The process of becoming a pilot is indeed a laborious and meticulous one. But first, let us get the terms right. An airline pilot comes under the commercial banner given that they are providing their services to private airlines but a commercial pilot need not necessarily be an airline one as he may be a cargo, backcountry or even a tour pilot. Thus, a commercial pilot is certified by the FAA to charge for his services while an airline pilot has to gain additional certifications among other things to be able to charter a scheduled flight.

Now, the process of becoming a pilot is very straightforward. You will have to be eligible in all aspects in order to be considered suitable to become one. The steps to be followed are:

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1) Conform to the eligibility requirements

An applicant should be a minimum of 18 years of age, must have studied maths and physics in high school, and should be able enough to converse and read well in English. The next part includes having 250 hours flying experience to gain the certification; we’ll get to that eventually.


2) The required medical certification

Before becoming a commercial pilot one must have a private pilot certification. The minimum health requirement is to have a 2nd class health certification. This is a very important step which will decide your eligibility for the commercial pilot license, one cannot lack here as no compromises are made.

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3) The FAA written exam

Apart from meeting the eligibility criteria and qualifying in the health criterion, you will also have to take a written examination. Once you are done through this then you can focus all your energies to gaining the required experience and field hours. This also serves as a good refresher to all that you’ve done so far.


4) The actual flying part

As mentioned earlier, you will require 250 hours of flying out of which 100 hours will be of pilot-in-command flying, another 50 hours of cross-country flying and 10 hours of instrument training too.


5) The final checkride

You might have a fair idea of what all this entails. The final verbal exam followed by a quick flight to check your maneuverer skills and what not. And, you are good to go! Professionalism and precision are paramount for you to become a certified commercial pilot. All the best.