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Commercial Pilot

Reach Higher

At Sterling Flight Training, our ambition is to create world-class, superbly trained pilots who will contribute their skills and expertise to aviation for a lifetime. We take great pride in helping develop such outstanding commercial pilots through an elite career-focused pilot training program, as outlined below.

The traditional progression for trainees pursuing a commercial pilot license includes the completion of the following licenses and ratings:

  1. Private Pilot License (PPL)
  2. Instrument Flight Rating (IFR)
  3. Commercial License; Single Engine (CSEL) and/or Multi Engine CMEL)
  4. Recommended: Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)
  5. Recommended: Certified Flight Instructor – Instrument (CFI-I)


Step 1 | Engage with a Sterling Flight Training Admissions Specialist

Whether trainees are just starting the private pilot program, or are ready to begin the commercial pilot program as a continuation of their training, Sterling spends time with each trainee to create a detailed, thoughtful plan for helping achieve desired outcomes. Because a career as a commercial pilot can ultimately take many directions, we always commit to discuss as many details as possible with each trainee to ensure the program has maximum benefit to the trainee’s career.

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Step 2 | Flight Training Plan & Tuition Overview

After a Sterling Flight Training admissions specialist has gathered the trainee’s goals and desires for his or her commercial pilot program, the trainee will receive an individualized plan to complete the program’s requirements, achieve desired outcomes, and maximize the opportunities available through the program. The trainee will also receive a tailored overview for how much his or her program will cost.

Below you will find minimum requirements, along with an overview of what most commercial pilot trainees experience.

Time Required: A commercial pilot license can be obtained in as little as 250 hours of total time (including your private pilot license and instrument ratings). The ultimate time required, however, depends on the student’s flight experience, goals and individual circumstances.

Tuition Information: Commercial pilot training costs are made up by, type of aircraft selected to train in, ground / inflight Instruction hours and course materials, exams and other required fees. Please note that each student’s ultimate costs are dependent upon successful completion of check rides, written exams and individual goals.

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Step 3 | Application Approval & Beginning of Program

Upon successful completion and approval of a trainee’s application to the commercial pilot program, it’s time for takeoff. Trainees begin the program with hands-on experience in-flight, ground training, written and oral exams and interaction with fellow trainees.

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Step 4 | Earn Your Multi-Engine Rating

A final component of every commercial pilot license is the completion of a multi-engine rating. This rating can be achieved in as little as 10-15 hours of flight training, with most people completing the rating in just a few weeks.

Tuition Information: The Sterling Multi-Engine rating costs are comprised of aircraft, instructor course materials, exams and other required fees; please note that each student’s ultimate costs are dependent upon successful completion of check rides, written exams and individual goals.

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Complete Your Commercial Pilot License through a University Aeronautics Program

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.

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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.