How long does it take to train as a commercial airline pilot?
A look at how long it takes to go from zero flying experience to a qualified First Officer
The shortest possible time is around 18 months.
If you enrol on an integrated flight training course, you can go from no flying experience to operating a commercial passenger aircraft in about 18 to 24 months.
An integrated flight training course, is a full time, intensive course, where you completed all the training at one organisation, including all the theoretical studying and flight training.
The initial flight training is completed with a flight training school, which gets you to the point of having the flying licences required to apply for a First Officer position with a commercial airline which takes around 14-18 months.
You will then spend about another 2-3 months training with the airline, both in the classroom and in the simulator, on the specific aircraft you are going onto operate.
There are other ways to complete your commercial flight training, for example through part time courses and these will obviously take longer to complete. This is referred to as ‘Modular’ training.