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Nikita Parmar

Updated on 25th August, 2023 , 11 min read

How to Become a Pilot after 12th: In India, Courses, Exams, Fees, Salary 2023

How to Become a Pilot in India Overview

Pilots are highly experienced, talented, and licensed individuals who must complete a variety of training courses in order to operate an airplane or a helicopter. They are in charge of flying a variety of aircraft, including passenger planes, cargo planes, and postal planes, and are also in charge of maintaining an aircraft's internal mechanics and developing a flight plan while keeping numerous elements such as aircraft performance, altitude, and weather forecasts in mind.

There are 17,726 pilots in India, with 2,764 of them being women.

There are specific requirements for becoming a pilot in India that must be met in order to have a good career in the field. Students must have completed a necessary subject combination of Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics in order to pursue Undergraduate and Postgraduate Aviation Courses. B.Sc. Aviation, BBA Aviation Management, MBA Aviation Management, B.E. Aeronautical Engineering, and others are some of the top Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees for becoming a Pilot after 12th grade. These courses are available in some of the best aviation colleges in the country, including NIMS University, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy, AIMS Institute, Kristu Jayanti College, and others.

How to Become a Pilot

How to Become a Pilot in India Course Highlights

The following are the most important aspects of how to become a pilot-

Entrance Exam

NDA exam 


10 + 2 in Science (MPC)/Commerce


A Commercial Pilot License (CPL)

Salary Range (INR)

3.50 LPA- 5 LPA

Pilot Training Course Fees

15 LPA – 20 LPA

Pilot Classifications

Commercial pilot, Airline pilot, Fighter pilot, etc.

Top Pilot Schools in India

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy, Bombay Flying Club, National Flying Training Institute, etc.

Who is a Pilot? 

A pilot is a trained professional who manages the aircraft controls while ensuring the safety of the crew and passengers. You may fly passengers or freight from one point to another as a pilot, or you could work for a company that offers charter flights, aerial photography, or rescue services. In India, pilots can work in various fields, including commercial aviation and the air force. They perform many pre-flight checks and ensure safe flying by operating the jet in accordance with the types of rules.

Who is a Pilot

Types of Pilots

There are many sorts of pilots based on the streams and disciplines that applicants pursue. Mentioned below are the types of Pilots-

Different Types of Pilots

Airline Transport Pilot

These are the pilots who fly commercial jets for private airlines and transport customers.

Private Pilot

Those who can afford a private aircraft like to have access to private pilots at all times.

Sports Pilot

They must fly below 10,000 feet and mostly within a specific range.

Flight Instructor

They work for a training company and are in charge of teaching other aspiring pilots how to fly.

Air Force Pilot

Trained by the country's air force, they are professionals in flying armed planes for the defence ministry.

Who is a Pilot

Read more about Loco Pilot Salary and Airport Manager Salary.

List of Licenses to Become a Pilot

The following is the list of licenses to become a pilot in India-

  1. Private Pilot License (PPL): A Private Pilot License allows a person to fly small jets and private planes. They are unable to fly commercial aircraft. Millionaires or government agencies employ them to fly personal planes.
  2. Certified Flight Instructor (CFL): A CFL license allows a person to give flying lessons in flight training institutes. They pass on their expertise to subsequent generations.
  3. Commercial Pilot License (CPL): After the 12th grade, the most in-demand license to become a pilot is the Commercial Pilot License (CPL). Individuals with a Commercial Pilot License may operate large airline commercial jets.

Who is a Pilot

How to Become a Pilot in India?

To become a pilot in India, specific processes and preparations must be taken beginning in elementary school. The following are the actions that may be taken to become a Pilot at various levels-

How to Become a Pilot in India After the 12th?

How to Become a Pilot

The actions outlined below are critical for becoming a pilot after successfully completing Class 12-

  1. After finishing Class 12, students interested in becoming pilots can study several Undergraduate Aviation Courses such as BSc Aviation or any other undergraduate program.
  2. Students interested in becoming pilots might pursue Postgraduate Aviation courses such as MSc Aviation Courses. In addition, they must pass Pilot Licensing Exams before becoming eligible to become a pilot.

