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Turn your dream of becoming a commercial pilot into reality.

How to Become a Commercial Airline Pilot

Do You Have Your Private Pilot's License?

If you already have your PPL then you can jump straight into learning more about getting your Commercial Pilots Licence through our specific CPL Courses. If you don’t have any form of licence currently then you’ll need to go through our Fastrack program, which will take you from having your first experiences flying a plane, to getting your commercial pilots licence.

What Sort of Course Should You Take?

There’s a lot of different ways you can get your CPL, with different course types all designed to work differently. At Aeros we favourn the approach that gives you the most flexibility, freedom, and ability to continue earning whilst you learn. That means you don’t have to give up your entire life to make your dreams of becoming a commercial pilot come true.

Why Would You Want to Become an Airline Pilot?

Being a pilot is an excellent career choice both financially and emotionally. While it requires dedication, hard work, and significant training, the profession offers a multitude of rewards and opportunities.


Being an airline pilot provides an unparalleled sense of adventure and exploration. Pilots have the opportunity to travel to various destinations around the globe, experiencing different cultures, landscapes, and people. For those who seek a career that offers constant change, being an airline pilot is an ideal choice.


The overall demand for airline pilots has increased over recent years. This increase translates into excellent job stability and prospects with competitive salaries and benefits packages. There are many opportunities for career advancement within the airline industry, so the potential for growth is high.


As a pilot you develop strong leadership and teamwork skills, as you are responsible for leading including co-pilots, cabin crew and ground staff to ensure a smooth flight. These skills are transferable to any job and will make you a valuable asset in any career path if you so choose.

Becoming a Pilot

If travelling to different places around the world along with a very rewarding career sounds appealing to you, then consider a career as an airline pilot.


To become an airline pilot you need to go through specialist training and gain many hours of flight experience. This article will discuss the steps you need to take in order to become a commercial airline pilot and whether the career is right for you.

To become an airline pilot you must first undergo the correct training and obtain the various licences you need. There are several different ways you can go about training to be a pilot, these steps will guide you through the process.


First research as much as you can into what it takes to become a pilot to decide if it’s the right career for you. Speak to other people in the industry and find out their experiences first hand in the job. One way of gaining a little hands-on experience is to take a trial flight lesson, which is something we offer. This will demonstrate to you what it’s like flying a light aircraft.

Before any training can begin, a class 1 medical certificate needs to be acquired. The certificate is valid for 12 months for people under 40 years of age and can take up to four hours to complete. Included within the test is an assessment of your medical history, a physical examination, eyesight test, lung function test, ECG and a blood/urine test.


Now you need to decide on your preferred training route. You could go for a modular approach, as offered in our Fastrack modular course. This is a structured training course which takes you from zero to fATPL, CPL, MEP & MEIR. Fastrack has all of the advantages of a fully integrated course but at the same time remaining completely modular. You, as the student, will remain completely in control of your own schedule around work and financial commitments. The modular course is conducted on a pay as you learn basis.


Alternatively to this is a completely integrated training course which combines all parts of the training and you learn with a single provider.


Regardless of which training path you take, the first step to becoming an airline pilot is obtaining a Private Pilot License (PPL). To acquire a PPL, you must meet the minimum age requirement (varies by country), pass a medical examination, and complete the necessary flight training from a certified flight school. The licence includes both knowledge and practical flight hours.


After obtaining a PPL, focus on building flight experience. Accumulate flight hours by flying regularly, participating in additional training courses, and volunteering for opportunities to gain exposure to different aircraft types and flying conditions. This experience will contribute to your overall competence as a pilot.


The rest of the course is as follows, once the PPL has been obtained:


  • Air Transport Pilots Licence (ATPL)

  • Structured Hours Building - 90 hours 2 seat Single Engine Piston (SEP) Aircraft

  • Instrument Rating Restricted (IRR)

  • Night Rating (NR)

  • Commercial Pilots Licence (CPL)

  • Multi Engine Piston rating (MEP) 

  • Multi Engine Instrument rating (MEIR)

  • Upset Recovery Training (UPRT)

How to Become a Commercial Airline Pilot

How Do I Fund my Training?

Training to become a pilot can be an expensive endeavour, luckily there are a range of ways you can support yourself financially. Finance is usually one of the biggest concerns from students learning to fly.


The modular pay-as-you-learn course we offer can help students spread the cost of their learning across a longer period of time.


One option to fund your course is a bank loan, due to current interest rates this may seem a very expensive option especially in the short term. Your new career as an airline pilot has the potential to pay over a 6 figure salary. So while the loan may seem a lot now, it will become much more affordable once you have qualified.


Modular courses have the unique advantage of offering the student the ability to work as they learn and therefore pay in instalments when enrolling on modules. Complete flexibility is offered by these modular courses and everything can be done at your own pace.

How Long Does it Take to Become an Airline Pilot?

The Fastrack modular pilot training programme can be completed in as little as 18 months on a full time basis. Our US partnership allows this acceleration in training time as it utilises the clearer skies of Florida and better weather conditions.


