Updated: Sep 4
Becoming a pilot is a dream for many people, but it can seem like an insurmountable goal. However, with dedication and hard work, it is possible to achieve this dream and start a rewarding career in aviation. In this blog post, we'll outline the steps that a person should take to become a pilot and start their piloting career.
STEP 1: RESEARCH
The first step towards becoming a pilot is to research the different types of pilot licenses and certifications available. There are various types of licenses such as Private Pilot License (PPL), Commercial Pilot License (CPL), and Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL). Each license requires different levels of training and experience, so it's essential to understand the requirements of each before deciding which one to pursue. Additionally, it's crucial to research the job market and career opportunities available in the aviation industry.
A great place to research the job market of the aviation industry can be found at the link below. You can see various airlines and the number of pilots they employ, if they are hiring, general pay scales, and much more.
STEP 2: OBTAIN A MEDICAL CERTIFICATE
All pilots must pass a medical examination to obtain a medical certificate before they can act as Pilot In Command (PIC) of an airplane, or perform solo flight (because you would be the PIC on a solo flight). The medical examination is conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) designated medical examiner, and it assesses the pilot's physical and mental health to ensure they are fit to fly.
While it is not mandatory that you obtain a medical certificate prior to beginning your flight training, we highly suggest it! You would not want to get excited about the prospect of flying and spend a bunch of money only to find out down the road that you are unable to obtain a medical certificate. Get the medical first.
To find out which medical certificate you should get, click the link below. To find an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) in your area, click the second link.
STEP 3: BEGIN YOUR GROUND SCHOOL EDUCATION
To become a pilot, you must have a solid understanding of aviation theory, which is taught in ground school. Ground school education covers topics such as aircraft systems, aerodynamics, weather, navigation, and regulations. You can choose to attend an FAA-approved ground school program or opt for self-study using online courses or textbooks.
This is what wifiCFI was built for! You can study hundreds of hours of content covering all FAA Knowledge Areas at your own pace. Study courses include: Private Pilot, Instrument Rating, Commercial Pilot, and the Flight Instructor Ratings. Additionally, we provide fully customizable CFI, CFII, and MEI Checkride Lesson Plans and Teaching Course for those who are already Flight Instructors.
Literally everything you could possible need to pass your exams is all in one place on our website. Click the link below and enroll in any of our courses for free! Just click any of the blue "Study This Course >" buttons from our homepage.
STEP 4: FLIGHT TRAINING
Flight training is a critical component of becoming a pilot. Flight training includes flight lessons, flight simulator training, and flight time building. Flight lessons are conducted with a certified flight instructor and cover various aspects of flight such as takeoff, landing, and emergency procedures. Flight simulator training allows pilots to practice different scenarios, such as flying in adverse weather conditions. Flight time building involves accumulating flight hours to meet the requirements for the desired license or certification.
There are differing schools of thought on when you should begin your flight training. Some institutions believe students should fully complete their ground school studies before getting in the airplane. We tend to favor the practice of completing ground and flight training simultaneously to enhance the learning process and give meaning to your ground school studies.
STEP 5: PASS FAA WRITTEN AND PRACTICAL TESTS
After completing the required flight training, pilots must pass the FAA written and practical tests to obtain their license or certification. The FAA written test covers aviation theory, while the practical test involves a flight test with an FAA designated examiner to demonstrate the pilot's ability to operate an aircraft safely and effectively.
Typically, the tests are accomplished in the order seen below:
Private Pilot License
Commercial Pilot License
Flight Instructor Ratings (common but not mandatory)
Airline Transport Pilot License
Again, wifiCFI has been created to help students pass these tests with flying colors (no pun). Each and every study course includes a myriad of tools to help you with both the FAA Written Exams and Checkrides (the Practical Exams). Click the link below and enroll in any of our courses for free! Just click any of the blue "Study This Course >" buttons from our homepage.
STEP 6: BUILD EXPERIENCE
Building experience is critical to becoming a successful pilot. Pilots can build experience by flying in various weather conditions, flying different types of aircraft, and accumulating flight hours. Experienced pilots are in high demand, and building experience is necessary to progress in a piloting career.
Very rarely will pilots be able to find flying careers immediately after obtaining their Commercial Pilot License. This is why most pilots will continue and add their Flight Instructor Ratings. This allows them to teach new aviation students, build flight hours, and finally start making money in their aviation careers.
STEP 7: ADVANCE YOUR CAREER
Pilots can advance their career by obtaining additional certifications or licenses, such as an Airline Transport Pilot License, which allows them to fly for airlines. Additionally, pilots can pursue specialized training in areas such as cargo or firefighting, which can open up new career opportunities.
In conclusion, becoming a pilot and starting a piloting career requires dedication, hard work, and a passion for aviation. By following the steps outlined above, anyone can achieve their dream of becoming a pilot and embark on a fulfilling and rewarding career in the aviation industry.
wifiCFI MOBILE APP
Get started on your aviation journey for free today by downloading the free wifiCFI Mobile App. Just click the link below and follow the simple instructions!