Private vs Commercial Pilot: What’s the Best Choice?

Right now is the perfect time to become a pilot. There’s more demand for air travel, which means there’s also more demand for pilots.

There are several pilot licenses. Among them is a Private Pilot License (PPL) and a Commercial Pilot License (CPL). So, should you stop at a private pilot license, or should you keep going?

Private vs. Commercial Pilot

If you’re someone who aspires to become a commercial pilot, you must first get your private pilot license and so on.

When you’re a commercial pilot, you can fly commercial airlines on scheduled flights. You’ll be bringing people and cargo from one place to another. Commercial pilots are pretty much on the top of the chain.

However, before you can become a commercial pilot, you must first gain a PPL, which is the first step to becoming any kind of pilot.

Officials give a PPL to people who want to fly for pleasure only. They can only fly certain aircraft. They can also rent them and even carry passengers, but it’s usually a much smaller number compared to passenger planes.

The most significant difference between a private and commercial pilot is that those who hold a private pilot license can’t use their license to earn money.

How to Become a Pilot

There’s a whole process of becoming a pilot, even just a private one.

You need to go to a pilot school and do some training, such as turbine transition programs and more. You’ll be given education on different aircraft, including their parts and how to maintain them, not just how to fly them.

There are also different requirements that you need to gain. If you’re flying for a hobby, you’ll likely only need a basic medical certificate. However, if you want to become a professional pilot, you’ll need a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical certificate.

FAA medical certificates are first-class medical certificates that are given by an Aeromedical Examiner (AME).

If you want to fly solo while you’re still training, you also must apply for an FAA student pilot certificate.

How Much Do Commercial Pilots Earn?

Female pilot

A Glassdoor data shows that the average salary of a commercial pilot is $113, 709. It usually depends on which airline you work for. Common US airline company United Airlines has one of the highest pilot salaries at $178,100.

One thing about pilots is that they are paid hourly. Then, they can only fly for 1,000 hours each year, which is still a lot of time in the sky and bigger earnings.

If you’re lucky enough to fly a Boeing 777, one of the biggest aircraft that can carry around 400 passengers, you’ll have a bigger hourly wage. You can earn $320 per hour by flying this aircraft. However, this plane is typically given to more senior pilots.

You also tend to earn more through international flights that can reach around 30 hours, back and forth.

Becoming a pilot is the closest thing we can get to flying. But it’s not an easy job. Still, it’s one of those jobs that can help you earn big. Plus, you can travel to many places.

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