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Flight Training Courses and Schools
It may be one of the best times ever to learn to fly. The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) estimates that global aviation traffic will triple between now and 2035. If you're willing to work abroad, more opportunities may be available. These schools are ready to launch your career as an airline pilot. Or, if you just want to learn to fly for fun, many of these schools can help you become a private pilot.
Dig deeper into our resources and you'll find advice on how to choose the best school, flight training scholarships, how much flight training costs, and if you're interested in an aviation career, what the job market looks like for commercial pilots. Learning to fly or launching a career? Start here!
Learning to fly is challenging, but worth it! Do you have the time and money? How do know which Flight Training is right for you? Find answers to these questions and many more here in our Flight Training Links and Resources.
Aircraft Flight Training Costs
Now, let's jump to what is typically the largest flight training cost: the aircraft. There are many ways to get an airplane for training, for example, buying or borrowing, but most people rent a plane. There is a myriad of ways to pay for the plane rental, but to keep things simple, we'll assume you are paying for each flight hour rather than a flat rate.
If like many, you need 60 hours to complete your training and you rent a typical training aircraft for about $120 an hour, this can push aircraft costs to around $7000. You may find your training goes quicker or rental aircraft cost more (or less) so this number can vary greatly but $7000 is a decent average.
Instructor costs, for better or worse, typically split the difference between the other two. The catch is that since your instructor isn't always in the plane with you, you don't always have to pay for an instructor.
After the first 15 or 20 hours, you'll have a lot of solo lessons. This means that on the average 60-hour training course, a $40 an hour instructor may only cost you about $1000.
In summary, a thoroughly average pilot training course for a private pilot certificate totals about $8500 in the USA (2013 prices). This may sound like a lot, but there are plenty of ways to make pilot training costs have less of an impact.
Furthermore, you may find that there are much cheaper aircraft for rent at your local airport or that a school nearby offers flat-rate package deals. In any case, it is always nice to know when you're getting a deal and when you're paying too much.
Commercial Pilot Fast Facts
- Median Salary - $92,060 per year
- Minimum Education - Associate or Bachelor Degree
- Job Outlook - 11% growth through 2020
Flight Training Courses - How Much Again?
The first thing a lot of people want to know is "how much does pilot training cost?". The simple answer is... it depends. Let's take a look at some of the various types of training available and list an estimated price range for each in the United States:
- Sport Pilot License - $3,000 to $5,000
- Private Pilot License - $6,500 to $12,000
- Private + Commercial License - $10,000 to $16,000
- Private + Instrument + Commercial - $18,000 to $24,000
- Private + Instrument + Commercial + ATP - $30,000+
The prices listed above are estimates for training in single-engine aircraft and assume you can complete school in a reasonable amount of time. If you stop and start your training, expect to pay much more. You may be able to earn your licenses and ratings for less by using independently certified flight instructors (CFIs). And conversely, you may pay a little more at the larger flight academies.
Costs will vary greatly depending on where you go to school, from state to state, and from country to country. The best thing to do is to contact schools to get more info about costs.
Some Flight Trainings Offer Scholarships
Flight Training isn't all that different from other schools, so they often offer their own scholarships. Sometimes this comes in the form of a graduate or local business offering to create a scholarship for students of a particular school. Others take shape from a business or organization creating scholarships for flight training in a particular state.
The bottom line on these kinds of scholarships is to ask around. Many of these aren't well-publicized, so they can be easier to get if you qualify. Unfortunately, that also usually means they are difficult to discover. When you're considering Flight Trainings, ask if they offer any scholarships, search the local news sites, and consult aviation or flight training news websites for articles about "scholarship applications" or "scholarship winners." You may find something for which you qualify.