Commercial Pilot Certificate

What Does the Commercial Pilot Certificate Allow Me to Do?

A Commercial Pilot Certificate allows the holder to get paid to fly. If you plan on making a career out of flying, this certificate is the first step in becoming a professional pilot. Imagine taking one of your favorite hobbies and getting paid to do it! Careers in flying are not limited to airlines. Other careers include flight instructing, air taxi/charter, cargo, air ambulance, military, pipeline patrol, or law enforcement. It's a great time to start training for a career as a professional pilot as we are on the cusp of one of the most extensive hiring booms the industry has ever seen. Click here for more information on this exciting news!

The Commercial Pilot certificate is the academic equivalent to a Master's degree. It is the first pilot certificate possible to obtain to fly professionally and get paid to do so, and requires more stringent and refined professional attitudes, skills, and further development through your own research and review of the aviation industry. Comparatively, a Private Pilot's certificate is equivalent to an Associate's degree, an Instrument rating is equivalent to a Bachelor's degree, an ATP (Airline/Transport Pilot) is the academic equivalent of a PhD/Doctorate, and a Certified Flight Instructor is equivalent to a Master's/PhD teaching degree. 

What Are the Requirements for Getting a Commercial Pilot Certificate?

-Must be at least 18 years of age

-Must be able to read, write, speak, and understand the English Language

-Hold at least a current 2nd Class Airman Medical Certificate

-Log at least 250 hours of flight time

-Receive ground instruction as appropriate to pass the knowledge and practical tests 

-Pass a written knowledge test and a practical (flight) test

-Click here to see detailed requirements on earning your commercial pilot certificate and scroll down to "Subpart F - Commercial Pilots" 

When Can I Start Classes to Earn My Commercial Pilot Certificate?

As soon as you begin logging flight time as a student working on your Private Pilot Certificate, that time counts towards the 250 hours required for the commercial certificate. An Insrument Rating is not required to get a commercial pilot certificate, although not having one is very limiting. A typical progression is earning a Private Pilot Certificate, then an Instrument Rating, followed by a Commercial Pilot Certificate. The training process is similar to private and instrument lessons. 

Does Having a Commercial Pilot Certificate Allow Me to Fly for the Airlines?

Although a requirement to land an airline job, significant experience and flight time is usually required to fly for the airlines after receiving your commercial certificate. Besides, new FAA regulations require that a pilot must hold the next higher license above a Commercial Pilot, which is an ATP license (Airline/Transport Pilot - a much more refined and experienced-based commercial pilot license, and the the highest pilot's license possible to earn.) Contrary to popular belief, being a commercial pilot does not necessarily mean that you fly for the airlines. A very common way to gain more experience is to earn your Certified Flight Instructor Certificate and share your knowledge and experience by teaching others to fly. The aviation industry is always in need of quality instructors, so flight instructing can make for a very rewarding career in itself.

*Please contact Clear Air Aviation LLC if you have any additional questions or would like to speak with an instructor to get more information!