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How to Become a Pilot After 12th: Your Path to the Skies

Learn how to become a pilot after 12th and explore various types of pilot careers. Discover the eligibility criteria, routes, and essential skills required to soar through the skies.

If you’ve always dreamt of soaring through the skies as a pilot, the journey to becoming one can be both exciting and fulfilling. Being a pilot offers numerous opportunities for travel, a rewarding career, and the thrill of commanding an aircraft. But what steps do you need to take to turn this dream into reality? In this article, we will guide you through the process of how to become a pilot after 12th.

Who is a Pilot?

Pilots are highly trained professionals who go through in-depth training to fly various types of aircraft. They can specialize in operating passenger planes, cargo planes, military jets, or private jets. There are different types of pilots based on their streams and subjects of expertise.

  1. Airline Transport Pilots: These pilots fly commercial planes for private airlines and transport passengers and cargo.
  2. Private Pilots: They fly private jets and are often hired by individuals who own aircraft.
  3. Sport Pilots: These pilots operate aircraft under 10,000 feet and usually within a certain range.
  4. Flight Instructors: Their job is to train aspiring candidates on how to fly at a training institution.
  5. Air Force Pilots: Trained under the country’s air force, they fly armed jets and work under the defense ministry.

Eligibility Criteria

To pursue a career as a pilot after 12th, you need to meet certain eligibility criteria. These include:

  1. Age: You should be at least 17 years old to start pilot training.
  2. Education: You must have completed 10+2 with Science subjects (Maths, Physics, and Chemistry) and English at the intermediate level. Some institutes also offer admission to commerce students.
  3. Medical Certificate: You need to obtain a medical certificate from the required authorities, which includes a check on your health and fitness.

Routes of Becoming a Pilot in India

There are two main routes to becoming a pilot in India:

  1. Civil Aviation (Commercial Pilot Training): This route involves gaining a commercial pilot license from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in India. Many training academies offer Commercial Pilot Training programs, and the minimum educational requirement is 10+2 with Science.
  2. Indian Defence Forces (Air Force): If you aspire to join the Indian Air Force as a pilot, you can appear for the NDA Exam after 12th. Upon qualifying the exam and completing the training at the National Defence Academy, you can become an Air Force pilot.

Step-by-Step Process of How to Become a Pilot After 12th

Becoming a pilot requires dedication, hard work, and a step-by-step approach. Here’s the journey from 12th to becoming a pilot:

Stage 1: Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree

To become an airline pilot, a bachelor’s degree in any subject is usually required. On the other hand, to pursue a commercial pilot career, you can opt for a Commercial Pilot Training (CPL) program after 10+2. There are several top institutes in India offering CPL programs, such as Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy, Bombay Flying Club, and more.

Stage 2: Get the Flying Experience

Accumulating a specific number of flight training hours is crucial to earning a pilot’s license. The number of hours required depends on the type of pilot program you wish to pursue. For a commercial pilot’s license, around 250 hours of flying is needed, while an airline pilot requires about 1,500 hours of flight time.

Stage 3: Earn a Pilot’s License

To obtain a pilot’s license, you need to complete the required flight hours, pass written assessments, demonstrate flying abilities, and clear physical tests. Different licenses include:

  • Private Pilot License (PPL)
  • Commercial Pilot License (CPL)
  • Airline Transport Pilot License (ATP)
  • Multi-crew Pilot License (MPL)

The age requirements for these licenses vary, with CPL requiring you to be at least 18 years old.

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Stage 4: Complete Additional Training and Tests

Many airlines require pilots to take aptitude and psychological tests as part of their employment process. After being placed with an airline, pilots undergo further training and gain experience as co-pilots. Prior experience with a regional airline can be beneficial for aspiring airline pilots.

Stage 5: Advance as an Airline Pilot

Advancing from a pilot to a captain depends on seniority and experience. Additional FAA written and practical exams are required to obtain more flight ratings. Continuing education and attending seminars help pilots stay up-to-date with industry changes.

Top Universities for Pilot Courses Abroad

If you wish to pursue pilot courses abroad, here are some renowned institutions:

  1. Purdue University, USA
  2. University of North Dakota, USA
  3. Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, USA
  4. Singapore Flying College, Singapore
  5. CAE Oxford Aviation Academy, Europe

Top Colleges for Pilot Courses in India

In India, several colleges offer pilot courses. Some of the top colleges include:

  1. Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy
  2. Bombay Flying Club
  3. Rajiv Gandhi Academy of Aviation Technology
  4. Madhya Pradesh Flying Club
  5. National Flying Training Institute

Skills Required

To become a successful pilot, you need more than just academic knowledge. Some essential skills include:

  1. Strong technical skills
  2. Critical thinking and decision-making abilities
  3. Situational and environmental awareness
  4. Good communication skills
  5. Discipline and focus
  6. Flexibility and adaptability
  7. Physical fitness and mental stability
  8. Teamwork and leadership qualities

Types of Pilot Careers

There are various types of pilot careers you can choose from:

  1. Airline Pilot: Flying commercial planes for private airlines and transporting passengers and cargo.
  2. Regional or Commercial Pilot: Operating regional airlines to carry passengers and cargo over shorter distances.
  3. Corporate Pilot: Flying smaller corporate jets for private enterprises or individuals.
  4. Fighter Pilot: Trained under the air force, they fly military jets and participate in aerial combat.

Benefits of a Career as a Pilot

Choosing a career as a pilot comes with numerous benefits, including:

  1. Good Pay: Pilots receive substantial salaries, making it a financially rewarding career.
  2. Job Security: The demand for pilots is growing, ensuring job security in the industry.
  3. Travel Opportunities: Pilots get to travel to various destinations worldwide.
  4. Non-Monetary Benefits: Besides a good salary, pilots often receive health benefits, lodging, and meal allowances.
  5. Flexible Work Schedule: Pilots have the flexibility to choose their schedules.

Salary of Pilot in India

The salary of a pilot in India varies based on experience and the type of aircraft they fly. Commercial pilots can earn a monthly salary of around 1.5 to 2 lakhs, while Air Force pilots can earn around 5 to 8 lakhs per annum.


Becoming a pilot after 12th is a challenging yet rewarding journey. It requires dedication, education, training, and the right skills. Whether you choose the civil aviation route or the Indian Air Force route, the skies await you with endless possibilities. So, if flying high and touching the clouds is your dream, take the first step towards it today!

FAQs for Pilot After 12th

What should I do after the 12th to become a pilot?

To become a pilot after the 12th, you can opt for Commercial Pilot Training programs, pursue a Bachelor’s degree, or join the Indian Air Force through the NDA exam.

Can we become Pilot After 12th?

Yes, you can become a pilot after 12th. The minimum age for pilot training is 17 years, and you need to have completed 10+2 with Science subjects.

Which subject is best for a pilot?

To become a pilot, you should have Physics and Mathematics as core subjects in 10+2.

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Thank you for reading our comprehensive guide on how to become a pilot after 12th. Whether you choose the civil aviation route or aspire to join the Indian Air Force, the skies await you with endless possibilities. Take the first step towards your dream today and let your passion for flying take you to new heights. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us for more exciting career insights and aviation updates.

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