Simtech Aviation

How to Become an Airline/Professional Pilot?

Training to become an Airline Pilot vs flying as a hobby, is very similar. Everyone starts with the Private Pilot Certificate.

All the flight time is accumulative.

Simtech_Aviation_Pilot_Traing_Flight_School-01First Comes Private Pilot, then Comes a Career.

The first step to becoming a professional pilot is to earn a Private Pilot License in a Single-Engine Airplane. With a Private Pilot Certificate, you can fly an airplane as a hobby, only fly in good weather conditions, and split the cost of operating the aircraft with your passengers.


Simtech Aviation Aircraft Simulator Training

And you could obtain your Private Pilot License faster with a Simulator:

While working on your Private Pilot Certificate, you can use the simulator along with your flight training in the airplane. A simulator will help you finish your training closer to the FAA minimum required aeronautical experience. To learn more about how a simulator benefits your flight training.

Instrument Ratings = Flying in Bad Weather

Instrument_Rating_New_York_Simtech_Aviation-01The next step is to get an Instrument Rating. Adding this privilege to your Private Pilot Certificate, it allows you to fly in weather conditions where you are only relying on the airplane instruments and navigation systems. Using an ATD will give you 20 hours (using an Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD) for the experience. However, you are still limited to private pilot privileges.


Aeronautical Experience Required to Obtain an Pilot Instrument Rating in

In the Simulator (ATD), you can work on multiple skill sets, making your Instrument Training more efficient:

  • Instrument scanning
  • Practice using Advanced Avionics such as Garmin G1000 NXi
  • Brief the approach
  • PAUSE the scenario when you have a question and get the answers right away
  • Learn how to communicate with ATC and practice the proper IFR phraseology with a live person acting as ATC (not the instructor) without getting oversaturated with information. 

Commercial Pilot Rating

After building some flight experience, you can become a Commercial Pilot Single Engine. This pilot certificate allows you to get a job flying. While jobs are limited with a Commercial Pilot Single Engine, you could find a job flying aerial photography, banner towing, flying someone’s airplane, and flying cargo. You can use 50 hours in an Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD) for the required aeronautical experience for the Commercial Pilot Certificate.


Multi-Engine Privileges (Yes, more privileges!)

Adding Multi-engine privileges to a commercial certificate is relatively simple. Most of the time, you only need about 5 hours of flight time (that’s right, no need for a written exam!), but you will need to meet with an examiner to complete and pass a practical test.


Getting an Instructor Certificate

Most pilots will obtain an instructor certificate (CFI), one of the most common ways for pilots to build the experience needed to be hired to fly at the entry-level of a charter company (flying on-demand or a regional airline). Earning an Instructor Certificate requires two written exams and a challenging practice test. You could do a third written test to become an Advanced Ground Instructor. While you might not need the privileges, if you want to add a gold seal to your instructor certificate in the future, you’ll have to take the extra written exam.

Getting an Instrument Instructor Certificate

Adding an Instrument Instructor (CFI-I) requires a written exam. For an Instrument, Ground Instructor is an additional written test. This instructor rating allows you to train people for their instrument rating and conduct IPC.

Multi-Engine Instructor

Adding a Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI) rating is crucial because most jet operators pilot on-demand charters or regional airlines. They require you to have over 25 hours in multi-engine airplanes. For most people, flying a multi-engine aircraft gets pretty pricey, and you will build your multi-engine time instructing other pilots.

You’ve Accrued the Flight Hours. Now, you can work for a regional airline! 

Once you have about 1,500 flight hours, you could get hired for a regional airline and start flying an airliner aircraft such as an Embraer 145 or 170 or Canadair CRJ 700, which each requires training for each model of airplane. After you fly for the regional for over 5 years, you will start meeting the experiences needed to be selected to fly for a US Major airline. When you are ready to earn your ATP, the experience gained in an Aviation Training Device won’t matter as much as it did early on in your training. Still, you can use 25 hours for the aeronautical experience requirements (if you used an Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD).


Career Path Flow Chart