What Factors Affect the Cost of a Commercial Pilot License?

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  • Written By: Geri Terzo
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2019
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Obtaining a commercial pilot license can open the door to a host of career and personal opportunities. It requires an investment of time and money, however, and the cost of a commercial pilot license can be affected by various factors. The time period during which an individual opts to pursue the certification can certainly weigh heavily on the financial obligation that is required, as flight schools and aviation organizations may change the price for certification over time. The amount of hours that it takes an individual to successfully pass the multiple steps, courses, and exams that are considered prerequisites in the aviation industry will also determine the cost of a commercial pilot license.

There really is no set cost of a commercial pilot license. The time and financial investment that is required is tied directly to the talent and experience of the individual. Each time that an aspiring commercial pilot takes a plane out, he or she is generally billed by the school that is training the person.

Every lesson might include some on-the-ground training and also involve time spent flying with an instructor. Schools can bill the aspiring commercial pilot by the lesson or the hour, or both, as an example. A commercial license is generally not the first one that an individual learned, as there are a series of more junior certifications that are required along the way to commercial status.


The faster that an individual can master the techniques that are part of each lesson, the quicker he or she can progress, which will keep the cost of a commercial pilot license lower. When a person needs to repeat a certain class, he or she generally must pay for the additional time that is spent, which leads to a higher expense for the training. Pilot schools often recommend that students fly several times per month. This is so that skills that are mastered early on are not forgotten. As a result, the more frequently that an aspiring commercial pilot takes to the skies the more reasonable the cost may be.

In addition to flight training, a regional aviation agency is likely to require that an individual obtains certain health certificates. These may be considered part of the cost of a commercial pilot license because without the clean bill of health, an individual is typically not allowed to pilot an airplane. An individual should consider the cost for books and other training resources when seeking a commercial pilot's license. Cost estimates can be provided by flight training schools, although these are usually based on average results. A fee for the cost of a commercial pilot license — the physical, tangible certification – is generally applied by the organization performing the flight training and often in conjunction with a federal aviation agency.


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