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How Many Hours Does It Take to Become a Pilot? (September 2022)

By: Richard J. Gross
Updated On: March 24, 2022

How many hours does it take to become a Pilot? It's a question that many aspiring aviators ask themselves: how many hours does it take to become a pilot? The answer, of course, depends on a variety of factors.

But in this blog post, we'll give you the ultimate guide to becoming a pilot. So whether you're just starting or you're already well on your way, read on for everything you need to know!

To become a pilot, do you need to go to college? Is there an age limit when you should start flying lessons? How much money is needed before starting the training? We have all these questions when we are thinking about becoming a pilot.

The best way to learn how to become a pilot is to look online for the official document containing all educational, financial, and experience requirements.

The main thing you would need to be eligible for pilot certification is a Private Pilot License with an instrument rating. Each country has different rules, which might change after time or change depending on what aircraft license you want to obtain.

According to FAA, you must have at least 40 hours of flight time, including 20 hours in actual or simulated instrument conditions to get your private pilot license (PPL ).

You have to be at least 17 years old to fly solo with a student pilot certificate. Some commercial pilot jobs will require you to be older or have more experience.

After getting your pilot license, it is also mandatory for every pilot to pass the medical examination given by an FAA-certified Aviation Medical Examiner (AME).

The pilots working for American Airlines are required to have 1,500 hours of flight time before joining their pilot training program. You must complete ground school lessons to receive your pilot certification.

There are about 2,200 colleges and universities in the United States offering aviation courses, but not all of them give pilot licenses. Most of these schools charge $50,000 or less for training which is about 12 months on average. After finishing pilot training, you need to pass the pilot certification exam to get your pilot license and then start applying.

Steps To Become A Pilot

To become a pilot first, you need to select an aircraft type that best fits your flying interests. There are many types of pilot licenses in the US, but a Private Pilot License is the most common license that anyone can get.

  • Research Pilot Schools
  • Introductory Training Flight
  • Apply for FAA Medical Certificate
  • Apply for FAA Student Certificate
  • Start Flight Training Lessons
  • Pass Private Pilot Knowledge Test
  • Pass Private Pilot Practical Test
  • Time Building for Multiengine Rating
  • Time Building for Instrument Rating
  • Time Building Time

Above are the steps to becoming a pilot in the United States.

Aviation is one of the most exciting, rewarding, and fulfilling careers you can experience. If you are interested in flying as a profession, the time to start your career is now.

You will have to decide about whether or not you want time building before starting actual instruction. Time Building allows you to fly up to 5 hours with an instructor for a reduced rate by taking one lesson per day instead of 2 lessons per day. 

It's time for some real fun. The next steps include getting familiar with different types of aircraft finding out how much it costs and what time commitment is needed so you can plan accordingly. It also includes studying for written exams and medical checkups if required. Airlines have opened their flight to trainee program for people who want to become a pilot. The time for this type of program is very short (usually 2 years).

1. Research Pilot School

How Many Hours It Takes to Become a Pilot

There are a lot of Pilot schools that will help you with time building, ground school, and all the knowledge needed for your pilot license. It is advised to check reviews about different Aviation schools before making a final decision, so you know what to expect from it.

2. Introductory Training Flight

How Many Hours It Takes to Become a Pilot

During this step, you are getting familiarized with aircraft procedures and controls, so they become second nature. The instructor will help you with this part and guide you through all the steps, but it is up to you to put them into practice.

3. Apply For FAA Medical Certificate

How Many Hours It Takes to Become a Pilot

To become a pilot, one must pass the medical examination given by an FAA-certified Aviation Medical Examiner (AME). The time to time required for this process will vary. If you are below 40 years of age, then the time taken is one hour, but if more than 40 years of age time taken is 2 hours.

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4. Apply For FAA Student Certificate

The Student Pilot Certificate is proof that you have got at least a third-class medical certificate and proof that the instructor has given you at least 20 hours of time building.

5. Start Flight Training Lessons

The time for this step will depend upon the Aircraft type you have chosen and the time needed to get your license which is about 200 hours on average.

