Career as a Commercial Pilot

Career as a Commercial Pilot


A commercial pilot is an aircrew officer in airlines who directly operates the flying controls of an aircraft. We called them aviator, airline pilot or airline captain also.

This is considered as an adventurous career which involved a high level of stress and responsibility in commanding aircraft under different weather conditions and in various difficult situations.

This career comes with lots of responsibilities, as you'll be responsible for hundreds of lives in an aircraft and taken them from one place to another safely.

Job and responsibilities of a pilot:
  • Checking pre-flight plans before takeoff
  • Checking the route that the aircraft has to fly along with meteorological information
  • Obtaining and reviewing data, such as load weight, fuel supply, weather conditions, and flight schedule
  • Operating radio equipment and contacts control tower for takeoff, clearance, arrival instructions, and other information
  • Coordinating flight activities with ground crew and air-traffic control, and informing crew members of flight and test procedures
  • Logging information, such as flight time, altitude flown and fuel consumption

To become a commercial pilot you need to get a pilot certificate issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).  There are following types of pilots license issued by the authority and each has a minimum age criterion: 
Student Pilot - 16 Years age
Private Pilot - 17 Years age
Commercial Pilot - 18 Years age

The Cost:
The cost of education to pursue this career is very high; it is around Rs 20- 25 lakh. 


Pass the 10+2 with science stream - Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry being compulsory subjects with at least 50% of marks. This is the eligibility criteria to apply for the admission in any flying school.
In the flying school you'll get the required training and after completion of training can apply for the pilot license.

Skills Required

  • Good Communication Skills
  • Should be an active listener
  • Good IQ and problem solving skills
  • Should be physically fit
  • Good eyesight
  • Decision Making Skills

Who should choose this career

If you love travel, love to try different kind of food and have enough money to invest in training, then this is a perfect career for you.

How to be there?

1. Pass the 10+2 with science stream - Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry being compulsory subjects with at least 50% of marks. After completing the 10+2, you can join the flying schools in the related courses and training.
The admission process in any flying school is following:
1. Written Test
2. Medical Examination
3. Interview

2. Get a student pilot license: To obtain this license you need to clear an exam and only this license you'll be allowed to get flying training and permits you to take off flights on gliders or small planes that are generally provided by approved flying clubs of the country
3. Private Pilot License: After completing at least 60 hours of various flying exercises you may apply for this license. You need to pass the exam conducted by the DGCA
4. Commercial Pilot License: You can apply for this license one completed 200+ hours of flying exercises. You need to pass the exam conducted by the DGCA

Work Hours

This is not like a 9-5 and 5 days a week job. There a fixed number of hours for work set by the authorities and a pilot just need to complete these hours. Also, there is limit of work hours in a day.


Entry-level pilots can earn up to Rs 1.5 lakh per month with domestic airlines and even higher on international routes.
Senior pilots can earn in the vicinity of Rs 5 lakh upwards per month.
Other then these get attractive incentives too, such as getting free/concessional tickets for the family.

Pros and Cons

  • Travelling around the world for free
  • Pretty decent salary
  • Attractive perks and allowances
  • An exciting Job
  • Can leave work at work instead of bring home
  • High initial investment
  • Jet-lag and erratic sleep/rest pattern
  • Can't come back home every evening
  • Airport security screening is also a pain
  • Need to stay fit always



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