How Long Does It Take To Become A Pilot: The Truth About Flight Training!

Before embarking on my pilot training, I needed to know exactly how long does it take to become a pilot? In this post, I’ll share everything you need to know to give you an idea of how long it takes to become a pilot.

If interested in finding the quickest (and cheapest) way to becoming a pilot, check out my Check out my best selling Pilot Training Guide on Amazon for how to become a pilot!

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How To Get A Private Pilot Licence

How To Get A Private Pilot Licence
How long to become a pilot?

The first thing to ask yourself is what type of pilot do you want to be? Being a pilot is very broad and covers everything from crop dusting, fighter pilot or even cargo flying!

How Long Does It Take To Become A Pilot

How long does it take to become a private pilot?

It takes anywhere from 6 weeks to 18 months to become a private pilot. How long it takes to become a private pilot is dependant on these factors:

  • How much time you can give to pilot training 
  • The weather (private pilot training requires good weather)
  • How busy your flying school is along with training and instructor availability
  • How long it takes to pick concepts up

If you can commit to an intensive private pilot course, have a good aptitude for flying, and have good weather (e.g. Florida or Europe in the summer), you can complete your PPL in as little as 6 weeks. 

If completing your private pilot licence on a part-time basis, i.e. weekends, only expect your training to take around 1 year. I completed my PPL in 12 months, having lessons during the weekend along. 

If completing your pilot training in Europe during the winter, be mindful that your progress will be slower because of the weather.

How long does it take to become a commercial pilot?

It takes around 18-30 months to become a commercial airline pilot. The two routes to becoming a commercial pilot are integrated or modular pilot training.

How long does integrated pilot training take to become a commercial pilot?

Integrated pilot training takes around 18-24 months to complete.

This typically consists of 6 months ‘ground school’ to complete your 14 ATPL theoretical exam and then 12 months of flight training with the goal of passing your commercial pilot licence and multi-engine instrument rating (MEIR). 

How long to become a pilot?

How long does modular pilot training take to become an commercial pilot?

Modular pilot training normally takes around 18 – 36 months but can be completed in as little as 12 months. 

Modular pilot training is completed at a pace and time to suit you so ultimately you decide how quickly (or slowly you wish to complete your training).

Factors that will influence how long it takes to become a pilot via the modular route include:

  • Access to money
  • Weather
  • How quickly you are able to pick up concepts
  • The amount of time you are able to dedicate to modular pilot training.

It took me 12 months to become a pilot via the modular route.

How long does it take to become an airline pilot?

It takes around 18 – 24 months to become an airline pilot. The hardest part about becoming an airline pilot is finding a job after pilot training.

You can speed up your chances of landing that first airline pilot job by completing a good Multi Crew Course. I recommend the APS MCC course and genuinely –  that increased my chances of passing airline assessment and made my type rating much easier.

The APS MCC course prepares you well for your type rating and definitely flattens the curve.

Once you have completed your commercial pilot licence and hold a CPL + MEIR + MCC certificate and land a job your airline will put you through a type rating course.

How long does it take to become an airline pilot

How long does a type rating course take to complete to become an airline pilot?

The type rating takes around 2-3 months to complete depending on aircraft type. During the type rating course, you will be taught how to fly the specific type of aircraft that your company operates.

The type rating consists of:

  • Theoretical knowledge specific to the aircraft your fill fly
  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Performance
  • Around 40 hours of simulator time (Procedure trainer and fixed base sim)
  • 6 take off and landings in the actual aircraft.

If you want to learn more about what is involved in a type rating course, check out our post on B737 Rating For The First Time? 10 Important Things You Need To Know.

How long does it take to become a fighter pilot?

It takes around 4 years to become an operational fighter pilot within an operation squadron.

Is it hard to become a pilot?

Becoming a pilot is challenging, but it is certainly achievable. Provided you have a reasonable aptitude for flying i.e. hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, leadership and teamwork, workload management, etc. then it is just a case of working hard.

The biggest barrier to most in becoming a pilot is simply finding the money to become a pilot. Check out our post on How to become a pilot if I don’t have money? 7 excellent options for ideas on how you can learn to fly without paying a penny!

How many years does it take to be a pilot?

On average, it takes around 2-4 years to become a pilot. The 9 steps to complete to become a pilot are:

  1. Trial flight
  2. EASA Class 1 Medical
  3. Getting your PPL
  4. Hour Building & Night Rating
  5. ATPL Theory
  6. Multi Engine Instrument Rating
  7. Commercial Pilot Licence
  8. Multi Crew Course & UPRT!
  9. Pilot Interview

If you have any questions about how long it takes to become a pilot, please leave a comment in the section below. We would love to hear from you!

How Long Does It Take To Become A Pilot

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