Can a Private Pilot Become a Commercial Pilot?

by Josh on March 25, 2011

We all know that being a private pilot and joining the general aviation industry is merely a milestone or a stepping stone for some. Getting your private pilot license can open up a whole new world of opportunities for you as an aviator.

From this point, they have several options to choose from though some remain flying in the private capacity and pursuing the craft merely as a hobby than a money-making venture. One of these options is to become a commercially-licensed flyer. When you’ve become one, you can start earning money from your license and fly around the world for some of the biggest airlines to ply the airways.

So if you’re asking yourself whether you can become a commercial aviator with your private pilot license, certainly, you can become one. The thing is, you have to pass a set of requirements.  The first of these is that you would have to hold a private pilot certificate, which you have already accomplished.

Age and Language Requirements

Commercial pilots can be as young as 18 years old theoretically, since the youngest age for one to qualify for a private pilot certificate is 16 years old. There, however, has not been a case of a pilot who is commercially licensed at 18 years old. You must also be able to speak and read the English language fluently, since this is the language used in all airports.


You also need to pursue and get yourself rated for a few things before you can take a shot at becoming a commercial pilot. First off, you need to get yourself an instrument rating. Second, you need to get ratings to fly single-engined and multi-engined aircraft since commercial airliners use aircraft with up to four engines like the Boeing 747.

Medical Certificate

When you first applied for a medical during your student days, private pilot requirements state that you have to get a Level 3 medical, which is the most basic of all medical certificates. In this case, in order to qualify for a commercial certificate, you need to have at least a Level 1 or Level 2 medical certificate so you have to have yourself checked anew.

Flight Experience

Airline pilots require their flyers to have extensive experience, and the requirement varies on the type of aircraft that you have flown as a private pilot. However, on the aggregate, you need to have at least a thousand hours of flight time to be really qualified to join the commercial aviation industry.

Private Pilot Blueprint

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