How To Become a Pilot in Australia: A Beginner's Guide
There is a lot to learn when researching how to become a pilot in Australia. For any aspiring pilot, this beginner’s guide will take you through the basics of moving toward your dream of flight. Being a pilot means experiencing adventure, excitement and steady income, as you enter a highly skilled profession with plenty of growth in the market.
The Basics of How To Become a Pilot in Australia
Regardless of whether you want to be a private or commercial pilot, you will need to meet the requirements set by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority for a pilot’s licence. There are several places where you can complete your pilot training, but there are additional standards to meet as well.
The starting point for how to become a pilot is to understand the age minimum for pilot licences. While there is no specific limitation on when you can work with a flight instructor to learn to fly, flying solo requires that you be at least 15 years old.
In order to obtain your Commercial Pilot Licence, there is no formal requirement to have completed Year 12, however some airlines may stipulate this as a minimum requirement when hiring.
Medical Certificate Options
Anyone looking at how to become a pilot in Australia needs to know about the medical certificate requirement. There are several classes of medical certificates corresponding to licence type and the allowable actions under the licence. The medical certificate isn’t required for those who are learning with a flight instructor.
A Class 1 Medical Certificate is necessary if you want to work in the following areas:
- Air transport pilot
- Multi-crew pilot
- Commercial pilot
If you want to work as a private or recreational pilot, you will need a Class 2 medical certificate. Medical certificates also need to be renewed.
Flight Training Options for How To Become a Pilot in Australia
Once you meet the basic requirements, you can pursue a pilot training program. There are several options, so choose one that is best for your situation. Where you choose to train should support your aviation goals, such as what type of pilot you want to be.
Australia has many flight schools. Each one has a different enrollment standard and training procedure, but each will help you achieve your goal. The costs also vary by school.
Bachelor Degree Programmes
In addition to receiving flight training, there are Bachelor Degree majors that support your dreams of becoming a pilot. For many, an aviation-related degree combines the best of both worlds, as you can get your pilot’s licence in your chosen area (such as a commercial pilot licence) as well as a Bachelor degree in aviation.
Airline Cadet Programme
Several airlines offer individuals a chance to earn their pilot’s licence through a cadet pilot program. The airline sponsors a student through the program and guarantees the individual a job once the course is complete. These programmes allow you to earn an Airline Transport Pilot Licence.
Another path to how to become a pilot is military training. Joining the Royal Australian Air Force can help you become a pilot, as the government sponsors the flight training. However, you must give the military certain number of years of service after becoming a pilot before you can work with commercial airlines.
Licence Options for How To Become a Pilot in Australia
There are several stages to move through when becoming a pilot. Your long-term flight goals influence how many stages you will need to finish.
Recreational Pilot Licence
The first training stage starts with a recreational pilot licence. The minimum age for flying solo is 15, but you need to be 16 to apply for your licence. This licence will let you fly in the local training area on your own with a passenger.
Private Pilot Licence
You must be 17 years old to obtain a private pilot licence, in addition you must have flown a minimum 40 hours. This licence focuses on navigation and flight planning. This lets you fly with passengers anywhere in Australia but you can’t receive monetary compensation.
Commercial Pilot Licence
With this licence, you can get paid as a professional pilot. The minimum age is 18 and there is mandated training time. Among other things, you will need either 150 to 200 hours of flight time depending if you are on a full-time course (integrated course) or not.
With an instrument rating certification, you are able to fly aircraft in a range of weather conditions using only the instruments. While this training is usually offered in conjunction with commercial pilot training, you can also get it separately.
This training allows you to fly a multi-engine aircraft. Though a separate training option, multi-engine rating coursework is often offered with your instrument rating training.
Airline Transport Pilot Licence
With the ATPL, you hold the highest level of Aircraft Pilot Certificate. With this, you can be the pilot in command of scheduled air carriers. The minimum age for this licence is 21 years old.
Costs for Studying How To Be a Pilot
Becoming a pilot requires an investment of both time and money. In addition to paying for flight school and formal training, you will need money to cover the cost of your flight time, hangar fees and other costs associated with your training hours.
Diploma and Bachelor Degree programs often are eligible for Fee-HELP for Australia citizens.
You also need to choose a career once you have your licence. Some positions are more lucrative than others, but the average pilot earns a salary of around $110,819 a year in Australia. With experienced airline captains earning above $300,000 a year.
Your Starting Point for How To Become a Pilot in Australia
If you are eager to learn more about how to become a pilot in Australia, Holmes Institute Aviation has the information and resources you need. With our expert education and an engaging curriculum that includes courses both in and out of the classroom, we can get you to your dream of flight. Contact us to find out more about our education programme.