How To Become Pilot in USA

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How To Become Pilot in USAHow To Become Pilot in USA: Pilot jobs are one of the most exciting and well paid jobs in the world, to become a pilot in USA you need to complete 3 steps, 1st step is to complete your education, you need to learn very well about all the concepts related to aeronautics studies so that you can pass FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) exam, 2nd step is to gain experience and increase your flight hours so that you can be eligible to take FAA exam and 3rd step is about getting license to become a pilot. In this article we have discussed about how you can become a pilot in USA and different types of pilot career options which you can pursue and types of license you will need to become a pilot.

How To Become Pilot in USA – There are 3 Steps

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1st Step: Education

  • Pass out from high school with mathematics and physics subject: To get enrollment in fight school or college you need to pass high school with mathematics and physics subject because these subjects will provide you important basic knowledge and help you to understand further concepts.
  • Do your graduation in related discipline (optional): After high school enroll yourself into 4 year degree program in related discipline, or pursue your studies in Aeronautics College or you can pursue engineering course or do graduation in mathematics or physics.

2nd Step: Apply in flight school

After your graduation or high school get admission into recognized flight school, you will get here technical knowledge and skills according to the Federal Aviation Administration, flight school will prepare you for the FAA written exam and FAA practical exam. There are commonly two types of training program according to FAA, choose below which kind of training you want to take:

  • Part 61 Flight Training: This program generally offers by small flight schools. Part 61 is more flexible compare to part 141; part 61 training program is adjustable according to the student need and time. It works according to the student’s schedule which is beneficial for college students as well as full and part time working people. Part 61 training program take longer time to complete due to its flexibility.
  • Part 141 Flight Training: This program generally offers by universities and professional flight training schools. Part 61 and part 141 are almost same the only difference is that part 141 is more structured and efficiently training program compare to part 61. Part 141 training program follow syllabus which is approved by the FAA. Part 141 take less duration to complete compare to part 61.

3rd Step: FAA License

To become pilot third step is to obtain the pilot license, pilot license (certificate) issued by FAA (Federal Aviation Administration); you need to give and pass written test, practical test and medical test in order to obtain the pilot license.

  • Medical test: Medical certificate is necessary document in order to get a pilot license, to get medical certificate you need to make an appointment with your aviation medical examiner. Doctor simply asks some question related to your health and do some tests to check your health condition. There are 3 types of medical certificate; first class medical certificate is necessary for those who are applying to become an airline pilots and this medical exam is most restrictive; second class medical certificate is necessary for those who are applying to become a commercial pilots and third class medical certificate is necessary for those who are applying for student pilot license, third class medical certificate can be obtained easily.
  • Written test: You need to pass written exam which is conducted by FAA, written exam contain 3 tests named General test which has 60 questions, Air-frame test which contains 100 questions and Aviation Power plant test which contains 100 questions; time given to complete each written test is 2 hours. The minimum passing marks is 70% in each of the 3 tests, if you fail in the exam you can be reappear after 30 days.
  • Practical test: You need to give practical exam it also taken by FAA; this practical test contains both oral and flight test. Before giving practical exam you must have minimum 40 hours flight time, after passing the practical test you will get your pilot license.

Types of Pilot License and Criteria

There are different types of pilot licenses and their eligibility is also different from each other, we have mentioned below list of pilot licenses:

Remote pilot license: Remote pilot license is to fly Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and its weight must be between 0.55 lbs to 55 lbs.

Non part 61 flight training certificate holders:

  • Required age is at least 16 years old.
  • Individual able to read, speak, write and understand the English language.
  • Individual must pass required FAA test.

Part 61 flight training certificate holders:

  • Individual must hold a certificate issued under 14 CFR, part 61.
  • Individual must have flight review within the previous 24 months.

Student pilot license: obtaining student pilot license is easy since it doesn’t require many rules.

  • Required age is at least 16 years old.
  • Student able to read, speak, write and understand the English language.
  • Student need to fly the aircraft solo only.
  • Student must pass a medical test conducted by the aviation medical examiner.
  • Student must have basic aeronautical knowledge.

Sport pilot license: Sport pilot license is to fly only light-sport Aircraft.

  • Required age is at least 16 years old.
  • Individual able to read, speak, write and understand the English language.
  • Individual must have at least 20 hours of flying experience, in which he/she must cover 15 hours with dual instruction, must cover 2 hours with cross-country dual instruction and must cover 5 hours solo flying.
  • Individual must pass FAA exam.
  • Individual must hold a valid medical certificate.

Private pilot license: Private pilot license doesn’t allow you to fly with passengers, an individual can only fly for pleasure or personal business purpose and you are not also permitted to use your private pilot license in commercial activities.

  • Required age is at least 17 years old.
  • Individual able to read, speak, write and understand the English language.
  • Individual must pass FAA exam.
  • Individual must have a valid medical certificate from an Aviation Medical Examiner.
  • Individual must pass a computerized aeronautical test.
  • Individual must have a minimum 40 hours of flying experience.

Recreational pilot license: You can only fly single-engine aircraft and can’t carry more than one passenger and you can’t fly between sunset and sunrise and not above the 10,000 feet.

