CAREER OPTION : Commercial Pilot


Commercial Pilot

If you’re not afraid of heights, like travelling and want some adventure and energy in your career, here’s an option to choose from. A pilot is a person who flies or navigates an aircraft. It is a profession that demands great care and responsibility since you have to carry hundreds of lives to their destination safely. To carry this huge responsibility successfully, you have to be self-confident, committed, and patient and above all have an alert mind. You need to possess qualities such as the will power to work hard, adaptability to follow different time schedules and a good team spirit.

Although a number of crew members are there on board to share the responsibility with you, a pilot is the most important person without a doubt. If you aspire to become a pilot, you will need special training in areas like air navigation, meteorological reports, electronic and mechanic controls, critical circumstance management skills, and climatic condition knowledge. There are national and international organizations that aim at bringing forward world class pilots. In order to become a professional pilot, you have to complete your CPL (Commercial Pilot License) training in three stages from an established flying school.



  • To be eligible for becoming a commercial pilot, you should have qualifying marks in your H.S.C. (10+2) examinations with Mathematics and Physics as your core subjects.
  • Good communication skills, with English language being a core priority.
  • A fitness test is mandatory to ensure that you are healthy enough to carry such a huge responsibility over your shoulders.
  • The fitness test should ensure that you are free of any diseases that hampers normal function, have good eye sight, and that your organs are healthy enough to adjust to different climates and heights.


How to become a commercial pilot

In order to become a commercial pilot, one has to undergo the following procedures:

STEP 1: Attain a Student Pilot Licence (SPL) after registering at a flying club recognized by the government. In order to register, you need to submit a medical certificate, security clearance and bank guarantee. In certain institutions, you have to clear exams in subjects like air navigation, aviation rules, meteorology, and engine technology. Clearing these procedures give you an SPL certificate.

STEP 2: The second step to being a pilot is attaining a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), which requires sixty hours of flying out of which a flight instructor will accompany you for 15 hours. A minimum of 30 hours of solo flying, and 5 hours of cross country flying makes you eligible for the PPL exam. The exam consists of subjects like air regulation, meteorology, navigation, aircraft engine and seamanship. After clearing this exam, a medical fitness certificate is issued by the authorities to make you eligible for the PPL certificate.

STEP 3: After a PPL has been acquired, a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) is obtained. 250 hours of flying (inclusive of 60 hours of PPL flying) is necessary before being a commercial pilot. You have to clear your exams in subjects like air regulation, meteorology, navigation, technical planning, communication, radio and wireless transmission followed by a health test to attain a CPL certificate.


Best Institutions

  • Flying Training Institute – Calcutta
  • Government Aviation Training Institute – Bhubaneswar
  • Government Flying Training School Jakkur Aerodrome – Bangalore
  • Madhya Pradesh Flying Club – Madhya Pradesh

Internationally acclaimed institutions are:

  • Commercial Pilot School – Miami
  • CAE Oxford Aviation Academy – Multiple countries
  • Flight Safety academy – USA
  • Singapore Flying College – Singapore


Career Prospects

By attaining a CPL license, you can start you career as a Trainee/Co-Pilot or First Officer on board. Based on your seniority, flying experience and successful completion of various programs, you can become a Commander or Captain and then become a Senior Commander.



An average commercial pilot’s salary varies from Rs.40, 000 to Rs.1, 50,000 per month. However it can vary with the airline that you are working with and also the country in which you are working. You also get attractive remunerations and incentives like contributory provident fund, gratuity, medical facilities and free/concessional air tickets. Some companies also give facilities like housing, out-station allowances and free air tickets for close family members.