5 Steps to Become a Helicopter Pilot in Canada

Check out what you’ll need to begin a career as a helicopter pilot in Canada.

Do you enjoy the idea of operating aircraft for a living and are comfortable with heights and loud noises? If this is what you like, then this might be for you. If you want to become a helicopter pilot in Canada, you’ll need to figure out if your talents, interests, and personality qualities are a good match for this career path.

Likewise, becoming a professional helicopter pilot in Canada doesn’t require formal education. Although, the training you’ll need will take a significant amount of time, effort, and money.

To get started in this field, you’ll need good hand-eye coordination, a lot of practice, and a budget of $50,000 to $120,000. In this guide, we go over the steps of becoming a helicopter pilot in Canada, the Salaries and licensing required for work as a pilot, as well as some typical interview questions and answers to frequently asked questions about helicopter pilots, and much more!

Who is a Helicopter Pilot?

A Helicopter pilot transport passengers and Cargo by helicopter. A helicopter is a type of aircraft that can travel in any direction or stay still in the air.

What do Helicopter Pilots do?

Helicopter pilots are in charge of carrying people and goods via helicopter. On a larger helicopter, helicopter pilots may work alone or in a team with a captain and co-pilot.

In addition, they employ a variety of equipment to regulate the helicopter’s height and speed, navigate, and communicate with air traffic controllers during the flight. They are also responsible for completing all post-flight paperwork, which usually includes a duty hours log, once they have landed.

Likewise, Helicopter pilots can fly single-engine and multi-engine helicopters for a range of commercial, recreational, military, and emergency response missions, including:

  • Aerial surveys
  • Aerial tours and sightseeing
  • Agricultural spraying
  • Charter transport (such as flying to offshore oil rigs)
  • Commercial aviation
  • Forest firefighting
  • Heavy lifting
  • Combat and troop transport (such as “heli logging”)

Typical Job Responsibilities

A helicopter pilot’s responsibilities vary widely from one job to the next, depending on a variety of conditions. They are, nevertheless, in general, responsible for the following tasks:

  • They check for weather and airspace constraints along the proposed path.
  • Calculating the amount of fuel needed and the maximum loads that can be carried
  • Examining the helicopter’s instruments and equipment
  • Conducting safety inspections
  • Educating passengers on the importance of safety
  • Obtaining permission to take off from air traffic control.
  • In charge of the helicopter
  • Organizing junior-level pilot training programs
  • Managing flight crews
  • Completing and storing post-flight paperwork

Is Being a Helicopter Pilot a Good Career?

If you’re thinking about pursuing a career as a helicopter pilot, you should start by doing your homework. It will not be simple, quick, or inexpensive to pursue a career as a helicopter pilot.

A career as a helicopter pilot, on the other hand, can be both gratifying and exciting. Emergency medical services pilots, firefighting pilots, offshore oil support, and external load operations, according to Hillsboro Aero Academy, are the most competitive and well-paying helicopter employment.

Helicopter Pilot Salaries in Canada

Basically, the salary level of helicopter pilots varies, typically depending on the following factors:

  • Their level of experience and aptitude of the pilot
  • The province in which they work
  • The specific responsibilities of their job
  • Their employer’s size and type

But, in general, according to the 2018 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans employed as air pilots, flight engineers, or flying instructors earn an average annual salary of $64,265 each year.

Similarly, the annual provincial median salary for persons in the same occupational category in British Columbia is $66,664. (according to WorkBC).

However, at the time of writing, there is no comparable salaries figures for other Canadian provinces or territories.

Skills required for helicopter pilots

Becoming a competent and successful helicopter pilot in Canada certainly requires a set of skills. In brief, here are skills required for you to become a helicopter pilot:

Manual dexterity: Helicopter pilots must have excellent manual dexterity in order to handle the necessary controls and levers with ease.

Mathematics: Helicopter pilots need math abilities to calculate the length of their journeys and to operate their varied equipment efficiently and accurately.

Communication: Helicopter pilots rely on their communication abilities to handle talks with a variety of professions. They also communicate with employees at their main office.

Time management: Helicopter pilots must have excellent time-management abilities in order to efficiently plan their schedules and routes.