To become a Pilot After 12th, students must follow specific stages and procedures that are critical for an efficient and easy voyage through the process. Mentioned below is the step-wise process of becoming a pilot in India after 12th Class:




Step 1


Select a Flight Training Institute

  1. This approach would not only ensure that the students receive an in-depth study of the subject, but it would also lay a firm basis for them to flourish as individuals. 
  2. National Flying Training Institute, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy, Rajiv Gandhi Academy of Aviation Technology, Bombay Flying Club, and others are among the best aviation institutes in India.



Step 2



Gain Experience   

  1. Gaining experience is the second most important step in becoming a pilot after 12th grade, with students needing to accumulate flying hours. 
  2. Commercial pilots must have 250 hours of flying time, whereas airline pilots must have 1,500 hours. 
  3. Formal training will give a basic education; however, individuals who wish to get more in-depth information and experience might seek a personal tutor or even join the military. 
  4. Some of the top licenses that prospective pilots may obtain are the Private Pilot License (PPL), Certified Flight Instructor (CFL), Commercial Pilot License (CPL), Commercial Multi-Engine Land (CMEL), and others. 

Step 3 

Finish All Training and Examinations
  1. All aptitude and psychological examinations must be passed, and students must get experience as a Pilot and Co-Pilot in a regional airline.
  2. Pilots will be able to apply for larger airlines and extensive hours of flying after getting adequate experience.


Step 4


Airline Pilot Experience

  1. The advancement from pilot to captain is totally determined by seniority and experience. 
  2. Pilots seeking extra flight ratings must pass further FAA written and practical tests. 
  3. Pilots can continue to study and explore the changes in the business. 
  4. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations (IFALPA) offer educational seminars and webcasts to help pilots improve their skills and advance their careers.

Eligibility of Pilot Course after 12th in India

In India, eligibility to become a pilot is determined by two factors: physical fitness and educational qualifications. In order to become a pilot, each candidate must meet certain qualifying conditions. Male and female pilots have distinct physical needs. The physical qualifying standards for both female and male flyers are listed below-

Physical Requirements of Pilot Course (Male Candidate)

The list of physical qualifications required to become a pilot after the 12th grade is given below- 




163.5 cms


6/6 in one eye and 6/9 in the other

Leg Length 

99 cms - 120 cms

Thigh Length 

64 cms

Sitting Height 

81.5 cms - 96 cms

Candidates must not be colorblind or suffer from night blindness.

Physical Requirements of Pilot Course (Female Candidate)

The list of physical qualifications required to become a pilot after the 12th grade is given below- 




162.5 cms


6/6 in one eye and 6/9 in the other

Leg Length 

99 cms - 120 cms

Thigh Length 

64 cms

Sitting Height 

81.5 cms - 96 cms

Candidates must not be colorblind or suffer from night blindness.

The DGCA has special qualifications for becoming a commercial pilot after the 12th.

Also Read: Aviation Courses.

How to Become a Pilot: Educational Requirements

The educational requirements for students desiring to become pilots after the 12th grade are provided below-

  1. Candidates interested in becoming pilots should have a Bachelor's degree in Aeronautical Engineering, Aircraft Operations, or a similar field.
  2. Students from any other science stream can apply for this course; but, in order to work in this field, they must first complete an aviation degree.
  3. Every pilot must have a pilot transformation certificate and instrument rating certification. Students must get a commercial pilot license.
  4. A minimum of 250 hours of ground training is required for aspiring pilots to get a pilot's license.
  5. Aside from flying technical capabilities, students must also possess personal and emotional attributes in order to become pilots.

Pilot Course Eligibility Criteria

To enroll in any of the aviation courses, one must fulfill the school or academy's qualification requirements. To become a pilot in India, you must have completed the 12th grade and have the following qualifications:

  1. The candidate must be at least 17 years old to begin training.
  2. One must have a minimum of 50% in their 10+2, which may vary depending on the institute.
  3. One must have completed MPC subjects (Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry) as well as English at an intermediate level.
  4. If a person is not a science student, then he/she can take the needed topics through the National Institute of Open Schooling or as a private candidate through the corresponding state board.
  5. A medical certificate from the proper authorities is required.

