Pathways to Becoming a Pilot

If you are reading this then there is a good chance that you are the type of person who has either openly or secretly desired to fly and become a pilot. You imagine to yourself how amazing it must feel to be in the open blue soaring high above the rest of the world. Your daydreams aren’t far from reality. Flying is as exciting as it seems and the pathways to becoming a pilot are wide open for the taker. In the following text I will discuss various options or ways to become a pilot but before I do that you need to ask yourself if you want to become a pilot for recreation or for a profession. What you want to do with your license will be a good indication of which pathway to pursue in order to obtain your license. 

Recreational Pilot

Private Instructor – There are many private certified instructors out there who would be more than happy to receive your money for pilot flight and ground training. Most often they will offer competitive rates because they know that you have easy access to shop around and get the best price. Working with a private instructor can be a great way to go for simplicity and getting you license quickly and at a good price. You will often be learning in the instructor’s aircraft or one they recommend renting. They are usually good at working with your schedule allowing you to build up your required flight hours as quickly or slowly as you prefer. This is a great option if you just want your private pilot’s license (PPL) with either VFR or IFR ratings. With this license you’ll be prepared for recreational flying, unable to receive money or hire as a pilot, but fully prepared for flying on your time when you want and able to taxi, fly, and read airport barricades properly.

Flight School – Using the traditional method of going through a flight school can be a great way to earn your license as well. Many Colleges and Universities offer a pilot program with their own fleet of aircraft. Whether you go through a University or an established flight school you can expect quality training but at a set price that is usually nonnegotiable.

Professional Pilot

Military – Obtaining all the necessary licenses, certifications, ratings, hours, and experience to become a professional pilot as a career can be very expensive and exhausting. If you know that flying air crafts is what you want to do long term then one of the best options is to become a pilot in the military. Becoming a pilot this way requires dedication and years of service in the military but it also means that the military will foot the bill for all training, licenses, and hours to give you the leg up to successfully fulfill your dream of flying for a career. To try and earn all the licenses and pay for all the training and hours of flight and ground school on your own would require a massive amount of personal funds. It is possible to do it and many professional pilots do go the civilian route but it can be hard and they find themselves competing against those with military experience for the same job.

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