How Much Does It Cost To Become A Commercial Pilot

Knowing all about the process is crucial if you’re considering a piloting career. Here’s how much does it cost to become a pilot.

Unquestionably, the best choice you can ever make is to become a commercial pilot. It may be a little biased answer, but it’s the truth! Nothing is more liberating than being able to fly whenever you want without worrying about following someone else because you aren’t a pilot yourself. But sadly, the training for becoming a pilot is not free of cost and requires a lot of money, enough to break your bank and empty your wallet.

So how much does it cost to become a pilot?

Depending on the pilot you wish to be, cost can range from few thousand bucks to several thousand dollars—costs for private pilot training range from $7,500 to $10,000. However becoming a commercial pilot will cost you between $30,000 and $40,000. This may seem a heavy amount but it is justifiable as  You’ll be paid while training to be a combat pilot!

You’d like to become a pilot, then. Bravo to you! 

We can’t stress how much we appreciate this. From personal experience, we know the high cost is the main barrier keeping many individuals from pursuing this career. In this post, we’ll examine the actual costs of becoming a pilot so unforeseen expenses won’t catch you off guard.

How Much Does It Cost To Become A Commercial Pilot

How Much Does It Cost To Become A Commercial Pilot?

If you want to pursue a career as a pilot and fly for some biggest airlines across the nation or the globe, then this is the path you must take and the price you must bear. You’ll enjoy the most fulfilling occupations from the day you earn your wings until the day you retire.

Simply put, the cost of becoming a commercial pilot will be between $30,000 and $40,000. Therefore, it’s not something that most individuals can accomplish at an early age or immediately after receiving a degree. You could discover an airline that offers flight instruction, in which case they might pay for this expense, but we’re going to presume that most individuals won’t be so fortunate.

The most essential thing to remember is that you will need to start as a student pilot if you want to become a commercial pilot. Yes, all of the tasks mentioned above and upfront fees must be completed; however, as they are already covered by the $30,000 to $40,000 range, there is no need to worry.

The dream is to earn money doing what you love, isn’t it?

The first step in the aviation industry is obtaining a commercial pilot license (CPL). With the certification, you can get paid for various aviation tasks, such as traffic reporting, pipeline patrol, and agricultural applications.

Here too, the Part 61 vs. Part 141 (of…..) bound comes into play, resulting in a variation in the minimum necessary flight hours.  (external link)

For your CPL under Part 61, you require at least 250 hours of flight time; however, in a Part 141 pilot school, you just need a minimum of 190 hours.

Given the fewer hours, you must assume that Part 141 training must be less expensive.

This isn’t always the case, though.

Part 141 schools typically charge higher fees for aircraft rental and hourly instructor rates because they are subject to extensive FAA regulations.

You must possess a private pilot license in both situations, which signifies that you logged an average of sixty hours.

Training for multi-engine and instrument ratings is frequently included in commercial pilot license courses. 

Both are necessary for most commercial aviation operations!

Therefore, the starting price for a commercial pilot license is $30,000. This includes both ratings.

Depending on the pilot school, it may increase to double that amount or even more.

Is becoming a pilot worth the cost?

You might be wondering whether pursuing a piloting career is worthwhile for you. We’ll do everything in our power to assist you in determining this. Because if you are not interested in an aviation career, you might spare yourself over $80,000 and years of training by taking occasional joy flights or getting your license and pursuing another career. Lessening the intense rivalry in the field and perhaps even lowering some high training costs will benefit the few who genuinely want to become pilots.

Airline pilots enable families to travel and stay connected all over the world. Pilots are the ones who connect the world. Air ambulances deliver critically ill patients, rescue helicopters save lives, and isolated patients can access metropolitan hospitals thanks to these services. Your eBay and amazon purchases, as well as your messages, are shipped worldwide by our freight dogs and cargo pilots.

Military aviators defend our airspace and safeguard our life from those who intend to do us harm. From geomagnetic mining surveys, bush-fire spotting, and fire fighting operations, to pleasure flights our general aviation pilots offer a wide range of commercial services.

You should be pleased to fly among them through the airways created by our forebearer heroes like Sir Charles Lindbergh, George Cayley, and the Wright brothers getting a set of wings welcomes you into a highly professional and close-knit group of aviators.

More practically speaking, it all relies on your goal of becoming a pilot. Since you cannot pursue a profession in flying without first paying to become a pilot, it is definitely worth the expense if you want to do so. It truly depends on you, your budget, and how much you think you’ll enjoy flying if all you want to do is occasionally fly for enjoyment.

In our opinion, there aren’t many other occupations that can offer you the same level of personal fulfillment as a pilot or the unique, hard-earned credentials we all possess.

How much do commercial pilots make starting out?

Airline operations are based on seniority. The schedule of the pilots and the aircraft type they will fly is used to determine airline seniority. Their position on the senior list consequently has an impact on their remuneration. For instance, those at the top of the list are individuals who have been employed the longest. At the bottom of the list are the recently hired pilots.

