how to become a commercial pilot

How to become a commercial pilot in 9 steps

Some people merely dream about it, but do you know how to become a commercial pilot? The road to qualification has some steps, but at CTI Professional Flight Training, we’ll guide you along the whole path to your dream career!

Step 1: Earn your Private Pilot’s License

The first step in how to become a commercial pilot begins as a private pilot. If you don’t have one already, you’ll need to earn your private pilot’s license – a process you can complete in just four weeks!

Through a mixture of training on the ground and in the air, you’ll join countless others who have earned their skills and confidence to fly a single-engine airplane with CTI Professional Flight Training.

Step 2: Undertake your Instrument Rating

Once you’re holding that private pilot’s license, it’s time to improve and advance on those skills. Our Instrument Rating course gives you all the knowledge you need to deal with any unexpected situations arising from inclement weather – an essential ability if you want to make it as a professional pilot.

You can earn this in as little as three weeks at CTI Professional Flight Training – ideal for anyone who wants to be a safer pilot in minimal time.

Step 3: Gain your Multi-Engine Rating

It’s now time to achieve your Multi-Engine add-on, leaving you able to fly multi-engine aircraft in just a couple of weeks. This course will show you the difference between single- and multi-engine airplanes and equip you with the knowledge of what to do in the case of engine failure. Even better, you’ll be building those all-important flight hours!

Step 4: Earn your Commercial Pilot’s License

With all those qualifications in hand, you’re ready to train as a commercial pilot. With your CPL, you’ll be able to charge for your work and fly a passenger aircraft, and you can achieve the entire process in just six weeks at CTI Professional Flight Training.

That’s not the end of the road though! Although you’ll be licensed as a commercial pilot, there are some important steps remaining to give yourself the best opportunities in your career.

Step 5: Become a Certified Flight Instructor

To really give yourself an edge in the competitive world of aviation, it’s best to have as many strings to your bow as possible. Therefore, qualifying as a Certified Flight Instructor builds further flight hours, develops your communication skills and extends your experience even more (not to mention giving you an additional pipeline of earnings for life).

And after all, as they say, the best way of really understanding something is to teach it to others!

Step 6: Qualify as a CFI Instrument and Multi-Engine Instructor

Why not take it even further by earning your CFII and MEI certifications as well? These will diversify your abilities as a flight instructor, maximizing your skills to teach a range of clients while honing your knowledge and confidence in these areas.

Even more importantly, you’ll build your resume even more, marking yourself as a top contender when it comes to commercial pilot jobs in the future.

Step 7: Earn your Air Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate

If you want to work as a First Officer of a commercial aircraft (second in command), you’ll need your Air Transport Certificate to comply with the FAA’s regulations. You’ll also need to amass flight time of around 1500 hours, although this can vary depending on your experience to date. For example, military pilots need only 750 hours of total flight time, of which 200 must be cross-country flight time.

Alternatively, if you’ve graduated from an approved university course (like those we are linked with at CTI Professional Flight Training), you can benefit from reduced flight time requirements.

Step 8: Start Regional, progress to Major Airlines

With all these qualifications under your belt, you’re sure to be snapped up by your first commercial airline! Most pilots start out flying for smaller regional airlines, building their experience and careers to a point when they can progress to major airline carriers.

What’s more, once you join a larger airline, which has more chance of rapid expansion, your work opportunities will increase – giving you more chances to build your flight hours…

Step 9: Progress from First Officer to Captain

…which brings us to our final step in how to become a commercial pilot. Every pilot dreams of taking their place in the Captain’s seat, but it only comes after hours of hard work. 5,000 hours in fact, which tends to be the minimum flight time requirement for promotion to Captain.

Depending on the airline you work for, this could take about six years – but once you’ve got that far, you’ve done it! You’ll now be a commercial pilot – and a Captain at that!

Give yourself the best chance of a successful career as a commercial pilot by training with CTI Professional Flight Training. Whether you’re at our Florida or Tennessee flight school, we’ll equip you with all you need to learn on this exciting journey.

So what are you waiting for? Apply today!

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