Pilots are required to undergo rigorous training before they are allowed to fly commercial airliners.
How old do you have to get to become a pilot? Whether you are an aspiring pilot, or just keen to learn more about the process in general, we have everything you need to know to become a pilot – including the age limits and restrictions that you need to keep in mind.
What Age Do I Have To Be To Become A Pilot?
The FAA requires pilots to be at least 21 years old to obtain their license.
They also require applicants to pass a medical exam, complete flight school, and earn a minimum number of hours of flying time.
There are other requirements too, such as passing a written test and demonstrating proficiency in aeronautical knowledge. Pilots who want to continue working after retirement must renew their licenses every five years.
What Does An Airline Pilot Do?
A pilot is responsible for safely operating an aircraft. This includes monitoring the weather conditions, maintaining proper speed, altitude, and direction, and keeping track of fuel consumption.
The pilot may also be required to perform certain tasks, such as landing the plane, if necessary.
Pilots are often called upon to make emergency landings when something goes wrong with the aircraft.
In addition, they may be asked to assist passengers with any problems they experience during flights.
What Is It Like To Fly As A Commercial Pilot?
Flying as a commercial pilot can be very rewarding. You will enjoy many benefits, including:
- Flexible schedules – Many airline jobs offer flexible schedules so that you can work around your personal life.
- Great pay – Average salaries range from $60,000 to over $100,000 per year.
- Work-life balance – There are plenty of opportunities to take breaks while still earning a living.
- Job security – If you’re good at what you do, there’s a high chance that you’ll find yourself employed by one company for decades.
How to Become an Airline Pilot
If you wish to pursue a career as an airline pilot, there is no set route for how to become one. The first step would be to apply to an aviation school.
There are many schools around the country that offer various levels of education, from basic ground school courses to specialized programs like pilot training.
Once you have completed your coursework, it’s time to begin applying for jobs with airlines and other companies that operate aircraft.
Depending on what type of job you’re looking for, you may need to go through additional training, including obtaining a private pilot certificate.
Once you’ve been hired by an airline, you’ll work towards earning your wings. This can take anywhere from two weeks to several months, depending on the airline and its needs.
Requirements For Becoming An Airline Pilot
To become a pilot, you will need to meet certain qualifications. These include:
- Having a valid driver’s license and clean driving record
- Passing a background check
- Completing a physical exam
- Being able to read, write, speak, understand English, and perform arithmetic calculations
- Meeting FAA standards for vision and hearing
- Having a high school diploma or GED
- Having at least two years of college or technical school
- Having the required flight experience
- Earning a private pilot certificate
Commercial pilots are those who fly planes for business purposes. They are responsible for transporting passengers and cargo across long distances.
In order to become a commercial pilot, you will need a commercial pilot certificate.
You can earn this certification by completing a multi-year program at a certified flight training school.
Once you have earned your pilot’s license, you can then apply for employment with any company that operates passenger or cargo flights.
Requirements for becoming a commercial pilot vary according to state regulations. Some states require only a single year of flight training while others require three years of schooling.
Requirements for becoming a military pilot differ slightly from civilian pilots. Military pilots are usually enlisted personnel who serve in the armed forces.
They are not allowed to hold a commercial pilot certificate. Instead, they receive a military pilot certificate.
Requirements for becoming an air traffic controller vary from state to state. Most states require a bachelor’s degree in aviation science or a related field.
Many states also require a minimum number of hours of flight instruction.
Requirements for becoming an airline pilot vary from airline to airline.
Each airline has different requirements for hiring new employees. It is important to research each airline before applying for a position.
What Are Some Other Airline Related Jobs?
Most airlines hire pilots based on their qualifications. However, there are some positions available that are not directly related to flying and can be useful if you are not yet in a position to find work as a pilot. Some of these jobs include:
- Flight Attendants – Flight attendants help passengers prepare for takeoff and land. They serve meals and drinks and clean up after each passenger.
- Flight Engineers – Flight engineers monitor the aircraft’s systems and ensure it runs smoothly. They also work with the pilots to maintain safe altitudes and speeds (see also “How Does A Constant Speed Prop Work?“).
- Air Traffic Controllers – Air traffic controllers guide planes through airports and airspace. They communicate with both ground-based personnel and incoming aircraft.
- Airport Ground Crews – Airport ground crews take care of airport grounds, including cleaning runways and parking lots.
- Aviation Maintenance Technicians – Aviation maintenance technicians repair aircraft engines and other parts of the plane. They also inspect the plane’s exterior and interior components.
- Aviation Safety Inspectors – Aviation safety inspectors review accident reports from all over the world to determine what went wrong. They then use this information to improve aviation safety standards.
What to Know About the Mandatory Pilot Retirement Age
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sets mandatory retirement ages for pilots. These age limits are set to protect the public.
The FAA requires that most pilots retire no later than 65 years old. Pilots who wish to continue working must do so under special circumstances.
Pilots who fly for more than 10 years may request to continue working beyond the mandatory retirement age.
This exception is granted when the pilot demonstrates exceptional ability and experience.
In addition, the FAA will consider granting exceptions for those pilots who have flown for at least 20 years.
Pilots who fly for less than 10 years are not eligible for any exceptions. If a pilot does not qualify for one of the exceptions, he or she cannot continue working past the mandatory retirement age.
Becoming a pilot takes many years of training and dedication, and can be a long process that begins early in life.
Whether you have reached the minimum age of 21 or not, there are plenty of things you can do to start your pilot journey, as well as a range of career options across the aviation industry.