Flight School Cost
How much does flight school cost? Which option is best for you? In this article well breakdown each option, and the cost for each. Here are the high points:
Private Financing (Through flight school)
Private bank financing is where the student works directly with a private financial instatution to fund their flight school cost. This option is the fastest way to land a spot at the airlines or in a corporate jet. This is due to less interferance by college & military regulation. With this option pilots are able to obtain an entry level pilot job in 7-9 months. These jobs include flight instructor, pipeline patrol, skydiving, and aerial surveying. This is a critical pivot point for the pilot as now the pilot is done paying for flight time (flight training) and is now getting paid to fly.
After the pilot has landed an entry level job, the name of the game is building flight time. The flight time required to be qualified for the airlines is 1250-1500 hours. At US Flight Co our flight instructors obtain this flight time in 12 to 18 months on average. This means on average individuals with 0 experience are qualified for the airlines in 19 to 27 months.
Beware of schools advertising being qualified for the airlines in anytime shorter than this. Some schools may say 9 months or less to be qualified for the airlines. This is not true. At 9 months you can be qualified for an entry level job, not the airlines.
Flight school cost for this option can vary depending on your credit score, if you do not have great credit co-signers can help. The private financing accelerated time line allows individuals to get a higher paying pilot job faster. This in turn allows them to pay off their debit faster. Major Airlines have dropped the 4 year college degree requirement. This is another big advantage for the private financing option.
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College Flight School Cost
College for a professional pilot degree is a great option if you are looking to obtain a degree while obtaining your commercial pilots license. This option on average will take 4-5 years to become qualified for the airlines or a corporate pilot position. At the time of this writing (03/2022) University of North Dakota (a highly recoginized flight school) charges 72,376 dollars for the flight portion. This does not include the academic portion (degree).
Financing for flight school college can be done through FASFA (for accredited colleges). The overall flight school cost and repayment terms will on many variables such as the school you go to and the terms of your FASFA financing.
With the college flight training option you will be at the mercy of the schools curriclum. This can be viewed as positively or negitvely depending on your mission. Their are many well put together schools avialable. Not the quickest nor the most cost effective way to get to the airlines, but you will end up with a 4 year degree.
Military Flight School Cost
The last option we will discuss is military flight training. The beauty of this option is the low flight training cost. In some cases you can get all your flight school cost paid for. The downside are the stipulations. In short you must serve in the armed forces to recieve any compensation towards your flight training. Their are two different ways to get your flight experience using the military.
Join the military for a pilot position (fighter, cargo, etc)
Serve in the military and complete your training through a civilian or academic flight school.
The requirements to join the military as a pilot can be found at the individual branches websites
- Air Force Pilot Information
- Army Pilot Information
- Navy Pilot Information
- Coast Guard Pilot Information
The flight experience you gain in the military can be used towards obtaining a civilian flight job (airlines or corporate pilot). When the service member is ready to enter the civilian world of flying they would apply or transfer their military flight experience to their FAA pilots license. The level of FAA licensure the service member will gain will depend on their military experience.
This option is great for existing service members or individuals looking to fly for the military. Existing service members have access to multiple military funding options for civilian pilot training. Information on programs and funding can be found at the Veterans Affairs website:
Flight School Cost Summary
If your looking to go to the airlines going the private finacing route is a solid option. My recommendation is to at least apply and see what terms are avialable. If your credit is not the greatest you can have a co-signer help. Becoming an airline pilot is a great choice for amount invested for career earnings. See Airline pilot salary information below:
This article is intented to help airline oriented students. US Flight Co specializes in airline pilot training. Our largest difference maker is our support team. We asign a student advacote to each student FROM DAY ONE. This student advocate helps you navigate all the difficlutes of flight training. In short its like having a personalized assistant standing by.
I encourge you to check out our programs. We have three locations in the midwest, and provide training to in state and out of state students. Thanks for reading!