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Jeffrey Carden

I would say the first step is to go to your local small airport and take a flying lesson. Most flight schools provide "discovery" flights for a reduced rate. This is important since it will expose you to flying as a pilot for the first time and give you an idea if this is something that you would be interested in doing as a career. If you like your first flight lesson, take a few more just to be sure it is something you want to do. Ask you instructor questions about flight training and get realistic estimates on how much it will cost to earn your commercial pilot's license. Pilot training can be extremely expensive, but there are ways to reduce the costs greatly. Academies and college flight programs are by far the most expensive. The training at academies is good, but learning to fly at a small local flight school will be a fraction of the cost and there are plenty of great instructors at these smaller schools. Do not take on huge amounts of debt to become a pilot. You will not make much money the first few years as a professional pilot and if you have large debt obligations, it will make your financial situation very difficult during that time.

Most pilots have 4 year bachelors degrees and some even have graduate degrees. Although a college education is not a requirement for some pilot jobs, it is almost necessary to make you competitive for jobs at major airlines. A college degree in something other than aviation is also useful just in case you choose to not fly anymore, or are not able to fly because of a medical problem.

Being a pilot can be an exciting and rewarding career. The path to success is not easy, but anything worth having takes hard work. Get out to your local airport as much as possible, talk to people who are flying professionally and set short and long term goals for your flight education.

Answered 9 years ago

Jeffrey Carden