How Many Hours It Takes to Become a Pilot

You can start with one lesson per day or two lessons per week; it's up to you. Since time building time is cheaper than time in actual aircraft, it's advised to do one lesson per day.

6. Pass Private Pilot Knowledge Test

How Many Hours It Takes to Become a Pilot

The Private Pilot Knowledge Test consists of 60 questions about the subjects you have studied during time building. It is not so hard if you are studying and time building seriously because all the knowledge needed for the time building is required for this test.

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7. Pass Private Pilot Practical Test

To become a pilot, you must pass the private pilot practical test, which includes several maneuvers such as S-turns, turns around a point, steep turns, landing from different positions, and different types of approaches.

It takes about 40 minutes in total and the time required to pass it varies from person to person depending on time building.

You have reached another milestone in your aviation career! The time for celebration is now because you have made a lot of sacrifices along the way, and after all this time, it's worth celebrating.

Now, you can enjoy the time-building experience at different levels. You have lots of time to decide if you want time building in different aircraft types or start your time in actual aircraft right away.

8. Time Building For Multi-engine Rating

How Many Hours It Takes to Become a Pilot

Once time building is completed, you can apply for a multi-engine rating which will allow you to fly two-engine airplanes. That would be time building time if time building in actual aircraft wasn't enough.

9. Time Building For Instrument Rating

How Many Hours It Takes to Become a Pilot

The instrument rating is required to fly in clouds, or when there are no visual references, you need it, especially in bad weather conditions. Also, time built is time spent on this subject when time is flying an airplane with the instrument time built.

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10. Time Building time

This is a time you can fly as a co-pilot, and it's time to play; you have the time to do whatever you want with your time flying. You can fly in different weather conditions and learn more about aviation along the way, as well as practice all the maneuvers time building time has allowed you to practice.

The time required for the flight instructor to certify that you are ready for your commercial pilot license is time built when time building in actual aircraft hasn't been enough.

The time needed depends upon the way you have flown during time building, so time built can be less or more than 200 hours as a commercial pilot, but on average, it's 200 hours of total flying time.

The next step requires a lot of knowledge and experience because you will need to pass the commercial pilot practical test along with some maneuvers such as stalls, steep turns, landings from different positions, and different types of approaches again. For this, time building time is time built as a commercial pilot.

After time building as a commercial pilot, time now to pass the time you have spent time building as a private pilot!

The only difference is that this time requires more hours because it's a higher license, and thus more time is needed for everything related to it.

There are different ways of time building time for the time you are time building time as a commercial pilot. You can choose to time build in different aircraft, or you can time build in one airplane.

It depends on your choice because it costs money to time build different airplanes, which means that if you time builds in many types of aircraft, it will cost more money and also take time built time.

Your time building time as a commercial pilot will come to an end one day, and now it's time to start time building time as a seasoned pilot! Time building time is needed for this type of license isn't money, but rather experience and knowledge acquired throughout the years (or months).

After all these steps, you've reached another time building time: time building time as a military pilot. A little time with this type of time is time built-in different types of airplanes instead of time built in one airplane, and it depends on the job you do in the air force.

After all these steps, if you manage to survive them, you can finally start time building time as an airline pilot, and time built time is time spent flying for a minimum of 500 hours.

The process to become a pilot takes time, built time which varies depending on the type of license you want to get, and also it depends on whether or not time building in actual aircraft was enough. You need to know that time building isn't time passed which means time building time is time built, not time spent.

Aviation Schools And Type of Pilot License

There are a lot of Aviation schools around the United States. Also, you can find them in other parts of the world such as Canada, Australia, and others. You can get a commercial pilot license along with an instrument rating or just one of these two licenses.

How Many Hours It Takes to Become a Pilot

The Aviation schools in the USA are divided into several categories according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The first category is Part 61, and it's a collegiate aviation training program.

There are other collegiate aviation training programs such as the ERC or WP-1 that aren't part of the FAA because they don't require a license from them even though these programs have been authorized to award certain pilot licenses.

