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How To Become a Private Jet Pilot

How To Become a Private Jet Pilot

A Rewarding Career Awaits in Private Aviation

There has been explosive growth in aviation in recent years. Travel demand in all segments continues to set new records. The resultant vacuum of talent has provided new and exciting opportunities for individuals considering any career path in aviation.

The aviation industry is many things: dynamic, exciting, demanding, and rewarding. Today, there are opportunities everywhere for professionals seeking a career on the flight deck.

Let’s look at what it takes on how to become a private jet pilot in the on-demand charter market.

Class is in Session: Welcome to Flight Training

The pathway on how to become a private jet pilot starts with earning your Private Pilot Certificate. If you didn’t already earn your pilot certificates flying in the military, this can be done in one of two ways:

  1. Find a local flight school or flying club that offers flight instruction

    Local flight schools are the most cost-effective and often the most authentic approach to earning your wings. During your training, your Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) will work with you one-on-one in the airplane to prepare for your first solo flight and, ultimately, your private pilot exam with the FAA.

    In general, your first solo flight should occur after just 15 hours of flight experience! Of course, that number will vary from person to person.

    As you work with your CFI in the airplane, you will also attend classroom sessions or complete online courses to gain the aeronautical knowledge necessary to pilot an aircraft safely.

  2. Enroll in a collegiate flight program or corporate fast-track program

    A more cost-prohibitive but faster approach to earning your wings is to enroll in a college flight program where you earn your pilot certificate(s) and a Bachelor of Science in either professional flight, aviation management, or aeronautics.

    If the college route doesn’t fit, corporate flight academies offer accelerated flight training pathways for individuals who want structure and an all-inclusive experience. Again, these programs come with a steeper price tag, but they are perfect for those who want to accelerate their path to the flight deck of a private jet.

    The college and corporate programs include classroom time and “stage” tests built in as an effective way to measure progress.

After earning your Private Pilot Certificate, you can rent airplanes and fly wherever you please. Some pilots even buy their own planes. A single-engine airplane can be a sound appreciating asset depending on your financial situation.

Your First Job as a Professional Pilot

Once you have earned your Private Pilot Certificate, you will proceed with your instrument rating and Commercial Pilot Certificate. Depending on which approach you take with flight training, there will likely be opportunities for you to become a Certificated Flight Instructor right where you did your flight training.  Opportunities like this are perfect for your first full-time job as a pilot because you’re already comfortable with and knowledgeable about the airplanes you will be flying daily.

There are many other employment opportunities for new commercial pilots besides flight instructing: you can fly for aerial surveys, skydivers, light cargo, banner towing, and agriculture. Equally important, your first job as a pilot is to build your flight experience as you prepare to move forward with your career.

Transitioning to Jet Airplanes

Throughout your flight training and your first job(s) as a professional pilot, make sure to network with other professionals in the industry. This is a great way to learn about opportunities when they arise.

Networking with private charter companies is a great way to have a foot in the door when they need to expand their operations or replace pilot turnover. The industry is in such a unique place today that your first jet aircraft could be as large and complex as a Gulfstream IV or Falcon 900!

Your jet training will take place at a facility specializing in certain aircraft types. Your training is specific to the jet you were hired to fly. Usually, this training lasts about an entire month and consists of classroom time, procedures training, and full motion simulator training.

Some things you will notice when you make the transition from propeller-driven airplanes into jet airplanes: a faster pace of events, higher reliance on flight instruments, and more sophisticated computer-driven automation. These are all obstacles you will work to overcome as you move through the training program contracted by your employer.

Welcome to the Flight Deck

Our line of work is challenging and rewarding because we visit all kinds of different cities worldwide. We transport our clients to large international airports as well as small country airports with minimal services.

Private pilots shoulder more responsibility than your average airline pilot, who flies almost exclusively into massive airports with abundant operations infrastructure typically not found at smaller airports. Therefore, pilots who like offering more personalized service and do not mind a few extra responsibilities will thrive in the private jet market.

Curious about your costs for a private charter flight? Enter the route and instantly receive an estimate with our Flight Calculator.