Getting a commercial pilot license is quite essential if you are looking to begin a career as a pilot. But first, you need to understand what a commercial pilot is and what they do.
So many people make the mistake of considering every commercial pilot as an airline pilot. While an airline pilot can be considered as a commercial pilot, not every commercial pilot can be considered as an airline pilot.
There are many opportunities laid out for commercial pilots. A commercial pilot can be a tour pilot, cargo pilot, corporate pilot, or even a pilot flying for the government. In fact, there are commercial pilots that are Certified Flight Instructors (CFI). They can also be ferry pilots, backcountry pilots, or glider tow pilots.
Basically, a commercial pilot is someone who is certified by the FAA to legally charge people for flying services. An airline pilot, on the other hand, flies for an airline or a regularly scheduled carrier.
Download Branding Resources Guide
Building a brand starts by having the right tools and advice. Download our top 10 essential tools and resources to kick-start your branding.
A person with a commercial pilot license can fly for anyone and charge money. However, if you want to start flying for an airline, thereby becoming an airline pilot, you will have to meet some additional requirements, such as obtaining the Airline Transport Certificate and working for some certified operator before being able to charge money.
Generally, commercial pilots are tasked with the responsibility of flying an aircraft. However, they have other job duties including, air traffic control communications, controlling and operating the plane, navigating the aircraft, ensuring that the plane is well-balanced, and monitoring gauges.
- Degree Level – To get your commercial pilot license and become a commercial pilot, you don’t necessarily need a degree. However, there are some airlines and employers who may require that you have at least two years of college or a bachelor’s degree.
- Experience – To be considered as a commercial airline pilot, you must be at least 21 years of age. And you must have logged at least 1,500 hours of flight time.
- Key Skills – You must have good communication skills, great health, and an excellent vision. Your aeronautical knowledge must be sound too.
- Licensure and Certification – You must pass the practical test for licensing, which is usually set up by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Certification is needed in order to work for commercial carriers. You also need to have logged at least 250 hours of flight time.
How Exactly Do I Get My Commercial Pilot License?
Assuming you have no flying experience, which is usually the case for most prospective pilots, you need to take the steps below in order to fully become a commercial pilot and also have your commercial pilot license.
- The first thing you’ll need to do is earn your Private Pilot License, otherwise known as PPL. It is the first step and it provides you with the freedom to fly a single-engine aircraft under the Visual Flight Rules (VFR).
- The next step involves earning your Instrument Rating (IFR), also known as Instrument Flight Rules. With the IFR, you’ll have the ability to fly in bad weather.
- Once you are through with that, you’ll move on to the Multi-Engine rating. With this, you’ll be able to fly multi-engine aircrafts.
To begin the next step, you must be at least 18 years old, and you must also hold a 2nd Class Medical Certificate. If you meet this requirement, you can go on to:
- Acquire your Commercial Pilot Licenses, otherwise known as CPL. You’ll need to have logged at least 250 hours of flying time, take your written FAA exam, and pass your FAA check-ride. The 250 hours of logged flight time needs to include fifty hours cross-country and 100 hours as a Pilot in Command (PIC).
When you’re done with your CPL, you can now build hours towards attaining your ATP in order to become a CFI. Becoming a CFI usually requires that you take additional steps.
If you plan to work as a commercial airline captain in the United States, you’ll need to build 1,500 hours of flight time. And working as a CFI is one of the best ways to build more hours toward that goal.
Additionally, before you can be allowed to fly commercial passenger aircrafts, you’ll need an ATP license. And to get the Airline Transport Pilot license, you’ll need to have logged 1,500 hours of flight time. One of the better options for getting licensed to fly and begin applying for positions is to attend a commercial airline pilot flight school like AeroGuard Flight Training Center or another elite program in the USA.
That’s all to getting a commercial pilot license. All you have to do is engage in pilot trainings, such as maintenance, maneuvering, and communications, log 250 hours of flight time, and pass the FAA practical tests, which would involve a number of operational tasks, exhibition of your flying skills, and your ability to meet industry standards.
You’ll also need to pass a written test, which you’ll use to demonstrate how knowledgeable you are concerning the regulations, navigation, and safety of aircrafts.