If you aspire to become a pilot in the future, you might be wondering what you need to achieve that. A flight school can be demanding, but it is always worth it in the long run. Check out the different requirements to meet before joining a flight school.

A high school diploma

Flight training programs require that you be at least 16years of age with a high school diploma or GED. Knowledge in maths, science, and geography is helpful. If you aspire to work for international airlines, knowledge of foreign languages in addition to English is an added advantage.

An approved college degree

It is not a requirement to have a degree by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but many airlines require a degree in a qualified aviation program before hiring. You can obtain a degree in aviation, aerospace engineering, aviation technology, aviation management, aeronautical science, or air traffic management.

You will be expected to work as an intern with an aviation-related company or an airline, after which you will get your commercial pilot license. Therefore it is good to develop your communication, leadership, decisiveness, and problem-solving skills early.

Get a student pilot certificate.

You have a long way to go before you start enquiring how to get your pilot license. First, you need to obtain a student pilot certificate that allows you to fly a plane under instruction by an approved flight instructor. You need to be at least 16years of age and be able to understand and speak English. Applying for the student pilot certificate early is good to avoid delays when you reach the solo training stage.

Obtain a medical clearance

One of the requirements of flight school is a medical clearance through an FAA-approved aviation medical examiner. When you meet with an aviation medical examiner, they conduct a physical examination and issue you with a first, second, or third-class medical certificate that evaluates different health aspects, including:

  • Hearing- a pilot must have the ability to hear and understand conversations from 6feet away.
  • Vision- a pilot must have 20/20 vision with or without corrective lenses and must distinguish colors.
  • Neurological test- you must pass the neurological examination, which examines your brain rhythms.
  • Cardiovascular- you must be free from any cardiovascular condition in the last 2years.

The aviation medical examiner may carry out other tests, including a drug test. Note that some medical conditions may disqualify you from becoming a licensed commercial pilot.

Research flight programs and training

Flight school gives you the necessary flight training to fly a plane. However, there are many aviation-related programs, from private instruction to recreational flight instruction. Generally, there are two regulations in-flight instruction: parts 61 and 141. Part 61 comes with flexible and tailored training, but you need more hours to pass the program. Part 141 is a more structured program with a tight schedule but with fewer flight hours. But the pilot license requirements are the same regardless of the training program.


It would be best if you took your time to research various flight training programs to figure out the best one for you. The right one depends on your aviation aspirations.