Becoming a pilot

You’ve landed at easyJet’s one-stop guide to becoming a commercial pilot. There’s no other career that takes you to the thrilling (and literal) heights that piloting an aircraft will. Whilst you might have your head in, or above, the clouds, we’ve got all the info you need to ensure your dream of becoming an airline pilot takes off.

What you need to become a pilot

Apart from a love of flying, incredible hand-eye coordination and determination to work hard, there are a few other things you need if you want to be a commercial pilot.

  • You need to be at least 18 at the start of your course, and there’s no upper age limit.
  • Have at least a high school level of education, a background in Maths, Science and English can be helpful.
  • Have an EASA class one medical.
  • If you want to fly for easyJet, you’ll need the unrestricted right to live and work in the UK, EU or Switzerland, and the ability to speak and write in fluent English.

See our top tips on some of the areas that you can focus on to help you begin your journey to the flight deck. For specific entry criteria please view our partners websites.

Myths & FAQs

  • ^
    You need A levels and a degree to be an easyJet pilot.

    Not necessarily. We’re looking for real passion for aviation first and foremost, though we expect 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) grade C or above, including Maths, English and Science. And you can do a degree as part of your training.

  • ^
    University offers better value for money than learning to fly.

    University may cost less, but the earning potential of a commercial pilot means after 10 years, you’ll have earned £251,000 more than the average university graduate.

  • ^
    You can’t be a pilot if you wear glasses.

    Not true. Providing you meet the standard of vision, you’re fine.

  • ^
    It takes many years to become a co-pilot.

    It takes time, though not as long as you might think. Pass the training course, which lasts around 18-24 months, and you’ll be ready to step into the co-pilot’s seat.

  • ^
    As a pilot, you’ll spend most of your time away from home.

    It depends on the airline. But pilots for a short haul airline like easyJet can expect flexible shifts and will be home most nights.

  • ^
    You need a PPL (Private Pilot’s Licence) before you can become a commercial pilot.

    You don’t need any previous flying experience to apply for the generation easyJet programme.

Things to consider before choosing a pilot course

How long will it take to complete your pilot course?

Which airlines are partnered with your flight school? If you’ve set your heart on becoming a pilot for a specific airline, check they recognise the course you’re doing.

Look at the size and reputation of the pilot school. Some training providers may cost more, but if they have more support from airlines, the chances of getting a job could be higher too.

How employable will the course make you? In reality, many airlines look to recruit from integrated, rather than modular, courses.

Money matters. Make sure you know what’s included in the cost of your training, and don’t forget to add up every element. Remember, after you’ve completed your integrated or modular training, you may still have to fund your own type rating.

Choosing from easyJet’s training partners

Choosing the right training partner to get your career as an easyJet pilot off to a flying start is vital. And a very personal choice. There’s no doubting it’s a significant investment of both your time and money. That said, the returns can be phenomenal. The right flight school will be your ticket to an amazing lifetime of experiences.

We’ve already carefully selected three Airline Training Operators (ATOs), who all offer leading-edge training that’ll take you into a job with progression to the pilot’s seat in as little as 18 months – and into the captain’s seat in around 7 years.

Do your research. Check when they have open days. Attend them and ask questions. It’ll make your decision that much easier.

Click on the logos to learn more.

Navigating the commercial pilot recruitment process

Is the application process as exciting as your first flight as captain? Maybe not, but being prepared and getting it right means you’ll get that chance much faster. Before starting the application process, it’s important you do your research on the flight schools and submit your application to your school of choice. The process differs between flight schools, but it looks something like this:

Online application

You apply to the flight school you’ve chosen. Your application gets reviewed to see if you meet the criteria for generation easyJet. If you’re successful, you’ll be invited to the technical selection event.

Technical selection

How’s your hand-eye coordination? We’ll find out at this point, along with your motor skills and spatial awareness, in pilot aptitude tests. You’ll sit at a computer for more tests, and then we’ll grill you on your academic, mathematical and technical abilities. Do well, and you’ll be invited to attend a non-technical selection event.

Non-technical selection

We’ll bring you onsite to the training school, and give you a presentation and a few group exercises followed by a one-on-one interview. Do you have what it takes to be an easyJet pilot? This is crunch time.