In order to fly a plane there needs to be a certain level of competency. A plane is heavy machinery, and with that comes a great deal of responsibility.
To become a pilot, there has to be training. And lots of it.
All this training can become expensive. Outside the initial schooling, there are other costs to consider. The machinery and equipment needed to start are a cost in themselves.
Add on to that the other living costs involved in studying, and the expenses begin to rise. There’s no way around it, training to become a pilot can become costly very fast.
If you’re interested in getting a pilot's license, you’ll want to know what kind of funding is available. Financial assistance can cut the costs of training to make it a much more affordable option.
If you have a passion for flying, you want to nurture that with training rather than destroy it with financial worries. We’re here to help you understand what financial assistance is a potential option for pilot training.
Can I get a loan for pilot training?
If you wish to go to flight school, you may or may not be able to apply for a federal student loan.
These are only available to accredited colleges, and not every flight school falls under that bracket. If you wish to apply for aviation school and are worrying financially, you should first check if they are accredited.
The easiest way to do this is to contact the school directly. They’ll be able to tell you if loans are available, and what type of help you may qualify for.
To qualify for a student loan, you need to be working towards an associates or bachelors degree.
If you don’t have access to a federal student loan, you may be able to qualify for a private student loan.
Again, not every company will offer a loan to cover flight school. You may need to shop around. To qualify for a private loan is a different process to a federal student loan.
This will be based on your credit score. A private loan can offer more than a federal loan, so more of the course can be covered. However, you need to start paying it back sooner.
Companies such as American Airlines Federal Credit Union, the AOPA Aviation Finance, and WE Florida Financial, have offered loans specifically for pilot training. These act similarly to other private loans.
Certain flight schools offer their own financial assistance. This will be scholarships, grants, and loans. They should be spoken to directly to find what you may qualify for.
They may also have a relationship with an airline. An airline may offer financial assistance in training, and in return you commit to work for them after graduation.
How do I fund pilot training?
To fund pilot training you can try applying for a federal student loan, a private loan, or apply for a loan, grant, or scholarship through the flight school.
There are flight training finance specialists, who offer loans specifically for flight training.
To qualify for each loan you’ll need to hit a different set of criteria.
Before applying, contact the schools you’re interested in to see what they can offer you. You can also contact airlines to see what scholarships may be available.
Funding pilot training is a large commitment, as it is generally costly.
How do pilots get funding?
Pilots will commonly get funding through either federal or private loans (depending on where they train).
They may also choose to fund themselves, through savings, or with assistance from family members. Some aviation schools offer grants and scholarships,
Pilot training is expensive, which makes it difficult for many to attend. As well as the costs of the course, other costs of living can quickly add up.
Although there are jobs available, many airlines will require a huge number of flight hours logged before they hire you. This can make it difficult for those just starting out to get employed.
Sometimes, commercial pilots will be funded by an airline. This will be a scholarship.
Scholarships for pilot training are rare, but they’re still an option. Before committing to a school, it’s always worth checking for scholarships.
How do you arrange money for pilot training?
To arrange money for pilot training you may have to apply for a loan. First, check if the school you wish to attend is accredited.
If it is, and offers a bachelors or associate degree in aviation, you may be able to apply for a federal loan.
For unaccredited schools, you may need to apply for a private loan. These will be based on your credit score, and you’ll start repayments during the course.
Private loans can offer more upfront, but will likely expect a faster repayment. Before applying for a private loan, be sure to understand the terms.
The course may offer its own funding. This will be specific to each school, and won’t be available to everyone.
There are sometimes scholarships available from airlines. These will fund or part-fund your training, and require future employment in return.
Alternatively, you can pay via savings, or ask for financial support from family members. Flight school may be expensive, but it does provide a clear career path.
Many trade schools can offer you a job at the end of the course. If you fund your own pilot training it may be a large cost upfront, but there can be chances to find employment straight out of school.
How do you get funding for helicopter training?
Depending on where you train, you may be eligible for federal or private loans to fund helicopter training. What you can apply for will be based on whether the school is accredited, and your own credit score and background.
There may also be scholarships and grants available for helicopter training. What’s available will change depending on the growth of the industry.
As with pilot training, helicopter training is expensive.