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Commercial Pilot Program

Begin Your Journey to Life in the Skies

Now is the time to become a commercial pilot!

There’s never been a better time to become a commercial pilot. A severe shortage of pilots worldwide means huge bonuses and unprecedented demand for the industry.

As a commercial pilot you have the potential of earning an average salary of $111,000+ per year!

With more than 100 years of combined aviation experience, our staff understands the industry inside and out. That means we know the best training practices and the right people, in the right places, to help connect you for future job placement.

Click below to explore your journey to professional pilot:

Commercial Pilot from Zero Experience
Commercial Pilot from Private License
  1. Private Pilot License (PPL)
    Earning your private pilot license is the first step to becoming a professional aviator. FAA requires a minimum 35 hours of flight time and the program can be completed in as little as 2 months.
  2. Instrument Flight Rating (IFR)
    Having an instrument rating is a must for a commercial license. This rating allows you to operate in low visibility areas and weather. FAA requires a minimum 40 hours of flight time and the program can be completed in as little as 3 months.
  3. Commercial License; Single Engine (CSEL) and/or Multi Engine (CMEL)
    Obtaining this license means you can begin getting paid for your services as a pilot. You can’t fly for an airline yet, but you can do things like crop dusting, banner flying, aerial photography or go on to earn your Certified Flight Instructor License. You are required to have a minimum 250 hours of flight time and can complete this program in as little as nine months. We encourage a the multi-engine rating for anyone wanting to pursue an airline career.
  4. Recommended: Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)/ Instrument Flight Instructor (CFII)/Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI)
    Upon earning your commercial pilot license, we recommend becoming a Certified Flight Instructor which allows you to earn hours toward becoming a professional airline pilot, while being paid to instruct current students. This affords you the opportunity to manage educational expenses and ensure you are job ready.
  1. Start with credit from your PPL certificate.
  2. Become Instrument Rated.
    If you haven’t already, add an Instrument Rating to your PPL, which allows you to fly in all weather conditions. This can be done in as little as 3 months.
  3. Commercial License; Single Engine (CSEL) and/or Multi Engine (CMEL)
    Obtaining this license means you can begin getting paid for your services as a pilot. You can’t fly for an airline yet, but you can do things like crop dusting, banner flying, aerial photography or go on to earn your Certified Flight Instructor License. You are required to have a minimum 250 hours of flight time and can complete this program in as little as nine months. We encourage a the multi-engine rating for anyone wanting to pursue an airline career.
  4. Recommended: Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)/ Instrument Flight Instructor (CFII)/Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI)
    Upon earning your commercial pilot license, we recommend becoming a Certified Flight Instructor which allows you to earn hours toward becoming a professional airline pilot, while being paid to instruct current students. This affords you the opportunity to manage educational expenses and ensure you are job ready.

Commercial Single Engine License (CSEL)

Minimum Training Package | Prerequisites: PPL and IFR
$24,842
  • 24 Hours in the Simulator
  • 86 Hours in a Piper Warrior
  • 10 Hours in a Piper Arrow
  • 27 Hours Ground School
  • 55 Hours with an Instructor
Get Started

Commercial Multi-Engine License (CMEL)

Minimum Training Package | Prerequisites: PPL and IFR
$28,167
  • 24 Hours in the Simulator
  • 86 Hours in a Piper Warrior
  • 15 Hours in a Piper Seminole
  • 27 Hours Ground School
  • 60 Hours with an Instructor
Get Started

Commercial Single Engine License (CSEL)*

From Zero Flying Experience | Includes PPL and IFR
$44,668
  • Private Pilot Certificate (PPL)
  • Instrument Rating (IFR)
  • Commercial Single-Engine License
Get Started

Commercial Multi-Engine License (CMEL)*

From Zero Flying Experience | Includes PPL and IFR
$47,993
  • Private Pilot Certificate (PPL)
  • Instrument Rating (IFR)
  • Commercial Multi-Engine License
Get Started

Please note these rates do not include the cost of housing, books, exams or check rides, and are an estimate based on FAA minimum training requirements. Costs could be more depending on how often you fly and how quickly you absorb and retain the course curriculum.

*Based on training packages in our Piper Warrior, Piper Arrow, Piper Seminole and simulator for private pilot, instrument and commercial pilot programs. The student reserves the right to request alternative flight options available at an additional expense.

Sterling has access to affordable housing solutions. Please contact us for more information.

Finance Your Training

If you need financial assistance for all or some of your training, Sterling Flight recommends utilizing one of our financing partners. If you are a veteran, there are options available to utilize 

Explore Financing Options Explore Veteran Benefits
Reduce Your Required Flight Hours for ATP Eligibility

Sterling Flight Training is proud to partner with Liberty University through the institution’s Flight Training Affiliate Program (FTA). Liberty’s FTA program allows students to receive flight training at Sterling Flight Training, while working on their Bachelor of Science degree through Liberty University Online.

By completing this program, you are eligible to reduce the required 1500 hours to get an air transport license to as little as 1000 hours.

Learn More

Ready to Soar?

Ready to be a Professional Pilot? Want to experience our Redbird FMX Simulator, or join our ranks via your university’s aviation program? Let’s get you in the air.

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