6 Steps to Become a Home Inspector in Canada

Steps to become a helicopter pilot in Canada

Helicopter pilots are in charge of flying and controlling helicopters. These are highly trained officers who are capable of performing manoeuvres and flying a variety of helicopters. When a company releases a new aeroplane, they test it for efficiency, safety, and performance.

In addition, they convey passengers from one site to another, transport commodities and merchandise on flights, and keep flight logs. Here’s a step-by-step approach to helping you learn how to fly a helicopter:

1. Make an appointment for your medical examination

Helicopter pilots must undergo a medical examination to assess whether they are physically fit enough to perform their duties. This examination is required because health issues might cause flight delays and mishaps. Here are some health issues that could make it difficult for you to work as a helicopter pilot:

  • heart problems
  • psychological disorders
  • history of drug abuse
  • lapses in consciousness
  • hearing issues

2. Obtain a degree

To work professionally as a helicopter pilot in Canada, you require a degree. An associate or bachelor’s degree in math, physics, or aeronautical engineering is required by most helicopter pilot employers. Some universities that provide aviation majors also assist with the licensing process.

Because the curriculum focuses solely on piloting requirements, attending a flight school may be a faster route to licensing. This includes sufficient flight experience as well as written, oral, and flight exam preparation.

Student pilots learn how to operate a helicopter and practice take-off and landing manoeuvres. Pilots first learn on simulators, then with the assistance of an instructor. When the instructor determines that the student is ready, solo flights are conducted.

3. Take into account financial aid

You may want to apply for financial help depending on where you plan to finish your study. Some pioneering institutions offer to finance training and education in general. Some students choose to work in the military as helicopter pilots to save money on tuition and gain additional advantages.

4. Acquire licenses

When it comes to becoming a helicopter pilot, the first licensing to consider is your transport license. Transport Canada issues helicopter pilot licenses based on the purpose of the license. Examine job advertisements for this role to learn more about the licensing requirements.

5. Update your resume

In both academic and professional life, a CV lists the total number of flying hours you’ve logged. Some flight schools may give pilots résumé templates that allow them to incorporate all relevant flying and training details.

From there, you can go over specific job listings to see if you hold the necessary licenses. CPR certification may be required for some job advertisements. Here are some things to think about before getting your helicopter license:

  • On your first solo flight, you must be at least 14 years old. The requirement for obtaining a business license includes a minimum age of 18 years old.
  • Students must be citizens of Canada.

Licensing Needed to become a helicopter pilot in Canada

To become a professional helicopter pilot in Canada, below are the general qualifications:

Helicopter pilots in Canada must be licensed as Commercial Helicopter Pilots by Transport Canada. To be eligible for a license, you must be at least 18 years old and finish a 100-hour course that takes 3-6 months and costs between $50,000 and $90,000. (depending on the types of helicopters used for training).

These courses are offered by a number of Transport Canada-accredited helicopter flight schools around Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some frequently asked questions about helicopter pilots:

What are the salaries and job prospects like?

In general, Helicopter pilots earn an average annual pay of $42,866 in Canada. According to Canada Job Bank, there will be a labour shortage in this field from 2019 to 2028. In 2018, there were 28,200 helicopter pilots working in Canada.

Is it necessary to have great math skills to be a pilot?

Absolutely Yes! Helicopter Pilots use many math skills when operating rotorcraft. Pilots must also employ a variety of arithmetic skills. Algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus are all common disciplines. Students can enrol in college math classes or study independently using books or study materials designed exclusively for pilots.

Should I go to college or flight school?

This is dependent on your personal choices and requirements. In lieu of regular college, helicopter pilot hopefuls might attend flight school. Scholarships or work possibilities as flight instructors may be available through flight schools.

Flight schools can provide the option of earning a degree and gaining a pilot’s license at the same time. Traditional college may be the best option for people seeking a more generalist degree.

How much time does it take to get a driver’s license?

Your helicopter license is contingent on how frequently you attend classes and have the opportunity to practice. Students who fly part-time and put in three to five hours of practice per week can get their license in less than a year. If you practice frequently, you can complete your license in under eight months.


In conclusion, the best office, it’s been claimed, is a cockpit. Becoming a helicopter pilot in Canada entails an exciting professional path and a variety of experiences. If you follow the steps outlined in this guide, you will undoubtedly achieve your goal.