The Best Ways To Pay For Flight School

If you want to learn how to fly a plane, you can get started through flight schools.

A flight school will teach you everything you need to know to operate a private aircraft safely. You’ll learn about all the systems on board including navigation, communication, weather, and even emergency procedures.

The Best Ways To Pay For Flight School

You’ll be able to practice your skills by taking flying lessons so that you can earn your pilot certificate. Once you have earned your licence, you can apply for a job at charter companies or airlines.

However, becoming a pilot is expensive, and flight school is one of the biggest expense in your aviation career, so how do you pay for it?

The Best Ways To Pay For Flight School

If you are planning to become an airline pilot, you will need at least 1,500 hours in the air, and a number of different rating qualifications.

Each hour is expensive, and so are the certificates. Luckily, there are many ways to finance your flight training.

Save Money

The best way to pay for all your pilot training is to save up money. However, this will mean you may need to delay your training for some time.

In addition, it can take a lot longer to complete your training.

But it also gives you a chance to pay for flight school without any debt after you finish.

The best option is to save a large chunk of money before you even start your training, so when you know already in your teens that you want to become an airline pilot, then start saving now!

Alternatively, you could also combine this method, for example, pay for one certificate with saved money, and use any of the other options we talk about below for the rest of your flight training.

Get A Loan

Another option is to take out a loan. This is usually much quicker than saving, but you will still need to repay the debt over time.

When you are looking into getting a loan, make sure you compare interest rates from multiple lenders.

While most loans offer fixed interest rates, others can change their rate every month. Make sure you check this out before applying.

It’s also important to remember that a loan is a long term commitment, and it can take many years to pay the debt off

A loan can accelerate your training, and you may be able to complete it in 2 years.

While you can opt for any lender who offers loans, there are also specific financing options for future pilots available on the market.

These are much more customized to your needs, and you may be able to get a better deal than with high street lenders.

Financing is a good option, if you are looking to become an airline pilot.

However, if you plan to be a pilot flying for recreational purposes, as hobby or for leisure charter flights, then saving up may be a better option.

Apply For A Federal Grant

The US government has several programs which help students pay for college. One of these is called the Pell grant program.

This is a federal scholarship program which provides grants to students.

As part of the application process, you will need to fill out a FAFSA form (Free Application for Financial Aid).

However, federal grants typically cannot be used to solely pay for flight training. You will also need to study for a degree.

Work At A Flight School

Work At A Flight School

One of the best ways to learn on the job is working at a flight school.

Not only will you be able to be around aircraft all the time, and you get to know job training, most flight schools also provide discounts on hourly flying rates.

Find your nearest flight school and check if they offer discounted rates. Then you need to keep an eye open for any advertised jobs.

It’s good to know that you don’t actually need to work there as a pilot to get the discount.


If you are studying for a university degree, then you can apply for the many scholarships available at universities.

Check with your university counselor, what type of scholarships they offer, and what they cover.

There are also scholarship opportunities, if you do not study. The FAA have a long list of aviation scholarships that may be suitable to pay for your flight training.

Use Your GI Bill

Another option to pay for further flight training is to use your GI Bill. You will need to complete your private pilot license first, and then the GI Bill can support you financially with training through a public or private university.

Join The Military

One of the more demanding ways to pay for flight training may be joining the military. There are many physical and mental health tests and exams to pass.

And you may not necessarily be able to fly a jet or plane as the military has strict requirements for their fighter pilots.

Still, you will be able to use their tuition assistance program to finance your pilot training, if you were or are still in the military. 

How Can You Reduce The Costs Of Flight Training? 

Before you find some ways to reduce the costs, it’s important to have an understanding of how much flight training would be.

Check with your local flight school for hourly rates and certification costs. Sometimes it’s also worthwhile traveling a little further away to save a good chunk of money.

When you contact flight schools, ask for their flying rights, the types of planes they use, instructor rates and their pass rate.

Other options to bring down the cost of flight training are to spend some time in a simulator, and study thoroughly.

The more you know your aircraft and everything associated with flying before you start training, the less time you need to pay for.


If you are considering taking flight training, it is important to know how much money you will need to pay for the course and what your options are when it comes to financing your education. 

Then you can make a decision on what financing options are best for you.

Jacob Stern
Latest posts by Jacob Stern (see all)