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How to become a commercial pilot: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Updated: Feb 21, 2023


Guide on becoming a commercial pilot in 2023

The editorial team. Update July 23, 2022 | Published July 30, 2022. Update July 30, 2022. Published July 30, 2022. The commercial pilot role may also provide an exciting job. The possibilities of traveling and working can be enormous and there is plenty of opportunities to make a considerable salary from it. You must be aware of the extensive skills needed to become an aviation pilot. This article will give you the steps needed to become a commercial pilot.

What is the role of a commercial pilot?

Commercial Pilots operate in various roles and capacities depending on the type and operation of flying they are conducting. The operations can include single pilot operations in remote areas to operating as a multi-crew member in a Jet or Turbine aircraft flying worldwide. Depending on the experience levels of a pilot and the hours they have flying will allow them to fly for various operators and airlines around the world.

The average salary for commercial pilots?

The average salary for a commercial pilot in Australia is $110,000 a year without the allowances and overtime. Pilots can make a lot more money on call-outs and reserve day payments. Generally, a pilot will get about $20 dollars for an overnight allowance depending on the operation.

Airline Captains in India make $4,687,900.00 Rupee a year flying for the airlines. This is equal to just under $85,000 Australian and is considerably less than an Australian or American Airline Captain's pay. For more information on the pilot, salaries check out this page on a list of the current Australian pilot wages at various airlines in 2022.

Benefits and pay of becoming a pilot in 2023 include; Salary, Bonus, Allownace, Staff Travel and Hotel Discounts
Benefits of Becoming a Pilot

What benefits do airline pilots receive?

Pilots receive various benefits throughout their career, most airline pilots will get staff travel which allows them and a partner, friend, and family to travel at 90% discount to what they would normally pay compared to passengers. Depending on the airline the staff travel can be flown with multiple carriers or just the airline the pilot works for. The amount of travel can sometimes be limited however generally it is open to use as much as possible when possible. Other benefits of being an Airline Pilot in 2022 include freight discounts and hire discounts with hotels and cars. I have used discounts on various hotels being a pilot as well as hired motorhomes and various cars using an Airline discount. This discount is generally up to 10% or more and is dependent on the airline and institute which the discount is coming from.

Pilots, Aircrew and Cabin Crew will also beagle to enjoy benefits at the airport including lounge access and discounted coffee. Anyone with an Aviation Identification Card will be able to get a 10% discount at the shops or cafes if they show their staff card or airport card.

How much do pilots make?

Pilot's pay depends on multiple factors, Pilots can be paid as little as 50K a year up to $400K a year. The pay depends on the airline, flying operation, and the experience of the pilot. Most pilots will make the most of their pay from flying overtime or on reserve call-outs.

How is the salary of a pilot calculated?

A pilot's pay will generally have a base salary that is paid for a certain amount of hours, after the threshold is reached the pilot will be paid a sum above the base that is calculated on hours flown multiplied by the hourly rate of the pilot. The hourly rate will depend on the airline and the rank of the pilot. Some airlines will have threshold limits and overtime payments, Pilot will make most of their money when flying overtime and when flying on days off. When a pilot flies on a day off they will receive a day of payment and overtime for the flight. This type of payment is very beneficial for the pilot however they are giving up their free time for it.

Do pilots ever receive signing bonuses?

Most airlines in India and America will give a signing-on bonus depending on the airline and the experience of the pilot. A captain can currently get a $40,000.0 signing bonus for flying in regional airlines in America well a First Officer can receive a bonus of up to $20,000.

How many years can an airline pilot work?

Airline pilots can work for a long time depending on the country, most countries will allow a pilot to fly up to 65 or 70 however they must then be demoted to the role of FO once passing a certain age depending on the airline. In Hong Kong, the age is 65 and the pilot must then retire, In Australia, a pilot can keep flying till the age of 70. During the years from 40 onwards the medical get much harder to hold and every year the pilot must conduct more testing with an ECG being conducted every year after the age of 40.

Do you need a degree to become a pilot? You do not require a degree to become a pilot but it does help you have a degree.
Pilot Degree

Do I need a college degree to fly for the airlines?

Degrees were never required to fly and still aren't however they do help now. Most American companies will employ applicants with a reduced amount of hours if they have a degree. For an applicant with a 4-year degree, the hours can be reduced to up to 500 hours of flying experience. This is not much as a pilot can fly up to 900hrs a year. Pilots with degrees could also assume higher management roles and enter into the business of an airline if that were something the pilot would like to look into. I personally have a degree in aviation and believe it gave me a heads up above others and allowed me into an airline before others. I also agree that it is not required and any degree is beneficial not just an aviation-related degree to become a pilot.

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