How Long Does It Take To Become A Pilot (And Why)?

How Long Does It Take To Become A Pilot (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 5 To 7 Years

A pilot is someone who controls an airplane, operates its directions and engine system. To become a pilot, there is a lot of practical and theoretical knowledge to be gained through earning degrees in flight training and pilot training.

Although it might sound like an easy thing to become a pilot, it is not. There are a lot of steps to be followed to become a pilot. 

Moreover, thousands and lakhs of people want to become a pilot. Pilots are offered great salaries and several privileges which drive young people to get into this field. This is now resulting in an increased competition of being a pilot and making it a tougher process.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Pilot

How Long Does It Take To Become A Pilot?

With changes in countries and nations, the process of becoming a pilot also changes. However, the main steps remain the same, only the minor steps change. 

The first and the basic step is to get admission into an aviation college and earn a degree in this field. Once you complete high school, you can take admission into any college for a degree program or becoming a pilot. Moreover, you can also enroll in a certificate program for aviation and pilot courses. However, there is more weightage for degree programs as compared to certificate programs in India. Completing a degree takes 3 to 4 years.

After earning the degree or the certificate for completing the aviation course, the next step is to apply for student flight training lessons. During this training, you will have to earn flying experience. This step can take anywhere from 15 months to 24 months.

The next step is to appear for the DGCA exam. This is the final exam that an aspiring pilot has to take to earn the pilot’s license. Once the exam is cleared with the minimum required percentage, the student becomes eligible to earn the pilot’s certificate and then further apply for the pilot’s posts available. This process can take another one year.

Here is a quick summary of all the steps you will have to follow to become a pilot and how long it will take:

Steps To Become A PilotTime
Earning a bachelors degree in aviation3 to 4 years
Fight training1.5 to 2 years
Clearing DGCA exam and earning a pilot license1 year

Why Does It Take That Long To Become A Pilot?

There are two major types of pilots, that are, commercial or civil pilots, and military pilots. 

Commercial pilots are the ones which control airplanes for commercial airlines. These airplanes work for transportation. Commercial pilots can further be divided into national and international pilots. National pilots are the ones who operate airplanes traveling within a nation, that means, from one city to another. Whereas international pilots are the ones that operate airplanes traveling internationally, that means, from one country to another. 

It takes more time to become an international pilot as compared to national pilots. The reason behind that is because becoming an international pilot requires more flight training time. Thus, students have to study flight training lessons for a longer time. Whereas national pilots need comparatively fewer flight hours. 

The chronology to become a pilot starts from becoming a national pilot. As you get more experienced being a national pilot and gain more experience and spend more flight hours, you can then advance to earn an international pilot license and ultimately become an international pilot.

Moreover, talking about military pilots, they are further of two types, chartered pilots and fighter pilots. Chartered pilots are the ones who fly military planes and fly during wars or any such stress conditions. Moreover, fighter pilots are the ones who fly fighter planes.

It takes more time to become a military pilot as compared to a civil pilot. It is so because being a military pilot requires more physical and mental strength and much more advanced training of the military as well.


Becoming a pilot is a dream of thousands and lakhs of students. Be it a military pilot or a civil pilot, both of the professions are equally valued and respected.

It takes a long time to become a successful pilot. But, with determination, hard work, and consistency, you will never lack behind in the tough competition of being a pilot.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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