Pilot Course Entrance Exams Accepted

Some of the most important entrance exams that must be passed in order to become a pilot are listed below- 

AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test)



AFCAT Full-Form

Air Force Common Admission Test

Registration Date

To be Notified

Exam Date

To be Notified

Mode of AFCAT Exam 


Total no. of Questions



3 marks for each correct answer (-1 negative marking)


120 minutes

Total Marks


Who is a Pilot

NDA (Union Public Service Commission National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Exam)



NDA Full-Form

Union Public Service Commission National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Exam

Registration Date

December 2022

Exam Date

To be Notified

Mode of NDA Exam 


Total no. of Questions



5 hours

Total Marks


Who is a Pilot

CDSE (Union Public Service Commission Combined Defence Services)



CDSE Full-Form

Union Public Service Commission Combined Defence Services

Registration Date

October 2022

Exam Date

To be Notified

Mode of CDSE Exam 


Total no. of Questions

English - 120 General Knowledge - 120 Elementary Math - 100 


1 marks each 


6 hours

Total Marks


Who is a Pilot

Skills Required to Become a Pilot in India 

Aside from academic knowledge, students must have the following skills to be good pilots-

  1. Physical Fitness
  2. Technical expertise
  3. Decision-making and critical thinking
  4. Environmental and situational awareness
  5. Excellent communication abilities.
  6. A very focused and disciplined disposition
  7. A high degree of adaptability
  8. Mental fortitude and physical fitness
  9. Excellent sense of teamwork
  10. Leadership ability

Also Read: AME Course and Aerospace Engineering Course.

Top Pilot Training Institutes in India

Mentioned below are some of India's most famous colleges for pilot training and education along with the Technology fees of the colleges-

Flight Training Colleges

Average Annual Fees (INR)

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy 

Rs. 42 lakh 

The Bombay Flying Club (BFC)

Rs. 10 lakh 

National Flight Training Institute

Rs. 50.05 lakh 

Government Aviation Training Institute

Rs. 55 lakh 

Indian Institute of Engineering and Aeronautics

Rs. 12 lakh

Indian Institute of Aeronautics

Rs. 1.70 lakh

Wingsss College of Aviation and Technology

Rs. 23 lakh

Hindustan Aviation Academy

Rs. 4 lakh 

Ahmedabad Aviation and Aeronautics

Rs. 20 lakh 

How to Become a Pilot in India: List of Aviation Courses

The following are the UG and PG courses that a prospective pilot might study to advance his profession in the aviation industry- 

Aviation UG Courses List


Annual Fees (INR)

B.Sc. Aviation

Rs. 65k

BBA Aviation Operations

Rs. 78k 

BBA Airport Management 

Rs. 1 lakh

B.Sc. Aeronautical Science 

Rs. 90k

BMS in Aviation Management 

Rs. 80k

B.E. in Aeronautical Engineering

Rs. 3 lakh

B.E. Aerospace Engineering

Rs. 3.75 lakh

B.Tech  Aeronautical Engineering

Rs. 2 lakh

B.Tech Avionics Engineering

Rs. 90k

Aviation PG Courses List


Annual Fees (INR)

M.Sc. Aerospace Engineering

Rs. 2 lakh 

MBA in Aviation

Rs. 10.50 lakh

M.Sc. in Aviation

Rs. 6 lakh

M.Sc. Aeronautical Science

Rs. 7.35 lakh 

M.E. Aeronautical Engineering

Rs. 8 lakh

M.Tech. Aeronautical Engineering

Rs. 9.90 lakh

M.Tech. Aerospace Engineering

Rs. 2 lakh

M.E. Aerospace Engineering

Rs. 5.90 lakh

M.Tech. Avionics Engineering

Rs. 8.75 lakh

List of Certifications to Become a Pilot


Annual Fees (INR)