Every novice pilot’s objective is to move up the ladder as soon as feasible. It is important to note that after their initial year working for an airline, pilots are paid more according to their flying hours. Additionally, employees that work for a healthy longer tend to receive significant rises over time.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics asserts that the yearly wage range for an airline pilot is between $80,920 and $208,000 in The Occupational Outlook Handbook.

The pilot’s rank is another crucial consideration. For instance, freshly certified first officers in the UK who work for smaller businesses often make $32,500. In contrast, a more significant company employee’s starting wage could be as high as $38,000.

In contrast, first officers in the UK who are more seasoned may earn between $48,700 and $65,000 a year.

A captain receives a higher salary. Whether a captain works for a major or a medium-sized airline will affect the initial payment. The pay in the first scenario might range from $73,100 to $88,000. Captains earn between $131,300 to $190,000 in the second.

Remember that the pay for first officers to captains might triple the pay for pilots as they gain years of expertise.

Is it hard to become a commercial pilot?

Imagine obtaining a job swiftly with a decent salary. I don’t know about your nation, but getting well-paying work where I reside is challenging.

It may take the time or hard work to demonstrate your worthiness for a high-paying job.

Airline pilot salaries are competitive. Everyone is aware of that. Additionally, a pilot can travel the world free of cost.

Do you genuinely believe that you can attain all of that achievement overnight?

Like other professions, being a commercial airplane pilot requires progression. And it can take a pilot years to get to a level where they can earn a respectable wage.

Flying on an airplane is simple. It is challenging to meet the requirements to become an airline pilot. To be a proficient pilot, one must have years of flying training and in-depth aeronautical knowledge. Pilots must possess expertise and confidence to assume the duty of conducting safe flights.

You can obtain a commercial pilot license without much difficulty. To qualify as a commercial pilot, one only needs to complete the necessary coursework and examinations.

The actual labor is only 50% of becoming a commercial pilot. The remaining 50% is spent acquiring knowledge and flying experience to become a qualified pilot.

What is the cheapest way to become a commercial pilot?

Sure, we could just claim that becoming a military pilot is the simplest and least expensive method to become a pilot. However, as we’ve already indicated, that’s probably not what you’re searching for, as most individuals believe there are no fees associated with joining the military. Not!

Instead, let’s examine each of the available standard pilot credentials:

  • Private Pilot’s Permit
  • Sport Pilot License Student Pilot Certificate
  • Commercial Pilot’s License, Instrument Rating, Multi-Engine Rating, and Certificate as a Flight Instructor

You might be able to determine which is the cheapest based solely on the names if you keep these typical licenses, ratings, and certificates in mind. A Student Pilot Certificate is the solution. There isn’t a base fee to get your student pilot certificate, but the authorized person who processes your application may charge a couple of hundred dollars in fees.

A Sport Pilot Licence is the least expensive license available for actual pilots. This license has some restrictions, as you could expect from the name and cost. You should consider spending a little extra and obtaining your Private Pilot License mentioned above to truly get out there on your own and experience the adrenaline and excitement that comes with being a pilot.

How to Reduce the Cost of Flight Training?

Getting a pilot’s license can cost thousands of dollars, but there are ways to cut costs. Here are five strategies for saving money while piloting a plane:

Find inexpensive aircraft because renting an airplane will account for most of your pilot training expenses. Renting an older aircraft would be highly cost-effective, especially if obtaining a commercial pilot’s license is your primary objective.

Research on schools reveals that many provide bundles, group discounts, and expedited courses. 

Finding less priced offers on training programs is widespread, especially if you’re after numerous pilot ratings or certificates.

Study hard since mastering aviation theory is essential to becoming a skilled pilot. Additionally, combining it with “chair flying” reduces the time you need to spend in the air to become proficient.

Join a flight club to receive discounted prices, which will lower the cost of your flight training. Additionally, you join a community related to aviation, which may lead to future employment opportunities.

Request for a scholarship: several institutions, including AOPA, provide funding to cover the cost of flight instruction for deserving candidates. If you fulfill the criteria for a scholarship, it’s worth applying, even though it’s challenging to receive. You can also apply for donations by Aviation authorities but that can be a hectic process for some.


All of your questions about “How much does it cost to become a commercial pilot” should be answered by the end of this article. We have tried our best to cover up every essential information for you.

Although occasionally expensive, being a pilot doesn’t cost much money. You can obtain your sports pilot license for a few thousand dollars if you want to fly for leisure.

The financial investment rises significantly if the objective is to work for an airline, But the pleasure of a flight is priceless, regardless of how much it costs. Make the most of your aviation experience by following these tips. Establish your goal first.

Once you have that sorted out, you need to compare the prices, trainer fees, and financing alternatives various flight schools offer. The cheapest route to obtaining your pilot’s license might not be the finest. As a result, you should strike a balance between training expense and quality.

We sincerely hope that it was helpful for you!

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