The next category is part 141, which is a vocational flight school, and the aviation schools of this category award a commercial pilot license along with an instrument rating or any other license from the FAA.

The third Aviation School Category, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is Part 141, which stands for an approved training institution for the award of a private pilot certificate, commercial pilot certificate, or an instrument rating.

These schools award these licenses to students who have been trained in the USA only because it's very hard for them to be qualified as pilots from any other country because all that time building is not enough to make a decent pilot but rather a mediocre one.

The last one is Part 61, which means that the aviation school that awards a pilot license under this category is qualified to train foreign students. It's also known as an FSTI or Foreign Student Training Institution. The main difference between part 141 and part 61 is that with a part 141 school, you can be trained in the USA only, but on the other hand, a part 61 school can award licenses for pilots trained in different parts of the world.

The most common Aviation Schools are:

  • Ercoupe Flying Club
  • Boeing Flight Technical Institute(FTI)
  • Flight Safety International Academy Lafayette, Lafayette, LA.
  • Simuflite Houston Simuflight

The process to become a pilot requires time built which varies depending on the type of license you want to get, and also it depends on whether or not flying in actual aircraft was enough.

You need to know that time building isn't time passed which means time building time is time built, not time spent.

The type of license you are getting also determines the type of time building that is done in actual aircraft. If you are time building for a private pilot license, you will need to fly in different types of airplanes, whereas if you're time building for your commercial pilot license, it can be diverse or in one airplane.

Different steps are required when trying to become a pilot. They depend on the type of license you want to get. Many steps must be crossed in a certain time built, and if you manage to complete all the steps, then you can become a pilot.

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1. Fighter Pilot License

Fighter Pilot licenses are obtained through the air force and the process to become a fighter pilot is different for males and females.

How Many Hours It Takes to Become a Pilot

The important factor that must be considered in this license is that the candidates need not only time built but also good physical condition because it's more like intensive training.

The hours it takes to become a fighter pilot depend on how fast you learn and how well you are physically fit. For males, the minimum number of hours to become a fighter pilot is 20 years, whereas, for females, it's 25 years.

Many steps must be followed in this time-building process, and they start with high school, which is mandatory because without finishing high school, no one can apply for any type of license, even a private pilot one.

When the high school part is finished, you must go to college and get a bachelor's degree in science or any other field that has something related to aviation because this will give you more chances to make it through. When this step is crossed, then you can apply for an air force academy which must be approved by the FAA too.

After this step, you will have to pass a physical fitness test, and if you manage to do it well, then you can go for training in an air force academy which is not less than 20 years for males and 25 years for females. After that, your time built is over, but the process isn't done yet.

You have to decide how many hours you want to build as a fighter pilot. You can either choose between 200, 500, or 1000 hours of time building, and after that, you will be tested in an actual aircraft. If you pass this test well, then your license is granted, but if not, they keep testing until they are satisfied with how much you know.

It's important to know that becoming a fighter pilot is not easy, and it requires time, good physical condition, and intelligence. It's one of the most challenging licenses to get because many steps must be followed, and if you manage to complete all of them, then you can finally call yourself a pilot.

2. Private Pilot Licenses

Private Pilot License is received by flying in actual aircraft with an instructor. The process to become a pilot requires time built which varies depending on the type of license you want to get, and also it depends on whether or not flying in actual aircraft was enough.

How Many Hours It Takes to Become a Pilot

Amount of hours it takes to become a Private Pilot is approximately 30-40 hours. The time built could be different depending on how fast you are learning how to fly and how much practice you get in actual aircraft, but usually, no more than 40 hours is needed before getting a Private Pilot License.

The process begins by first applying for an FAA-approved flight school where they will teach their students how to become a pilot. It's important to know that this school is not cheap and it will cost you a lot of money, but in the end, it's worth it because you are getting trained by experts.

After finishing your training in an FAA-approved flight school, you must take a written test which is known as the Private Pilot Knowledge Test (PPKT). This test consists of 60 questions, and you have to answer all of them correctly to pass it.