Aviation: Airline Customer

Rs. 36k

Cabin Crew Training

Rs. 31k 

Service Course: Aviation Industry

Rs. 36k

Aviation: Aircraft Ground Support Equipment

Rs. 36k

Security Operations, Processes & Strategies in Aviation

Rs. 36k

Pilot Salary In India

The wage structure for all pilots differs; we have included the salary structure of pilots based on numerous characteristics below-

Sector-Wise Salary Placement of Pilot

Name of the sector

Average Annual Salary (INR)

Government (IAF)

Rs. 5 - 8 lakh

Private (Commercial)

Rs. 18 - 60 lakh

Specialization-Wise Salary of Pilot In India

Types of Pilots

Average Annual Salary (INR)

Private Pilots

Rs. 1.5 - 2 lakh

Flight Instructors

Rs. 3.2 lakh

Commercial Pilots

Rs. 24 lakh

Airline transport Pilots

Rs. 11 lakh 

Experience-Wise Salary Salary of Pilot in India

Experience (in years) 

Average Annual Salary (INR)

< 2

Rs. 17.50 lakh

2 - 5 

Rs. 20 lakh

5 - 10 

Rs. 45 lakh

10 - 20

Rs. 70 lakh

20 +

 up to Rs. 90 lakh

Top Recruiting Companies of Pilot

Some of the largest employers in this field include-

  1. Air India
  2. IndiGo
  3. Air Asia
  4. Spice Jet
  5. Air India Charters Ltd.
  6. Vistara
  7. Jet Airways
  8. Indian Air Force 
  9. Personal Charted Plane

Difference between Civil Aviation and Armed Force Aviation

In order to become a pilot in India, aspirants can pick between two options: civil aviation or the Indian Defense Force. 

  1. Civil Aviation: To become a Pilot in Civil Aviation, commonly known as a Commercial Pilot, aspiring candidates must get several commercial pilot certificates from various permitted agencies, according to India's Directorate of General Civil Aviation.
  2. Indian Defence Force: To become a pilot for the Indian Defence Force, one must first pass numerous Entrance Exams, after which they must undertake rigorous training for three years at the National Defence Academy before joining the Indian Air Force (IAF). Aside from the multiple-aptitude tests, candidates must also pass medical exams in which their height, weight, and eyesight are meticulously assessed.

Also Read: Aviation Courses after 12th and BBA in Airport Management.

Advantages of a Pilot Career

The following are some of the advantages of how to become a pilot in India-

  1. Good Income: Pilots are paid a good salary, which allows them to live well and afford to make investments. As a pilot, with a solid pay scale, one can also fly to locations they have never been to for free.
  2. Job security: Pilots are in high demand as the need for them grows.
  3. Unlimited learning opportunities: The aviation sector is always developing, and there is a lot to learn as a pilot. This change will help you improve your multitasking abilities.
  4. Non-Monetary Benefits: Pilots receive a variety of health benefits, free lodging, food, and other allowances, and even travel savings for family and friends.
  5. Flexible working hours: Because pilots have flexible working hours, they can travel according to their requirements and preferences.

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What are some of the challenges Pilots face?

Ans. To cope with any problems that may arise, pilots must be able to function successfully under pressure. They must also be versatile because they must think on their feet as well as adjust to unusual working hours. Working at different times of day is another issue that pilots frequently face.

What should I do when I graduate from high school if I want to be a pilot?

Ans. You can join the IAF’s flying branch after passing the NDA. It is a general ability and math-based exam with the major disciplines of English, Geography, History, General Knowledge, Physics, Maths, Chemistry, and Current Events.

What is the cost of the pilot&rsquo;s course?

A pilot training course typically costs between Rs. 15 lakhs and Rs. 50 lakhs.

What is the typical work schedule of a pilot?

Ans. A pilot typically spends 75 hours per month flying and 150 hours non-flying.

Should I go to college before starting flight training?

Ans. It is not necessary to attend university to become a pilot, however, it may be a good idea. There is no proper or incorrect answer as to whether or not you should go; it is totally dependent on individual circumstances.

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