Can You Become An Airline Pilot In A Year? (4 “You’re Hired!” Facts)

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I have been asked many times throughout the years about how long it takes to be an Airline Pilot. When I started flying it was a far distant dream. I hoped that someday I might land that very elusive Airline job because getting the hours and experience needed seemed insurmountable. So today the question is, Can You Become An Airline Pilot In A Year?

Can You Become An Airline Pilot In A Year?

Yes, you can land an Airline First Officer position in less than one year! It has never been easier to fast-track your way to a career in the Airlines. This is partly because of the huge demand for Pilots worldwide. Let’s explore the way to get an Airline Pilot Job.

1. Desire.

Accelerated flight training is an intensive program that takes you from zero time to 1500 hours in 7 months’ time. At the end of the training, you are guaranteed an interview with one of many Airlines. It takes a tremendous amount of desire to persevere in this type of training.

The attitude that you must have to accomplish this must be only positive which will produce the desired outcome. You must keep the end result in mind at all times without fear of failure. Failure is not an option, and desire is the key.

2. Preparation.

You may start your training on your own before being accepted into the course of your choice. Everything you need to study is online and the lesson plans are clear and concise.

If you follow them you will be well prepared when you start flying. You will know what is expected and the outcome of every training flight will be well understood.

Spend time on your flight simulator and practice maneuvers for each lesson and certificate. Not all simulator time is acceptable, however.

3. Cost And Earnings.

The true cost of this education is your time as you will only have time for the training.

Be prepared for flying, studying, eating, and sleeping. Then repeat. It is not so bad when the outcome is a seat with a Major Airline.

1500 hours flown in 7 months means you will need to fly 215 hours each month to reach the goal and the course work must be completed. Exams must be taken and passed and to think that the curriculum is anything but arduous is simply a lie to oneself.

Keep the thought in mind of the seat you will occupy after you graduate and you will not fail.

The cash cost of one of the Flight Schools can be financed and will be in the neighborhood of $90 to $100,000 U.S. dollars. But, financing can be spread over 20 years if need be.

You will be a junior member on seniority lists but starting pay is significant. at American, you will start at $90 per hour. A 60-hour month will result in $64,800 first year and it is likely you could fly more. That will depend on available crews.

 4. Pilot Shortage.

It is very evident that Airlines need Crew members. It is very well-publicized with the flying public and all of us have heard of the flight cancellations in America.

Boeing projects over 612,000 new pilots are needed over the next 20 years. Technicians and Flight Attendants are desperately needed as well.

The Airlines have addressed this by implementing programs that guarantee employment if you pass the grade. They have increased pay and implemented sign on bouses as well as university aviation programs to ensure a job interview.

Sign-on bonuses are to this point unheard of in the airline industry, but Mesa Airlines’ bonus is $20,000.00 U.S.

You can read about the United Airlines program here and all the Airlines have similar programs. The world needs pilots!

By 2025 there will be a shortage of 35,000 pilots and that could reach as high as 50,000.

Final Thoughts.

The guarantee that an accelerated flight training program can eventually place you in the Captain’s seat with a major carrier is compelling. Remember that your best earning years will occur in your later years with the airline.

College degrees are not required now as the degree was just another way of weeding applicants out. You can still pursue the university route if you are willing to wait 4 to 5 years for the same result as fast-tracking.

Recalling NetJets program for hire was a $10,000.00 Cessna Citation type rating many saw as too expensive. It was considered by most pilots to be another failure in aviation history.

Today those who chose that route are flying the very best aircraft in the world, including the Boeing Business Jet for enormous pay. as well as great schedules.

Hindsight, Oh My. If I had spent 10 grand I would have had an incredible career. That was a lot of money to spend on a remote possibility. Especially when I was making roughly 50 bucks a trip hauling freight in a worn-out turboprop built in the mid-’60s.

Some of those airplanes are still flying today hauling feeder freight and U.S. Mail!

Would I gamble 100 G’s today for a guarantee?

You bet I would because the world needs airplanes and smart people to fly them.

I would buy the fast track to a Captain’s chair.

Related: Are Pilots In High Demand? ( 5 Reasons Why There Is A Pilot Shortage)

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