Once this step is crossed, then comes the practical part, where they will check how well you are doing by flying with an instructor who has been licensed for at least 20 years without any accidents or violations under his/her belt. If everything goes well and you pass the check ride, then congratulations, you are now a Private Pilot!

It's important to know that getting a Private Pilot License is just the beginning, and there is still more for you to achieve to become a professional pilot.

The number of hours it takes to become a fighter pilot may seem daunting, but it's certainly worth all the hard work because once you are done with that step, then there will be no stopping how high up in your career path can go.

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3. Helicopter Pilot License

Helicopter Pilot License is acquired after time built as a private pilot. Another requirement is to pass an exam, and this license allows you to fly helicopters with passengers besides flying only in actual aircraft with an instructor. To become a Helicopter Pilot, the number of hours it takes is approximately 100-120 hours.

How Many Hours It Takes to Become a Pilot

The time built could be different depending on how fast you learn and how much practice you get in actual helicopters, but usually, no more than 120 hours is needed before getting a Helicopter Pilot License.

Just like with the Private Pilot License, first comes the application for an FAA-approved flight school where they will teach their students how to become a helicopter pilot. It's important to know that this school is not cheap and it will cost you a lot of money, but in the end, it's worth it because you are getting trained by experts.

After finishing your training in an FAA-approved flight school, you must take a written test which is known as the Helicopter Pilot Knowledge Test (HPKT). This test consists of 50 questions, and you have to answer all of them correctly to pass it.

Once this step is crossed, then comes the practical part, where they will check how well you are doing by flying with an instructor who has been licensed for at least 20 years without any accidents or violations under his/her belt. If everything goes well and you can pass the check ride, then congratulations, you are now a Helicopter Pilot!

It's important to know that getting a Helicopter Pilot License is just the beginning, and there is still more for you to achieve to become a professional pilot.

The number of hours it takes to become a helicopter pilot may seem daunting, but it's certainly worth all the hard work because once you are done with that step, then there will be no stopping how high up in your career path can go.

The time built could be different depending on how fast you learn and how much practice you get in actual helicopters, but usually, no more than 120 hours is needed before getting a Helicopter Pilot License.

4. Commercial Pilot Licenses

Commercial Pilot License can be obtained through Aviation schools and bypassing exams. Also, the candidate must complete simulator training and pass an exam.

How Many Hours It Takes to Become a Pilot

A Commercial Pilot has the right to fly passengers besides being able to fly only in actual aircraft with an instructor. Amount of hours it takes to become a Commercial Pilot is approximately 250 hours.

Different airline companies need different amounts of hours, so you should check how many are required for your dream job.

A Commercial Pilot License is the first step to becoming a professional pilot, and that's why it's important how much time you invest in this license because if you don't do it right, then chances are high, there won't be any other opportunities in the future.

There are two ways how you can get a commercial pilot license:

The first one is by going through aviation school and getting all of your training there before applying for an exam at the FAA. This process will take some time because it's not just about learning how to fly; instead, you need to pass multiple exams as well, which will prove how good of a pilot you are.

The second way how people get their commercial licenses is by bypassing aviation school altogether and going straight into taking tests at Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) headquarters, but this method requires more experience than just getting all your training done first before applying for an exam because then there won't be any doubt how good at flying are.

5. Airline Transport Pilot License

Airline Transport Pilot Licenses are acquired after time built, simulator training, and passing of exams. The candidate must also have completed 1500 hours flying as a commercial pilot. This license allows you to fly as a co-pilot in actual aircraft passenger planes and instruct others.

How Many Hours It Takes to Become a Pilot

In conclusion, there is no specific time built for becoming a pilot. Also, getting into the air force is not the only way of becoming one.

You can do it through Aviation schools or by taking exams after completing certain conditions such as time built, simulator training, and passing of exams. These licenses allow you to fly in actual aircraft besides carrying passengers or instructing others.

