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How Long is Flight School?

When looking into an aviation career as a pilot, one of the most common questions asked is “how long is flight school?”

Becoming a pilot is one of the most exciting professions around. No two days are the same, and a world of opportunity awaits. If you are considering an aviation career, you may be wondering “how long is flight school?” We will talk you through what programs and options are available and why choosing an aviation university is the best choice for you.


Is Becoming a Pilot Hard?

Becoming a pilot takes a significant amount of hard work and dedication. It makes sense when you think about it. Having an in-depth understanding of everything related to a flight ensures safety.

There is quite a lot of theory involved, and on top of that, you will have to learn to put all that theory into practice.

The good news is that you will be taught how to do both if you choose an established and well-regarded flight school.


How Long Is Flight School?

The answer depends on a few variables, namely, what kind of qualification you are looking for.

Flight training can be completed in as little as 18 months by completing an Associate of Science in Aviation Studies course with four certificates and ratings. For those who are seeking a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aeronautics, the course will take a total of 3 years and includes six certificates and ratings.

The Associate’s course is a really great option for those who already hold an undergraduate degree and are looking to diversify and move into aviation. For those looking to attend college for the first time and learn to fly, the bachelor’s degree will allow you to do both.

Both courses offer a range of benefits.

– Hands-on Flying Experience

Face it, this is the reason you want to embark on this exciting path – to fly an airplane or helicopter.

All theory and no practice are not what flying is about. You can expect to fly between 250 – 340 hours throughout your course. If that sounds like a lot, that is because it is. Four days a week flying? Absolutely.

– Career Opportunities

One key benefit of choosing an aviation university is the doors it will open after you graduate. And there are infinite amount of options available upon graduation.

For those looking to fly ‘heavy metal’, you will find aviation universities are partnered with several airlines. You’ll also find that there is a well-trodden direct pathway straight to the right-hand seat of a commercial job.

A career as a pilot is full of exciting possibilities. If you decide that commercial flying is not adventurous enough, there is plenty of opportunities to diversify.

Some options include:

The option of flying a bush plane, delivering supplies to far-flung and remote destinations. You could choose to be part of the crew on a $68 million business jet. Or, if you enjoyed your training so much that you would like to share, there are opportunities to become a flight instructor.


Become Fully Licensed and a Degree

Aside from potentially gaining a degree, you will also leave flight school with a significant amount of FAA-approved qualifications and approvals on your license. When asking “how long is flight school?”, often times it can often take many years for people to achieve these ‘ratings’ on their own.

Which ratings are included with your degree programs?

Private Pilot:

This proves that you have passed all of the necessary checks and met the standard required to fly a single-engine light aircraft solo.

Instrument Rated Pilot:

This is the next level to the private pilot license. This rating will allow you to fly an aircraft in instrument meteorological conditions. Essentially, navigating and maneuvering your aircraft without any visual references to the outside world.

Multi-Engine Rating:

Why fly with one engine when you can fly with two? This addition to your license shows that you have the skills to maneuver aircraft with at least two engines.

Certified Flight Instructor:

Sharing your knowledge might be your passion. An instructor rating demonstrates that you have an exceptional understanding of flying, and you know how to effectively pass this wisdom on to others.

Commercial Pilot:

If you are looking for an aviation career, you are definitely going to need this. This rating allows you to be compensated for your skills.


Get into a Commercial Job Quicker

We are not just talking about you being able to complete your flight training quicker. The FAA 1500 rule is a mandatory minimum requirement. It states that pilots must achieve 1500 hours of flight time before being granted an Air Transport Pilots License.

By completing a course at California Aeronautical University, you can potentially reduce the number of hours required and save time and money through eligibility to obtain a restricted ATP (Air Transport Pilot) certificate. One may also be eligible at age 21 verses age 23.

Those embarking on an Associate of Science course in Aviation Studies may  be permitted to reduce this requirement by 250 hours. For those undertaking a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics, the requirement may be reduced by 500 hours.

The sooner you fulfill this requirement, the quicker you can get into the right-hand seat of an airliner.


Why Choose an Aeronautical University?

There are times when you will want to go solo and times when you will not. As we said, flying training can be challenging, so why not give yourself the best possible chance at success. Here are a few reasons why an Aviation University is the best choice:

1. You can Complete Your Flight Training Quicker

Look at the ratings above. They can take an individual ‘going solo’ years to achieve. Depending on the course you take, you could expect to achieve them in as little as 18 months.

2. Structure in Your Flight Training

Tried and tested solutions are the best. An aviation university will offer a structured program to give you the best results. Combined with knowledgeable instructors, you will have every resource readily available to aid with your learning.

3. Career Support

Aeronautical Universities allows you to walk a structured path from zero hours all the way into a commercial airline. You also have a wealth of experience imparted from people who have been active participants in the airline industry.

4. It is Attractive to Future Employers

It is no secret that the best employers like a degree. When it is as practical and purpose-driven as a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics, you have already demonstrated how committed you are to your career choice. And, you will have the knowledge and skills to back it up.

How long is flight school? It can be much shorter than you would think, depending on your choice of course, 18 months is around what you can expect. For those seeking a bachelor’s degree, it will take around 3 years. Flying, gaining a pilot’s license, and a degree is challenging but also really rewarding. Why not see what California Aeronautical University can offer to you.


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2 thoughts on “How Long is Flight School?”

  1. Thank you for explaining that flight school could last anywhere from 18 months to three years depending on which course you take. My son has been thinking about becoming a pilot, but he wants to get there as fast as he can. I’ll be sure to mention this to him and see if he can find a good program that he can finish in eighteen months once he’s graduated high school.

    • Thank you for your comment, Olivia. We’d love to speak more with you and your son. Please feel free to contact our admissions team at 661-490-9583.

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