How To Become A Pilot In Australia: Step-by-Step Guide

Students ask themselves how to become a pilot in Australia for international students and how much the pilot salary is.


Are you an adventurous person who enjoys heights and taking risks? Do you want to travel and see places without affecting your career? Look no further! Becoming a pilot might be the perfect career choice for you.

However, being a pilot is not only about having an adventure and seeing places. It requires a lot of responsibility, hard work, and focus on becoming a pilot.


You must remain calm in high-pressure situations, handle them very smoothly, and make the right decisions quickly yet calmly. You should also be skilled in Maths, Physics, and English.


Having the ability to understand technical subjects is very crucial for a pilot, but so is the ability to communicate effectively. As a pilot, you are responsible for the safety of everyone on your flight.


Effective communication with the staff and the passengers is pivotal for a safe flight. Many aspirants often wonder how to become a jet pilot in Australia and become a pilot for Qantas.


So, if you are one of them and are interested in learning how to become a pilot in Australia, read the post below and get all the information required to become a successful pilot in Australia.



1. What Does A Pilot Do?


Pilots go through years of intense training to be given the responsibility of so many lives at their hands. They typically fly commercial flights with passengers and cargo, chartered flights, air ambulances, etc.


They are responsible for everything that happens, from the take-off to the safe landing of the aircraft at the destination. 


Pilots are in charge of everything from ensuring the safety of the aircraft and checking the engines and fuel levels to the weather for a safe journey.


While the flight attendants try to keep the passengers as comfortable as possible, the pilot must make the staff feel safe. Effective communication between the pilot and the flight staff is vital for a safe and comfortable flight.



2. Major Duties and Tasks of a Pilot


The following are the essential tasks and duties performed by a pilot:


  • Filing flight plans and confirming flight schedules.

  • Checking and analysing the weather and all possible factors that could impact the flight and creating a flight plan by communicating with air traffic control.

  • Ensuring that all the aircraft systems, including engines, fuel levels, and hydraulics, are functioning correctly before take-off.

  • Monitoring all the systems of aircraft during the flight.

  • Flying the aircraft from the origin to landing it safely at the destination.

  • Keep the crew updated about the flight details.

  • Communicating effectively with the passengers before take-off and landing and informing them about any flight status changes and the weather.

  • Communicating effectively with air traffic control and other aircraft. 

  • Conducting aircraft inspections before take-off and after landing.



3. What Are The Qualifications Required To Become a Pilot in Australia?


When accompanied by a flight instructor, there is no age limit for learning to fly. However, you must be at least 15 years old to fly solo in Australia. Also, you need to graduate high school to be able to enter flight school.


You must not be older than 65 years, as it is the retirement age for pilots in Australia.


Good communication skills, especially in English, are required. Achieving at least level 4 standard English before receiving a license is recommended as it is the common medium of communication in aviation internationally.



4. Steps on Becoming a Pilot in Australia



Step 1: Do Your Research


Australia offers a wide variety of training programs and pilot courses in Australia, and you need to do research to choose the best option that suits your interest. Your choice depend upon the kind of pilot you want to be.


If you’re going to work for an airline, you should consider getting an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL). If you want to fly fighter jets, you should consider joining the military. The following are your options:


  • The Military: Joining the military is a good choice if you want to serve your nation while achieving your dream of becoming a pilot. If you join the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the government will sponsor your flight training. However, you must serve in the military for 12 years to apply for commercial aeroplanes. The military will provide you with a financially safe and sound career.


  • Flight School: Australia has hundreds of flight schools from where you can receive pilot training. The enrolment procedures, requirements, and tuition fees vary from school to school, according to the training course you choose. Since there are many options for you to choose from, you must do thorough research on the schools to select the one that suits you in all aspects.


  • Aviation-Related College Degree Program: If you want to study a degree with a pilot training program, then an aviation-related degree is your best choice. In most cases, you will receive a Commercial Pilot License (CPL). This way, you can gain a college degree and a pilot license.


  • Airline Cadet Pilot Program: If you want to become an airline pilot, you should consider joining any Airline Cadet Pilot Program. Most major airlines, like Qantas Airways Limited, have restarted their pilot cadetships in Australia. The enrollment process and fees vary from airline to airline. After completing this pilot training program, you will obtain an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL).



Step 2: Choose A Flight School


Choose a medium for your aviation education. You can choose to join the military, flight school, aviation-related college degree program, or an airline cadet pilot program. Your preferred option should be affordable and aligned with your interests. 


