Commercial Pilot Training
What is Commercial Pilot Training
Are you considering becoming an airline pilot? Commercial pilot training is how you get there. With the rapidly increasing consumer demand and the number of pilots set to retire, the airline industry is predicting a major pilot shortage in the near future. Now is a great time to begin your commercial pilot training.
When thinking about how to become a pilot, there are many factors to consider. Which of the various types of flight schools would best suit you? Do you need a degree to become a pilot? Do you want to focus solely on your flight training, or would you rather train part-time? Do not make any of these decisions lightly, as they will each have an impact on your training timeline, earning potential, and overall career path.
What Makes Commercial Pilot Training Unique?
In flight training, there are many different pilot license types, including the Private Pilot License (PPL) and Commercial Pilot License (CPL). Most people who learn to fly do so just for fun, and the highest license they pursue is the PPL. Therefore, most flight schools cater to a PPL audience. If your goal is to fly professionally, you will need additional training to earn your Commercial Pilot License at a minimum.
If you are pursuing an aviation career, the best schools to become a commercial pilot are professionally-focused flight schools. Rather than being mixed in with recreational students, you’ll be part of a class of students who all have the same goals, who study together and support one another. A professionally-focused flight school will give you a clear path toward your career goals, meaning you’ll likely achieve them at a faster rate and a lower cost than a typical flight school would offer.
When choosing a flight school for your commercial pilot training, there are several important factors to consider, including the training environment, quality of instructors, commitment level of your fellow students, location, and the impact the school will have on your career.
The right training environment will prepare you for life in aviation, both in and out of the cockpit. The best commercial pilot training programs will mimic the experience you’ll have as a commercial airline pilot, offering consistency with everything from training fundamentals to preflight checklists to dispatch and briefing procedures. Such schools will offer you unique opportunities to build leadership skills and network with aviation professionals. They should have partnerships with airlines that will give you a competitive advantage when it’s time to interview with a regional airline.
At a university, you would be studying to prepare for your future career. Similarly, at a career-oriented flight school, you aren’t just training for a checkride: you’re training to be ready to fly professionally. You’ll be held to a higher standard, which will increase your level of preparedness.
A typical flight school that mostly teaches PPL students will have less experience getting students to the Commercial Pilot License or Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) level. Instructors at a career-focused commercial pilot training center are specifically trained to take you through your CPL and CFI training and beyond. In fact, many of the instructors will have gone through the very same commercial pilot training, meaning they have the same career goals as you. Your instructors will be up to date on the latest developments in the aviation world, ready and eager to take you where they too are going.
You don’t want to be the only CPL student at your flight school. It makes more sense to surround yourself with like-minded peers who are in the same boat. Commercial pilot training can be intense, and training with peers who learn from one another and support each other can only improve your experience. Networking is an important aspect of your career development, and attending school with hundreds of other future airline pilots means you’ll have hundreds of opportunities to form career-making connections
Is it worthwhile to relocate for flight school? Why not just choose the closest school to where you live? Think of it like relocating to attend a university: if you think a certain school is your best bet for long-term success, it’s worthwhile to make the move. Likewise, relocating to the flight school that will offer you the best chance to meet your career goals makes perfect sense.
While the quality of your flight training is obviously important, the physical location of your flight school can also make a huge difference. Two important factors to consider are weather conditions and airspace complexity. The more favorable the weather conditions, the more potential flying days you’ll have each month, which means fewer interruptions in your flight training. Students who attend flight schools in areas with adverse weather conditions may find themselves spending a lot less time in the air, which can lead to serious interruptions in their training and possibly even the necessity to repeat some training. As for airspace complexity, it’s a good idea to do your flight training in airspace conditions that mimic those of your potential future flying routes.
For these reasons, AeroGuard Flight Training Centers are all strategically located in the southern United States. Our five flight school locations in Phoenix, AZ; Chandler, AZ; Riverside, CA; Austin, TX; and Fort Myers, FL, were all chosen because they offer ample flying days per year with a variety of airspace and weather patterns to keep you challenged.
Impact on Career
Overall, the best schools to become a commercial pilot are the ones that will have the biggest impact on your overall career. Career-oriented commercial pilot training academies often have partnerships with airlines who could be your future employers. When your school works directly with an airline to create their curriculum and procedures, you’ll get a head start at acclimating to life as a commercial airline
pilot. You’ll be more prepared to transition to an airline job than your counterparts from typical flight schools will be. Of course, you’ll need think realistically about the cost to get a pilot license. Commercial pilot training is an investment in your career, and the cheapest option may not be the best option. However, there are ways to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money. Training full-time at a commercial pilot training center, consistently building and reinforcing your knowledge and skills, is the best way to avoid spending extra money on retraining or retesting. If you’re the lone student training for a Commercial Pilot License at a typical flight school, you have no guarantee that your training is up to industry standards, meaning you could waste even more time and money making up for the deficiencies of a school that didn’t properly prepare you for your career.
How long does it take to become a pilot? The amount of time it takes to complete commercial flight training can vary greatly, but generally speaking, speed is critical. The sooner you complete your training, the sooner you’ll get to the airlines, start building seniority, and work your way up through the company. The mandatory retirement age for airline pilots is 65, so the sooner you start, the greater your pilot salary potential.
If you are serious about becoming a commercial airline pilot, you may find that the best way to become a commercial pilot is through accelerated flight training. Accelerated flight training offers a more rapid rate of flight training and a faster path to the airlines than standard flight training. Students focus on flight training full-time with a structured schedule and intensive environment. By avoiding typical semesters, other college workload, or working around student schedules, students are free to focus solely on their training and completing it as soon as possible.
Commercial Pilot Training for Long-Term Career Success
If your goal is a career in aviation, give yourself the greatest chance of long-term success by training at a specialized commercial pilot training center. The best schools to become a commercial pilot are the ones that offer you a path not only to getting your Commercial Pilot License but also to building your 1500 flight hours as a CFI. Plus, with the school’s airline partnerships, you’ll have a clear path all the way to a job with a regional airline.
AeroGuard fulfills its goal of being an accelerated, career-focused flight school through our Pilot Pathway Program, which we have developed in partnership with SkyWest Airlines. The Pilot Pathway Program is designed to take students from zero experience to airline-ready in as little as 2 years. To learn more about why the Pilot Pathway Program may be the perfect fit for your commercial pilot training, speak to an AeroGuard enrollment advisor today!