6. Sports Pilot License

Sports Pilot License can be obtained by having time built and passing an exam. This license allows the candidate to fly single-engine planes with a maximum weight of 2000 lbs, carrying passengers and instructing others besides just flying in actual aircraft with an instructor.

7. Glider Pilot License

How Many Hours It Takes to Become a Pilot

Glider Pilot Licenses are acquired after time built as a pilot and passing an exam. This license allows the candidate to fly without an engine and also carry passengers besides just flying in actual aircraft with an instructor.

8. Remote Pilot Licenses

How Many Hours It Takes to Become a Pilot

Remote Pilot Licenses are acquired after time built as a pilot, passing an exam, and getting them from a certifying agency. With this license, you can fly as a pilot in an unmanned aircraft apart from just flying in actual aircraft with an instructor.

9. Balloon Pilot License

Balloon Pilot Licenses are acquired after time built as a pilot, passing an exam, and getting it from a certifying agency. This license allows the candidate to fly balloons with passengers and instruct others besides just flying in actual aircraft with an instructor.

10. Glider Remote Pilot License

The last license is obtained after time built, passing an exam, and getting it from a certifying agency. This license allows the candidate to fly gliders remotely in unmanned aircraft besides just flying in actual aircraft with an instructor.

That's all about pilot licenses. I would like you to know, and as I told you before, it's not the only way of becoming a pilot; you can do it through Aviation schools or bypassing exams after time built, simulator training, and passing of exams.

There Are Different Stages For Becoming A Pilot In Commercial Airlines

The Different Stages are as follows:

First Stage

You should be able to fly following FAA rules, which includes time built and theory training. All the pilots must attend theoretical classes before flying actual planes to acquire knowledge about Aviation in general in addition to meteorology, navigation, flight controls, instruments, etc. Aviation schools and FAA both provide training and theoretical courses to the pilots.

Second Stage

After getting a commercial pilot license, you can apply for an Aviation job after passing examinations and meeting other requirements that are required by every Aviation company working according to FAA rules. You can do that by joining Aviation schools or Aviation academies located in different cities in addition to Aviation institutions and FAA's Aviation centers.

Third Stage

After getting a job and flying as a pilot for some time, you can apply to Aviation companies again, and they will consider your previous work experience and time built together with giving more tests and exams. Aviation is an example of social responsibility that brings peace between cultures around the world.

What is FAA?

Federal Aviation Administration is the authority that issues pilot licenses after verifying all requirements. FAA also monitors the flying conditions and courses of all pilots to prevent disasters.

There are three stages before becoming a pilot for commercial airlines: first, you must be able to fly following FAA rules; second, you should acquire your private or commercial license; third, you can apply for the job.

As mentioned above, there are different pilot licenses available in the market according to their requirements. The time built required for each license is different besides other conditions you must fulfill before getting that specific license.

For example, if you think of becoming a pilot for an airline company, then joining the air force is not your only choice. You can do it through Aviation schools or bypass exams after time built, simulator training, and getting your license according to the FAA rules.

Time Required To Become A Pilot

The amount of time taken by an individual to become a pilot is different according to Aviation schools, Aviation training centers, and the Aviation company you join.

If you go through Aviation schools or academies, then it will take more time to become a pilot as after getting your license from FAA, you should fly for several months with an instructor.

However, if you join a commercial Aviation company, then the time taken is shorter as most of the exams and training are done by the company.

Other Factors That Affects Required Time To Become A Pilot

What else influences how long it takes to become a pilot? The factors that affect how quickly you can get your license include how hard you study, how much time you spend in the air, and how well prepared you are for each stage of training.

If student pilots take their time during training and don't rush through each phase, they will be able to learn more and be better prepared for the next level.

However, if you already have flying experience, then you can bypass some of the stages and get your license faster. In addition, how many hours per week or month you put in at an aviation school also determines how long it takes to complete your training. If you attend full-time, it will take less time than if you attend part-time.

There is no one definitive answer to how long it takes to become a pilot, as the process can vary depending on many different factors. But, with hard work and determination, anyone can achieve their goal of becoming a commercial airline pilot.