  • Must be at least 17 years old.
  • Individual able to read, speak, write and understand the English language.
  • Must have 30 hours of flying experience.
  • Must pass FAA exam.

Commercial pilot license: Commercial pilot license allows you to work with commercial airlines.

  • Required age is at least 18 years old.
  • Individual must have private pilot license.
  • Individual able to read, speak, write and understand the English language.
  • Individual must have 250 hours of flying experience.
  • Individual must pass FAA exam.

Airline transport pilot license: Airline transport pilot licence is the highest level of pilot license in civil aviation.

  • Individual must have at least 23 years old.
  • Individual able to read, speak, write and understand the English language.
  • Individual must pass FAA exam.
  • Individual must have flying experience of 1500 hours.
  • If individual is former military pilot then he / she will need only 750 hours of flying experience.

Different Career Path as Pilot and their Salary

Here we listed popular pilot career options and their salary:

  • Agricultural Pilot: Agricultural pilots also known as AG pilots they operate special designed aircraft to work related farming industry such as crop dusters, aerial applicators, hauling feed, planting seeds, transporting cargo to market and so on. To become agricultural pilot you will need commercial pilot license. As far as salary of agricultural pilot is concern, initially you can earn about $20,000 to $24,000 per year and after gaining relevant experience you can earn about $75,000 to $90,000 per year.
  • Air Tour Pilot: Air tour pilots are take tourist to different tourist places. To become air tour pilot you will need commercial pilot license. Salary of air tour pilot would be initially around $90,000 per year.
  • Air Show Stunt Pilot: As a name suggested air show stunt pilots entertain people to show them aerial manoeuvres with aircraft. To become air show stunt pilot you need to complete the Aerobatic Competency Evaluation (ACE) program. Salary of air show stunt pilot would be initially around $90,000 annually.
  • Banner Towing Pilot: You may have seen advertisement / promotional banner in the air which towing on one end of the aircraft, this kind of job banner towing pilots do. To become banner towing pilots you will need commercial pilot license. Earnings of banner towing pilots would be initially around $25 to $60 per hour.
  • Air Cargo Pilot: Air cargo pilots are those who deliver packages, freight, parcels and perishable items to their destination. Air cargo is very valuable sector; thru air cargo around 40% of world trade happens. Variety of companies such as FedEx, UPS and DHL offers air cargo services. To become air cargo pilot you will need commercial pilot license. Salary of air cargo pilot would be initially around $1,00,000 per year.
  • Corporate Pilot: Corporate pilots are those who work for corporate they fly corporate jets and private aircraft. To become corporate pilot you will need commercial pilot license, you can earn initially around $1,00,000 per year.
  • Drone pilot: Drone pilots are those who fly unmanned aircraft for aerial photography & videography, aerial surveillance and more. To become a drone pilot you must have remote pilot license, you can earn initially around $40,000 per year.
  • Fire Fighting Pilot: Fire fighting pilots also known as aerial fire fighter they drop fire retardant from a fixed wing aircraft to extinguish the fire mainly it is use for wildfire and huge fire flame. To become fire fighting pilot you must have commercial pilot license, salary of fire fighting pilot would be initially around $1,00,000 per year.
  • Flight Instructor: Flight instructors are those who teach other people to fly aircraft, they also known as certified flight instructor (CFI). Flight instructor can teach in flight school, aviation colleges and airlines. To become flight instructor you will need commercial pilot license. As a flight instructor you can earn initially around $80,000 annually.
  • Government Service Pilot: Government service pilots work for government agencies such as DEA, FBI, homeland security, transport and so on. To become government service pilot you will need commercial pilot license. As a government service pilot initially you can earn $1,00,000 annually.
  • Law Enforcement Pilot: Law enforcement pilots use aircraft for maintaining the law & order by look after search & rescue, air patrol and control large scale of public events and more. To become government law enforcement pilot you will need commercial pilot license. Salary of law enforcement pilot would be initially around $1,00,000 annually.
  • Airline Pilot: The most common pilot career is to become airline pilot you can take a job in any airline (as per the vacancy). To become an airline pilot you will need commercial pilot license. Salary of airline pilot would be initially around $1,00,000 annually.
  • Media Pilot: Media / news pilots fly media helicopters that provide us news on traffic, live incident and more. To become media pilot you will need commercial pilot license. Salary of media pilot would be initially around $70,000 annually.
  • Medical and Air Ambulance Pilots: Medical and air ambulance pilots are those who take serious condition patients to hospital, they also transport organs and work in extreme emergency situations. To become medical and air ambulance pilots you will need commercial pilot license. As a medical and air ambulance pilot you can earn initially around $90,000 annually.

Types of Pilot

  • Sport pilot: Sport pilots are those who fly only light sport Aircraft.
  • Student pilot: Those pilots who can only fly solo, they cannot carry any passenger.
  • Airline transport pilot: Airline transport pilot act as pilot in command on air carriers’ aircraft.
  • Recreational pilot: Recreational pilots only fly single engine aircraft and cannot carry more than one passenger (non-commercial).
  • Private pilot: Private pilots can only fly for their own pleasure or personal business purpose.
  • Commercial pilot: Commercial pilots work for passenger airlines.

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