About the Airline Transport Pilot License
To become an airline pilot, you will require the airline transport pilot license (ATPL). It is the highest level of pilot licensing. When you become a licensed airline transport pilot, you are qualified to fly as Captain for the major airlines. Unlike the private pilot license and commercial pilot license, becoming an airline pilot does not require formal training from flight school. However, it requires extensive flying experience that would be logged from your years of on the job flying.
Requirements to become an airline pilot
- You must be at least 21 years old.
- You must hold a valid Class 1 Aviation Medical Certificate.
Unlike the other pilot licenses, the airline transport pilot license doesn’t require formal ground school instruction. You must simply pass 3 written exams in the following subjects with a minimum grade of 70% in each exam:
- ATPL Meteorology, Radio Aids to Navigation and Flight Planning (SAMRA)
- ATPL Air Law, Aeroplane Operation and Navigation General (SARON)
- Instrument Rating (INRAT)
Flying Experience Requirements
To be eligible for the airline transport pilot license you must have logged a minimum of 1500 hours of flying time, which must include 900 hours in aeroplanes.
The 1500 hours of flight time must include a minimum of the following:
- 250 hours as pilot-in-command, with only 100 of these hours under supervision of a certified flight instructor. These 250 hours must also include at least 100 hours of cross-country flying with 25 of these hours flown at night time.
- 100 hours of night time flying.
- 100 additional hours of cross-country flight time.
- 75 hours of instrument flying. Any Instrument ground time cannot be used towards the 1500 flight time requirement for the ATPL.
You must complete a flight test within 12 months of your application for the airline transport pilot license. Upon successful completion, you will receive an airline transport pilot license as well as your instrument rating.
There is no cost for required studying to become an airline pilot because there is no required training. However, many flight schools offer training courses that you may take to prepare yourself for the written exam.
After your Commercial Pilot’s License, you are now working as a pilot .You will be working to log enough flying time (1500 hours) to meet the requirements of qualifying to write the ATPL exam. Remember that there is only a written exam for the Airline Transport Pilot’s License, and no flight exam. The written exam will cost about $500.
Working as an Airline Pilot – First Officer
A First-Officer of a major airline will make about $90,000-$125,000. The average First- Officer has about 8-10 years of flying experience.
Non- Major Airline
A First-Officer of a non-major airline will make about $50,000-$70,000. The average years experience of most First-Officers working in non-major airlines is 4-6 years.
Working as an Airline Pilot – Captain
When you make Captain of a major airline, you’ve made it! This is the goal of most pilots when they first begin their flight training. A Captain for a major airline will make between $150,000 – $200,000. It could even reach the $250,000~ range for the most senior Captain. The average years of experience before making this rank is usually about 10-15 years.
Non- Major Airline
A Captain for a non-major airline will make about $70,000-$90,000 a year. You will usually have about 8-10 years of experience under your belt.