So now that we know how many hours it takes to become a pilot, it's time to get started on your journey!

How Many Hours Does It Take To Become a Student Pilot?

Well, that's Zero! You don't need a license to fly as a student pilot. Student pilots can fly under the direct supervision of an instructor in what is called a training area. The majority of flight time for student pilots is actually during their lessons, so it's important to find a good instructor and aviation school that will help you progress quickly.

So, you're interested in becoming a commercial airline pilot? Congratulations! We've got just the place for your journey. Check out our list of top-rated aviation schools and find one that's right up your alley - thank goodness because we know how difficult this decision can sometimes be.

A little birdie told us about all these great opportunities to obtain an airport job without any experience like crop dusting or ground handling at major hubs around America.

How Many Hours Does It Take To Become a Flight Instructor?

To become a flight instructor, you need a minimum of 1500 hours. This is how many hours an instructor must have before they can start teaching students to fly. There are different ways to become a flight instructor, and most importantly, there are many places where instructors can find work.

Flight instruction is a great way to get paid to fly, and it's also a great way to give back to the aviation community. Instructors who give back by helping new pilots learn are essential in keeping the aviation industry thriving.

So now that we know how many hours it takes to become a pilot, what about becoming an instructor? It takes 1500 hours as well! But don't worry - there are plenty of opportunities out there for those who want to share their love of flying with others! We've got just the place for your journey.

How Many Hours Does It Take To Become a Recreational Pilot?

To become a recreational pilot, you need a minimum of 30 hours. This is how many hours an instructor must have before they can start teaching students to fly. There are different ways to become a recreational pilot, and most importantly, there are many places where instructors can find work.

Recreational pilot is a great way to get started in aviation, and it's also a great way to give back to the aviation community. Recreational pilots who give back by helping new pilots learn are essential in keeping the aviation industry thriving.

Tips To Get Your Pilot License In a Few Hours

Since you can't change how many hours it takes to become a pilot, here are some tips on how you can do that. These tips will help you get your license in a shorter amount of time so you can start flying sooner!

  • Fly as often as possible. The more hours you fly, the faster you'll progress.
  • Get a good instructor. A qualified instructor will help you learn quickly and safely.
  • Stay focused and motivated. Piloting is challenging but rewarding work. Practice makes perfect!
  • Start with the basics. Make sure you have a good understanding of the principles of flight before moving on to more advanced topics.
  • Get plenty of practice. The more time you spend in the air, the better pilot you'll become.
  • Take advantage of online resources. There are many great aviation resources available online, and most of
  • Take flight lessons at least two times per week if possible. The more often you fly, the better your skills will be, and that means faster progress towards becoming an FAA-certified private pilot!
  • Make sure to take written exams for each level of certification you are seeking. Many pilots make the mistake of thinking they don't have to study because they know how to fly. Wrong! The written exams test your knowledge of aviation regulations and procedures, so it's important to be prepared. They're more difficult than they seem at first glance, so don't underestimate them.
  • Get plenty of rest and eat healthy foods. This may seem like common sense, but it's important to be in top condition when you're flying. Fatigue and poor nutrition can lead to accidents, so make sure to take care of yourself both physically and mentally.
  • Find a mentor or instructor who can help you learn how many hours does it take to become a pilot. A good teacher will show how long each level takes, how long they recommend flying before moving up and when they think it is best for your needs.

Conclusion

So how many hours does it take after all? It varies depending on your experience, how often you fly, and how well you study for your written exams. But with a little bit of hard work and dedication, you can be on your way to becoming a pilot very soon!

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Richard J. Gross

Hi, my name is Richard J. Gross and I’m a full-time Airbus pilot and commercial drone business owner. I got into drones in 2015 when I started doing aerial photography for real estate companies. I had no idea what I was getting into at the time, but it turns out that police were called on me shortly after I started flying. They didn’t like me flying my drone near people, so they asked me to come train their officers on the rules and regulations for drones. After that, I decided to start my own drone business and teach others about the safe and responsible use of drones.

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