What Qualifications do you need to Become a Pilot?

Traveling in a plane is as fascinating as flying it. Flying a plane is an experience that not everyone can have. If you are also thinking of becoming a pilot you will need to have special qualifications including GCSEs and A-levels.

To become a pilot you will need to have 5 GCSEs with a grade of C/4, 2 or 3 A-levels, 2 medical certifications, and an ATPL course or a Modular ATPL course. Further, we have discussed about what exactly do we mean by a pilot.

Who is a pilot?

As a pilot, you will have to work in the aviation industry and are trained to operate aircraft to carry passengers or goods from one place to another safely. Aviation is a broad field with numerous opportunities in the public and private sectors. Pilots in the private sector typically fly smaller planes such as jets or light aircraft.

They are hired by big businessmen or celebrities to provide on-demand transportation for their clients. A private pilot may work as an independent contractor and provide for-hire services to a large number of customers.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Pilot?

When you think of a profession like a lawyer, vet, doctor, etc. To become a pilot you will need to have the following qualifications-

  • You must have 5 GCSEs with a grade of C/4.
  • There should be at least 2 medical certifications – EASA Class 1 Medical Certification and UKCAA Class 1 Medical Certification.
  • Just like a nurse, you need to have 2-3 A-levels or the equivalent degree.
  • There should be an integrated ATPL course or a Modular ATPL course. However, to get into this course you must be legally able to study, work, or live in the UK or European Economic Area. Along with it, you need to meet all the requirements for a UK visa and need to clear your criminal background.
  • Have a BSc (Hons) in Aviation which is designed in a way to teach the basics of aviation.

Responsibilities of a pilot

As a pilot, you will be performing the following responsibilities-

  • Taking care of pre-flight and post-flight inspections of aircraft.
  • Contact the necessary agencies and employees if required.
  • Selecting safe and efficient flight paths.
  • Maintain accurate records for operational purposes.
  • Reporting any broken systems to the higher team.
  • Must take care of passengers, crew, and aircraft safety and comfort.
  • Keep track of all systems.
  • Check for the weather conditions before flying the plane.
  • Requesting takeoff, landing, and communication with air traffic controllers.
  • Have control over the plane.
  • Keep on changing the position with the co-pilot.

For more education-related articles, you may also refer to, What qualifications do you need to Become a Social Worker?

What GCSEs will you need to become a pilot?

Your GCSEs are an important aspect of taking up the A-levels.  As discussed earlier, you will need to have at least 5 GCSEs to become a pilot. Subjects you just need to have GCSEs in are Maths, Science, and English with at least 4 or C grades. These subjects are the most important subjects for your employers and getting A-levels. However if you have chosen some of the other A-levels, you must know what is the time to change the A-levels. In addition to these subjects taking a foreign language, and geography as your GCSE will add an advantage for you.

What A-levels you will need to become a pilot?

To become a pilot, as mentioned earlier you will need to have at least 2 A-levels which must be passed at C grades. The two most important and must-have A-levels are maths and physics. A pilot is a job full of different and complex situations. Maths is important because of its problem-solving nature and the basic principles of physics will help you a lot. Other A-levels that you can take up for becoming a pilot are modern language, Geography, English, etc.

Is it hard to become a pilot?

Becoming a pilot requires a lot of dedication and hard work. Working as a commercial pilot necessitates a high level of technical knowledge. However, many professional pilots would tell you that being responsible for the aircraft and passengers is the most difficult aspect of the job. You will be spending numerous hours on flight time. Although it is a rewarding career path for you if you love to travel and enjoy a challenge.

Is piloting a stressful job?

The flying profession provides many advantages that other professions do not. This prevents many stressful events from occurring in your life. One thing that many pilots find stressful is the prospect of flying an entire plane full of other people.

You should be aware that much of what a pilot used to do in the past is now automated. This will ensure the plane’s safety while allowing you to relax and enjoy your flight.

Another factor is that the flight industry is frequently unpredictable. As a result, being a pilot is ideal for you if you want to escape your daily routine and pursue a career that is constantly changing and improving.

How long does it take to be a pilot?

Even if you are only interested in becoming a private pilot, obtaining a proper education will best prepare you. Ideally, becoming a pilot should take no more than 3 to 4 years.

It is the time it takes to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Professional Flight. Getting an education is also beneficial for consistency of training, so it is best to delay starting your journey until you are enrolled in a certified school.

How much do pilots earn in the UK?

The average annual salary that a pilot can earn in the UK is £81,666. However, if we talk about the minimum and maximum average annual salary, it is £51,000 and £121,000 respectively. Though your salary will depend upon various factors like the area where you are working, how much experience you have, etc.


As a pilot, your main responsibility is to fly the plane, perform pre-flight and post-flight inspections on aircraft, and communicate with the appropriate agencies and employees as needed. You will need to have 5 GCSEs and 2-3 A-levels. In addition to it 2 medical certifications – EASA Class 1 Medical Certification and UKCAA Class 1 Medical Certification. Another qualification that you need is to have an integrated ATPL course or a Modular ATPL course or a Bachelor’s degree in aviation.

William Christie
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