Career in Commercial Pilot: Job Opportunities, Job Profiles, Top-Ranked Institutions, Salary, and Eligibility Criteria

Commercial Pilot

The human heart has always craved, yearned and longed to fly high and deep in the sky like birds to breathe its liberating air. Well, human civilisation has to wait until the 20th century, when the Wright brothers with their invention of the aircraft gave human civilisation those wings to rove the sky. And in the 21 century with the emergence of globalisation, the airline industry has grown to an unprecedented level. Today, it is a multi-billion dollar industry. Around the world air routes have expanded, as it is one of the favourite modes of communication among people.

Career & Job

There is a tremendous career opportunity for candidates who have always harboured a dream to fly. Now, they can fly and earn handsomely as well. Besides the love, for flying a candidate should also have a well-cultivated mind for taking up this challenging job as a commercial pilot. A candidate should have patience, discipline, balance, a highly alert mind, sharp eye and dedication towards the job. This is a challenging job which demands hard work, problem-solving skills, and cool calculative mind to face any crisis.

Ways to Become a Commercial Pilot

There are two ways by which a candidate can become a commercial pilot -

1- A candidate can join any private commercial pilot training centre which is approved by the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation). In India, there are 43 private pilot training centres or Flying Clubs.

2- A candidate can become a commercial pilot by joining the flying branch of NDA or CDS. For this, a candidate is required to qualify the competitive entrance exam on an all India level. The exams are conducted by UPSC (Union Public Service Commission).

Stages of Becoming a Commercial Pilot

A candidate should, first of all, obtain the PPL (Private Pilot License) and after that, he can easily get the CPL (Commercial Pilot License).

The process of licensing is not an easy one. A candidate is required to pass the rigorous physical as well as written test to get the license.

What is PPL?

A Private Pilot License authorises a pilot to fly only privately hold aircraft. He or she is not authorised to draw a salary for the service. The DGCA has specified certain conditions which an applicant is required to qualify to get the license.

What is CPL?

A Commercial Pilot License authorises a pilot to fly aircraft or aeroplanes. He or she is authorised to demand remuneration for delivering his or her service. The DGCA has specified certain conditions which an applicant is required to qualify to get the license. The specified conditions are in consonance with the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Available Application Forms

Commercial Pilot 2018 Eligibility

  • A candidate should have done the 12th class in Science stream with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics and English subjects.
  • A candidate should have scored a minimum aggregate of 50% marks to become eligible for CPL.
  • The minimum age limit for CPL is 17 years, and the maximum age limit is 60 to 65 years.
  • A candidate is required to pass the class 2 medical test to become eligible for CPL.

In addition, a candidate is required to pass an entrance test to get admission in the PPL and CPL courses. The questions in the entrance exam are from the following subjects -

  1. English
  2. Mathematics
  3. General knowledge
  4. Physics
  5. Chemistry

Commercial Pilot 2018 Application Process

Test details for PPL (Private Pilot License)

Test type



  • 60 hours of minimum flying experience.
  • 20 hours of dual flying experience.


Subjective knowledge of-

  • Navigation
  • Aircraft and Engine
  • Seamanship
  • Aviation meteorology
  • Air regulation

Test details for CPL (Commercial Pilot License)

Test Type


Physical test

  • 250 hours of flying experience including
  • 60 hours of PPL experience
  • Medical test

Mental test

Subjective knowledge of

  • Flight planning
  • Cockpit Resource Management
  • Airframes and engines
  • Air regulation
  • Aviation meteorology
  • Air navigation

In addition, a candidate is also required to pass the flying test, to be done under special conditions. He or she is required to pass the solo flying test, Cross Country flying test and height flying test.

Other Details

Some of the Government colleges for the commercial pilot:

  • Rajiv Gandhi Academy for Aviation Technology Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
  • Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi, Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Air Force Technical College Bangalore.
  • All India Institute Of Aeronautics Ludhiana, Punjab.
  • Andhra Pradesh Aviation Academy, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.


Debdatta Chattopadhyay - April 4, 2019REPLY

Can a biology candidate apply for the post of commercial pilot

Exams Planner - April 13, 2019REPLY

No. You must have studied Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and English in class 12th.

Raj jain - March 3, 2019REPLY

I m from commerce n I scored 75 % in my Hsc But I didn’t had subjects like maths or physics or chemistry how appear for entrance exam ..... from where to start n how to start pls guide me

Exams Planner - March 5, 2019REPLY

Hello, there are some institutions which admit candidates from a non-science background. For such candidates, special programmes are prepared to make them ready for the course.

N M B - February 11, 2019REPLY

My aggregate marks are 55.5% in Had, but my PCM is less than 50, can I get admission in BSC aviation?

Exams Planner - March 1, 2019REPLY

The conditions for admission will vary among institutions. Check out the admission details of the institute you are interested in taking admissions.