Earning your Commercial Pilot certificate is a prerequisite to getting a job flying airplanes. A newly minted commercial pilot with 250 total flight hours is eligible for a limited number of entry-level flying jobs including banner towing, hauling skydivers over a jump zone, and ferrying aircraft from one location to another. You’ll likely need to earn additional ratings and gain specific experience, depending on what type of flying job you seek. For example, if your goal is to fly tourists to remote locations in the Alaskan bush, you will likely need to earn a seaplane rating or a tailwheel endorsement.
Most charter operators and airlines require candidates to hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate, which requires a minimum of 1,500 total flight hours. The typical path to becoming an airline pilot involves earning your flight instructor certificates, which will allow you to build flight time rapidly while getting paid teaching other people how to fly. We recommend that anyone who wishes to become a flight instructor begin preparing for these practical tests during the final phase of commercial pilot training. You should be prepared to pass your commercial pilot, CFI and CFII (certificate flight instructor with instrument rating) practical tests literally within days of each other if you use your time wisely and train efficiently.
At Holladay Aviation, we can train you from zero flight time through your initial flight instructor certificates in a single engine airplane. We also offer tailwheel training.
Getting Started Checklist
Contact us to schedule your orientation, which will include a detailed audit of your pilot logbook. All orientations are conducted and billed as regular ground instruction. During the orientation your instructor will:
- Collect your proof of U.S. Citizenship (or, if you are not a citizen, review and make copies of your passport and VISA)
- Review all Holladay Aviation policies and procedures.
- Schedule your first lesson.
Gather proof of U.S. citizenship: unexpired U.S. Passport, or a U.S. birth certificate. If you are not a citizen, you must submit an application to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and obtain authorization to train. We’ll also need a copy of your driver’s license.
Download and review the latest version of the FAA Airman Certification Standards.
Purchase the Sporty’s Commercial Pilot Test Prep Course
Make sure your FAA medical certificate is up to date. If you intend on pursuing employment as a pilot immediately after completion of your Commercial Pilot training, you will need at least a Second Class medical. We recommend a First Class medical.
Begin flight training.