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How To Become a Pilot

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There is something about getting a bird's eye view of the world that makes flying so interesting for many. Perhaps you've been thinking about taking that love of flying to the next level. Becoming a pilot can be quite a lucrative career. The average airline pilot in the United States makes nearly $79,000 per year. Depending on education level, experience, seniority level, and several other factors, you might even find yourself making more than $100,000 per year if you make flying a career.

Different Types of Pilots
Before you begin training to become a pilot, you'll want to decide which type you want to be: private, commercial, or military. Private pilots fly aircraft for leisure and typically only fly small planes with about four seats. Private piloting allows you to fly with friends and family but won't let you earn money. For this reason, it can be good to start here for the experience, but you'll want to move to a different category if you plan to fly as a career.
Commercial pilots have more training than private ones. Once you earn a commercial pilot license, you can fly for airlines, pilot someone's private jet, or take people on aerial tours for compensation. Finally, you can consider becoming a military pilot. To do this in the United States, you'll need to meet the requirements to join the United States Air Force.

Mental Requirements for a Pilot
Becoming an airline pilot requires mental fortitude. Pilots must meet several mental requirements. In addition to a passion for flying, a pilot must be ambitious and motivated to pass the courses required for flying. Technical aptitude, maturity, and strong spatial awareness are essential, as are the ability to work under pressure and having self-discipline. While mental diagnoses such as ADD or ADHD aren't an automatic disqualification, hopeful pilots must be in ADHD treatment in NYC and may be required to undergo additional testing.

Physical Requirements for a Pilot
There are some physical requirements to become a pilot. Typically, if you are fit enough and tall enough to drive a car, you are fit enough to learn to fly a plane. However, it gets more particular from there. Pilots must have nearly perfect vision. While correction to 6/6 is allowable, color blindness is a disqualifier. Hearing is another qualification that is checked during the medical assessment. The tests are to make sure you can hear low-volume sounds. You must also have good volume quality of your voice and strong enunciation to communicate when operating an aircraft. High blood pressure is often a disqualifier due to atmospheric pressure changes. Overall, though, as long as you see, hear, and speak properly, you can likely become a commercial pilot. Keep in mind that military pilots must show higher levels of physical fitness.

Education Requirements for a Pilot
You can take one of four education paths to become a pilot. The first path is attending a flight school. Flight schools fall into Part 61 or Part 141 categories. The former is informal and less expensive, while the latter has stricter training guidelines. However, both are relatively casual and offer night and weekend courses.
If you want to fly commercial jets, consider attending a college with an aviation program. These four-year degrees offer high-quality training for people who want to make flying a career. They offer up-to-date technology and equipment and provide more professional education. Scholarships and other financial aid options are available.
If you don't want to attend a four-year program, consider an aviation academy instead. An academy fast tracks students to gain pilot certificates. Most programs take one or two years and are very intense. They are under the Part 141 program and typically work with airlines to provide guaranteed interviews for graduates. However, keep in mind that an academy is the most expensive choice.
Finally, you can join the military. It covers the cost of training and will teach you to fly planes while traveling the world. However, keep in mind that the military is physically challenging and you'll be required to commit to it for 10 years.
If you're considering becoming an airline pilot, the best time to research is now. The need for pilots is on the rise and is expected to continue the upward trend until at least 2028. Be sure the education path you choose is through a reputable school and in no time, you'll be in the air.

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