Each part of the training is broken down into separate modules all of which have a certain amount of flight time which must be completed. The amount of hours is as follows:


  • Private Pilots Licence (PPL) - 45 hours 2 seat Single Engine Piston (SEP) Aircraft 

  • Air Transport Pilots Licence (ATPL) - 14 Theory Subjects (Optional residential or Distance course)

  • Structured Hours Building - 90 hours 2 seat Single Engine Piston (SEP) Aircraft

  • Instrument Rating Restricted (IRR) 15 hours 4 seat Single Engine Piston (SEP) Complex Aircraft

  • Night Rating (NR) - 5 hours 4 seat Single Engine Piston (SEP) Aircraft

  • Commercial Pilots Licence (CPL) - 15 hours 4 seat Single Engine Piston (SEP) Complex Aircraft

  • Multi Engine Piston rating (MEP) - 6 Hours Multi Engine Piston (MEP) Aircraft Diamond DA42 & 7 hours ground school 

  • Multi Engine Instrument rating (MEIR) - 15 hours Diamond DA42 & 20 hours Alsim AL42

  • Upset Recovery Training (UPRT) - 3 hours Single Engine Piston (SEP) Aerobatic Aircraft

What Career Support Do Aeros Offer?

We have graduates who have gone on to have careers all over the world and now work for airlines such as British Airways, Ryanair, easyJet, Emirates, Swissair and many more.


Through our partnerships within the industry we are able to provide specialist advice and support to all of our students. This will enable you to develop your career in aviation and broaden your skill set. More employment opportunities will arise from this, with access to careers in both aviation and unrelated fields such as education and logistics.


We aim to respond to your career development needs and we are always reviewing the courses we offer based on the opportunities available within the aviation industry. Our careers team is able to provide you with the support needed to develop your career further and provide coaching in a range of different areas.

How Do I Know What Training is Right for Me?

The members of our sales team are on hand to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the booking process.


Every student is different, you may want a more modular approach to your learning or be able to study full time. Whatever your requirements, our team will guide you and create a plan which is completely bespoke.


Your training will work around you and your lifestyle, whether you earn and learn at the same time or complete the course full time. Based on your initial consultation, where our team will check your current skill set, a training plan will be created which is completely unique to you.

Do You Offer Trial Lessons?

One way of deciding if a career as a commercial airline pilot is for you, is having a go at flying with our trial flights. These are available for 1 or 2 passengers at either 30 or 60 minutes long.


Firstly you will have a safety briefing which will help familiarise yourself with the aircraft that you will be flying. Once this is complete you will head for the runway to set off for your experience. Being in the air will offer you amazing views of the British countryside and the local towns.


Once you are comfortable you will be able to take control of the plane under the supervision of your instructor. This is the perfect time to get acquainted with flying and get a feel for it. Flying might be something you are considering for the future, if so then a trial lesson is the perfect starting point.


As a bonus, the flight time can be logged and counted towards your flying experience should you wish. These hours help you towards obtaining your Private Pilots Licence.

Do You Have Open Days?

Open days give you the chance to come and meet us in person to see what we are about. You’ll be able to meet fellow students and pilots who will be able to provide you with first hand knowledge of what the training consists of.


Talking to pilots and students directly, will help you in your decision making process and allow you to see whether pilot training is right for you. Dates become available throughout the year, so please contact us to find out more.

About Aeros

Aeros was established in 1986 with the purpose of providing modular flight training courses in the United Kingdom. We have bases throughout the country including Coventry, Cardiff, Gloucester, Wellesbourne and Leeds. Our academies are open 7 days a week and provide courses to suit everyone regardless of their flying experience.

We take students from zero flight experience to employment ready is as little time as 18 months. Courses such as CPL and MCC/JOC are also on offer for more experienced pilots who are further in their training journey. Our students receive tuition on an individual basis allowing us to tailor the 

Get In Touch

Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you on your journey to becoming a commercial airline pilot. Our team will be on hand to guide you through every step of the journey towards being fully qualified.

Academy open days

Our doors are always open for a chat and a cuppa, but our open days are special. You'll get the chance to speak with students, instructors, and our first officer graduates who fly for the airlines, all while touring one of our academies and seeing the training aircraft up close. Keep an eye on our news section and social media for information on our upcoming open days.

Talk to our Career Advisors

Our Career and Training Advisory Team are always on hand to talk you through your training options and offer clear and concise advice on your flight training journey. You can get in touch with them directly by contacting any of our academies here.

Our students success

Our graduates fly for a huge variety of airlines and we feel privileged to have helped so many students achieve the role of First Officer and start their airline career. Our graduates fly for British Airways, Ryanair, easyJet, Turkish, Norwegian and Emirates to name just a few.

Aeros Graduates Success

What is the Average Wage of a Commercial Pilot?

It’s no secret that a career as an airline pilot offers a great financial reward. There is plenty of opportunity to progress within your career, as well as different airlines paying different salaries.


A medium sized airline will offer a starting salary of anywhere from £54,000 to £75,000 for a captain. This is after you’ve gained a few years of experience as a pilot and worked your way up. The salary for a newly qualified pilot is around the £28,000 mark, this will increase quickly as you gain experience.


Once you’ve gained enough experience, you can expect to earn up to £58,000 as a second officer and up to £75,000 as a first officer. The salaries listed are a guide only and may differ depending on the company you work for.


Pilots are unique in that they get an additional payment for their time in the air. This means longer flights will often earn more money than their shorter counterparts. You can also expect your salary to rise with each year you work at the company as well as a competitive benefits package.

Contact Us

Our friendly team are available to discuss how you can start your commercial pilot career with our modular course and guidance

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