of Pilot Licenses and Rating?

Airline Pilot Career Resources

Professional Pilot's Career Guide
Professional Pilot's Career Guide
Professional Pilot's Career Guide


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    • becomeapilot profile image


      11 years ago from UK

      Was searching for "how to become a pilot", saw your hubpage & video. Great info on how to become an airline pilot!

    • profile image

      niall walsh 

      11 years ago

      Wow this is brilliant, nice one.

      I created a "How to become an astronaut" hub, you should check it out as its very similar.

      Great hub


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