For pilot training, students enroll in flight schools. However, you can become a victim of fraud without prior knowledge of how much flight school is. In this post, you will know the cost of each step for pilot training.
Understanding how much flight school costs and each step of licensing, you can save yourself from paying extra.
Likewise, students unaware of the costs associated with flight school often run out of budget and delay their flight training.
So to save yourself from paying extra and delaying your pilot training program, you must comprehend the following:
- How much is the cost of Private pilot training?;
- How much is the Instrument rating?;
- How much is a Commercial pilot license?;
- The cost of a professional pilot program;
- Which other expenses are associated with pilot training and flight school?
The cost of flight school is approximately 55,000 USD. The fee includes a Private Pilot License, an Instrument Rating, and a Commercial pilot license. This price will vary depending on the flight school. You at least need 55,000 USD to enroll in a USA flight school for a professional pilot course. The accommodation and exam fees are additional costs.
At first, it is confusing for newbies because they think, why do they need multiple licenses to become a pilot.
Obtaining a private pilot license and an instrument rating is part of getting a commercial pilot license. Having an instrument rating at an early stage helps you to save money during the professional pilot program.
Thus, when a flight school quotes fees for the professional pilot training course, they mean the cost of all three licenses.
One can obtain only a Private Pilot License (PPL) depending on a person’s need. But a PPL restricts you from working.
Professional pilot courses are there to build competent pilots.
This course is structured to build airline pilots, and you must have at least 55,000 USD before you take your first step towards your goals.
How much is the cost of private pilot training?
A private pilot license is the most straightforward license for any pilot. A private pilot license is like having a non-professional driver’s license.
You can have a private pilot license and operate from one destination to another. You can fly with friends and family, but you can’t accept payments for being the pilot in command.
To obtain this license, you only need around 55 hours of flight training, which is adequate to conduct safe flights in smaller aircraft.
The pilot training cost is proportional to the number of hours you fly.
You need around 55 hours of training for a private pilot license, and it will cost approximately 15,000 USD. This fee includes actual flight training, ground school costs, and simulator costs.
After this step, get your Instrument rating.
How much is the instrument rating?
You will learn to fly using the aircraft’s instrument panel during instrument rating without outside visual references.
It’s a critical phase of flight training, and student pilots find this training the most challenging. The instrument rating is essential to become a professional pilot and operate safe flights in any weather conditions.
The total cost of flying for an instrument rating is roughly 13,000 USD.
You’ll train in an instrument-rated aircraft and also in simulators. The 13,000 USD price tag includes 37 hours of actual flying, 40 hours of ground schooling, and simulator training sessions.
Now that you have an instrument rating and private pilot license, it’s time to build hours for your commercial pilot license application.
Before going on to the next step, let’s calculate how much you spent on flight school fees.
- Private pilot license = 15,000 USD
- Instrument Rating = 13,000 USD
Total fees are 28,000 USD, and now you have approximately 90 hours.
How much is a commercial pilot license?
For a commercial pilot license in the USA, FAA requires the pilot to have at least 200 hours total actual flying time.
Now that you have 90 hours logged as an instrument-rated private pilot, you have to build additional 110 hours to full fill FAA requirements for commercial pilot license application.
To fly and log additional 110 hours will cost around 25,000 USD.
Now, let’s break down the total cost of getting a commercial pilot license with an instrument rating from zero hours.
- Private Pilot License (55 hours) = 15,000 USD
- Instrument rating (37 hours) = 13,000 USD
- Commercial Pilot License (110 hours) = 25,000 USD
- Total 202 Hours = 53,000 USD
Do you see how you fulfilled FAA requirements by flying at least 200 hours and getting your commercial pilot license with an instrument rating?
Many people in the aviation industry complicate things because there is not much online information.
How much is the cost of the professional pilot program in flight schools?
The cost I mentioned above is the approximate cost of a professional pilot program. The professional pilot program must include:
- A Private pilot license;
- An Instrument rating;
- A Commercial pilot license.
The rough estimate of 55,000 USD must also include all the flight instructor fees and the ground schooling fees.
Suppose a flight school tells you to pay extra for ground school and flight instruction; keep away from them. Flight schools sometimes oversell materials to make a profit; however, in any flight school, the entire cost will be similar to the fees I mentioned in this article.
The cost of ground school actual flying and flight instruction for a commercial pilot license with an instrument rating wouldn’t exceed 55,000 USD.
Which other expenses are associated with pilot training and flight school?
Now that getting a commercial pilot license with an instrument rating is out of the way let’s discuss some other costs you have to settle.
As an international student in the USA, you need a place to stay. Some flight schools provide accommodation, but the housing fees are sometimes inexpensive outside school accommodation. Choose whatever option is best fr you.
As a student, you need books and your headset. You can always find used books and headsets online available to save some.
Lastly, there are examination fees in the FAA and DPE fees for checkride.
These other costs are inexpensive, and you must consider these expenses outside of your professional pilot training program fees.
The flight hours requirements for a commercial pilot license in Asia differ from the USA, and the price varies accordingly. The price quotes I used in this post are for flight schools in the USA. These price quotes are irrelevant for flight schools in Europe or Asia.