This decision is a significant step in your career. You should carefully consider all the factors before you make a decision. Here are the factors to consider for choosing your flight school:



Tips For Choosing A Flight School:



  • Determine Your Goals: Decide on what kind of pilot you want to be. Having clarity on your goals is very important while choosing your flight school. You do not want to make a decision you will regret later. If you only want to be a part-time pilot, you only need a Private Pilot License. But if you’re going to be an airline pilot, you need an Airline Transport Pilot License.


  • Determine Your Budget: Deciding your goals is only helpful if you can afford them. So, while deciding your goals, you should also need to determine whether you can afford them or not. Different schools have different tuition fees. Find out which of them is affordable for you.


  • Determine The Time You Can Spare For School: Before you choose your flight school, you need to find out how much free time you have to spend on school. Different flight schools have different schedules. Try to select the ones that match your plan.


  • Give A Visit To Your Shortlisted Schools: After determining everything else, try to visit the schools you have shortlisted. At least try to talk with the instructors and management of the school. Contacting the graduates of the flight schools would also be beneficial. You will get to know different perspectives by doing so.



Step 3: Earn Your Licenses


  • Usually, you need to go through 5 different stages of pilot training and earn the respective licenses depending on the kind of pilot you choose to be. Here are those:



Student Pilot License (SPL)


  • Student Pilot License allows you to start your pilot training. SPL is usually the first license that you need to obtain. However, you must be at least 15 years old if you want to fly solo.



Private Pilot License (PPL)


  • This training focuses on the basics of flying in a single-engine aircraft. It can be considered as a foundation course for the upcoming training. You should be at least 17 to obtain a private pilot license. You must also go through an integrated or non-integrated training course. 


  • The integrated course includes 35 hours of flying, of which ten must be solo and five solo cross country. The non-integrated course contains an additional 5 hours of flight time. After achieving a Private Pilot License, you can fly solo passengers and cargo. However, you won’t be earning while flying with this license.



Instrument Rating (IR)


  • Earning IR allows pilots to fly under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). You can earn Instrument Rating after becoming a private pilot. You can fly under any weather after making an Instrument Rating.



Commercial Pilot License (CPL)


  • You should be at least 18 years of age to obtain a commercial pilot license. Completing an integrated and non-integrated program is also mandatory for this. The integrated course contains 150 hours of flying, and the non-integrated course includes 200 hours of flying for the aeroplane category rating.


  • A commercial Pilot License is required for you to start earning from flying. This license enables you to become a paid professional pilot.



Multi-Engine Rating (MER)


  • To fly larger passenger airlines and aircraft with multi-engine, you need to add a multi-engine rating to your commercial pilot license. Most flight schools allow you to take MER with your CPL, which you can also get separately.



Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL)


  • The minimum age requirement for obtaining an airline transport pilot license is 21 years. You must have 1500 hours of flying time in the aeroplane category or 1000 hours in the helicopter category. You must also have a CPL in the same class and completed training in multi-crew cooperation.


  • ATPL is the highest pilot certificate level that gives you the authority to act as a pilot in command.



Step 4: Evaluate Your Career Options And Choose One


After obtaining all the licenses, pilots can choose from many different options. Here are those:


  • Airline Pilot

  • Cargo Pilot

  • Air Taxi Pilot

  • Air Ambulance Pilot

  • Business Aviation Pilot

  • Flight Instructor



5. What Are The Working Hours of a Pilot?


Being a pilot is a very prestigious profession. But this prestige does come with many struggles. Pilots often work very long hours and sometimes go to work at short notice. Sometimes, staying overnight at hotels is also necessary.


It is different for every pilot. It differs from the career option you choose and the airline you work for.



6. How Much Does It Cost To Become A Pilot in Australia?


It depends upon various factors like the flight school you choose, the kind of training you take, etc. If you join the military, it hardly cost you any money. On average, the integrated training to obtain a commercial pilot license in Australia could cost around $65000.



7. How Much Does A Pilot Earn In Australia?


Pilot salary in Australia also varies from airline to airline. The pay in the military is different from airlines and air ambulances. Many factors like experience and career choice influence your compensation.


According to, a pilot in Australia earns 2558 Australian dollars per week on average. Typically pilot roles in Australia are advertised between $100k and $150k.



8. Closing Words


Hopefully, this guide on how to become a pilot in Australia for students has helped you better understand the requirements and qualifications needed to become a pilot. Making the right choice at the right time will be very important in your education and career as a pilot.


A lot of dedication and hard work is expected from you if you want to become a pilot. However, if successful, you will be able to visit many places in this world and make your dream come true.


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