Flight Training Posts

How Long Does It Take to Become an Airline Pilot?

Airline Pilot Being Trained by Instructor

If you are like many of our students and considering a career change to become an airline pilot, you probably are asking yourself  “how long will it take?”

This question isn’t the easiest question to answer as there are so many variables, but we are going to cover it in detail and discuss those variables. 

One thing for sure is it no longer takes 6+ years to find yourself in the right seat of a regional airline. Gone are the days where airlines required that you have a 4 year degree. 

There is a huge demand for airline pilots currently, so even the major air carriers have dropped their 4 year degree requirement. This significantly opens the doors for people looking for a quick career change. 

The way the path used to look to become an airline pilot was go to a 4 year college, then work as an instructor for 2-3 years to build up your hours, and only then start working for a regional airline if you got a job offer. 

Fast Track Airline Pilot Training has changed this old outdated path forever. 

Complete Your Training – 7-9 Months

The first stage of becoming an airline pilot is getting through your training. This can be done in as little a 7-9 months. However this requires your full attention. You must be motivated and have your goal in mind to get finished as fast as possible. 

Your training will consist of obtaining your private pilot certificate, instrument rating, commercial pilot certificate, certified flight instructor certificate, certified flight instructor instrument rating, and mult-engine instructor rating. 

After all this you still have a ways to go to get to the airlines, but you are well on your way!

Work as a Certified Flight Instructor – 1-2 Years

After getting your certificates and ratings you need to reach ATP Minimums before you can fly for an airline. This means a significant amount of time building. The most common route is to be a certified flight instructor. 

It should be reasonably easy to obtain 80-100 hours per month working for a busy flight school which would put you at about 15 months to hit the ATP minimum of 1500 hours. 

Receive a Job Offer – Up to 3 Months

After reaching ATP minimums you will be qualified to fly for the airlines but you still need to get a job offer. The process of applying for, interviewing, and finally receiving a job offer can take as much as 3 months. Possibly even longer in some cases. 

This is why we strongly recommend our students take advantage of one of our Airline Partner Pathway Programs to ensure they have a job lined up prior to hitting their 1500 hours. 

Get a Class Date – Up to 6 Months

Once you are hired by an airline you will need to get Type Rated in their aircraft and get your ATP certificate. Most airlines provide this training as part of your employment, however classes can be as much as 6 months out. We have heard of people waiting as much as 10 months for a class date!

As you can see there are certainly a lot of variables. However if you stay on top of everything and are extremely motivated you could absolutely complete your training in 7 months, hit ATP minimums after instructing for just 12 months, have a job lined up and receive a class date within 3 months. This would put you from zero experience to flying right seat at an airline in just under 2 years!

Not bad for a career that starts around $90,000/year with top pay close to $500,000 per year. 

Let me know in the comments below what your thoughts are starting a new career as an airline pilot.

The Ultimate Airline Pilot Training Guide

Download The Ultimate Guide To Becoming an Airline Pilot for FREE!

Download The Ultimate Guide To Becoming an Airline Pilot for FREE!​

The Ultimate Airline Pilot Training Guide
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