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How to become a Pilot in Canada in 6 steps

Probably, you are here because you aren’t clear on the right steps to become a Pilot in Canada.

It is not difficult to become a Pilot in Canada but certainly competitive considering the juicy nature of the profession.

The challenge sometimes arises from inability of people to identify the type of pilot they wish to become.

In Canada, there are lots of flight schools to obtain either a private pilot license, a commercial pilot license. Also transport pilot license, you just need to know the requirements for each of them and the steps to follow. This way your desire and search on how to become a Pilot in Canada will succeed.

Therefore, this article is put together to answer most questions bothering you on how to become a Pilot in Canada. Questions such as Who a pilot is in Canada, duties, Career prospects, requirements, mode of operations and other helpful information.

Who is a pilot in Canada?

Is a person trained and qualified to fly aircraft and other types of air transportation within and outside Canada. The pilot performs this role through a constant exchange of information with the ground crew, air traffic control and crew onboard.

Types of Pilot

There are four types of Pilots which are Student pilot license, Private Pilot License, and Commercial pilot and Air pilot license.

Student Pilot: This is the first pilot license you should obtain to allow you to begin your pilot training career in Canada.

Private Pilot: This type of pilot is specialized in flying passengers or Cargo without any monetary compensation.

It requires you have completed a minimum of 45 hours of training with 5 hours on flight training devices.  In addition to 3 hours of cross-country flight time and 5 hours of ground training.

Commercial pilot: This type is trained and certified to fly aircraft for commercial purposes. To become a commercial pilot you should have a minimum of 200 hours of flight time and 65 hours of school training.

Air transportation Pilot: This is the peak of aircraft pilot certificate and by default, the highest paid type of pilot in Canada. A certified Air transportation Pilot acts as the command pilot in the crew of the pilot and other personnel on board. 1000 hours of flight time is the minimum flight time required to be an Air transportation Pilot.

National occupation code for Pilot in Canada

Pilots, flight engineers and flying instructors in Canada work under the National occupation code (NOC) 2271. All responsibilities and qualifications required to become a pilot in Canada are available in this NOC likewise the exempted duties.

Job responsibilities of a pilot in Canada

Eventually, you become a Pilot in Canada, your duties will be as stated below by NOC except for amendments.

  • Ensure Cargo are well distributed and balanced according to standard specifications, conduct a pre-flight inspection of aircraft and check passenger.
  • Check out the weather conditions if favourable or otherwise.
  • In charge of managing flight activities with ground crews and air-traffic control effectively. Also, inform crew members of flight and test procedures and direct activities of aircraft crew during flights
  • Constantly engage control towers for takeoff clearances, arrival instructions and other information
  • Monitoring the functioning of aircraft equipment and systems during flights, also in-flight tests.
  • Maintain communications with flight dispatchers, and weather forecasters and respond to report in-flight emergencies and malfunctions.
  • Provide flight evaluation reports when due.
  • Train pilots to use new equipment, or prepare them for examinations to re-validate or upgrade existing licenses.
  • Occasionally, fly new or experimental planes to examine their flight performance and safety
  • May participate in search and rescue operations, forest firefighting, aerial surveying, crop dusting and other services.

Why is piloting a good Career in Canada?

Every country needs a Pilot to the citizfors to move from one place or country to another by air. The demand for pilots in Canada is high considering the expansion by various airports that are rendering flight operations.

Statistics have shown that Canada will need at least 7300 pilots in the next three years so the job is readily available.

Averagely, a pilot earns about $97,000 yearly, those with more experience earn more so the profession is highly rewarding in Canada.

Career-wise pilots are exposed to lots of training, seminars and Conferences to boost their experience and expertise in the job.  Pilots in Canada can be their careers potentially build their in the following areas listed below.

  • Cargo pilot
  • Medical and Ambulance pilot
  • Flight Instructor
  • Charter pilot Business
  • Aviation Pilot

Requirements to become a pilot in Canada

There are basic requirements you should meet up before you begin your pilot training in Canada.

Firstly, you will need a minimum of a high certificate to further your licensing program.

Secondly, age requirement for Student pilot is 14 years, Private Pilot is 17 years and 18 years for commercial pilot. Also for Airline transport pilot the minimum age requirement is 21 years.

Thirdly, English language proficiency requirements are very important especially if you are from non- English speaking country. This is because language of aviation internationally is English. So it is compulsory that you present an English language proficiency test results to commence your pilot training.

How to become a Pilot in Canada in 6 Steps

Step 1: identify the available pilot training option

Considering, there are four types of pilot in Canada, you need to identify type of pilot you wish to become.

Once that is identified your search on how to become a pilot in Canada will be simpler and objective.

Step 2: Obtain the Pilot license

At this point you will need to apply for license from any of the flight school for training program.

The choice of school could be Aviation related degree program especially for Commercial license pilot or other flight related schools.

Step 3: Acquire a proof of Medical fitness

Once you are licensed as a pilot, you undergo a medical examination to ensure you’re medically fit for the job. This is done to prevent spread of diseases and careful handling of passenger’s life and general safety precautions.

Once you are successful from the medical examination Canadian Aviation Medical Examiner CAME will issue you Medical certificate of fitness. Note, no routine basis pilot undergo medical examination to ensure they are safe and healthy.

Step 4: Get trained and certified on Instrument rating

The instrument rating is very important to pilots because it enable them to fly aircraft under instrument flight rules.

Therefore as a pilot you will be required to under the training and get certified. The flight rules are evaluating weather conditions, navigate through areas of differing airspace and non-adherence to any specific weather requirements

Step 5: Acquired Experiences

Work experience is very important in Canada because it enable you to get well paid jobs and more exposure. You can acquire experience from different training Schools and other commercial airlines.

Step 6: Apply for Jobs

At this step you can now apply for jobs and begin your career gradually.

Does becoming a pilot in Canada require License?

Yes, you need a license to be able to operate as a pilot in Canada. This can be obtained from the Canada Aviation in collaboration with various flight training Schools and Colleges in Canada. The license is issued according to the type of pilot you are specialized in. Additionally, securing your flight instrument rating and flight instructor certificate is very important because it exposes you to new opportunities.

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Frequently Asked questions

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding how to become a pilot in Canada, it could be helpful.

What’s the retirement age for Pilots in Canada?

Pilots in Canada go on retirement at the age of 65 years.

How much does it cost to become a pilot in Canada?

The cost of becoming a pilot in Canada depends on the type pilot you wish to become. Find below the cost of becoming a pilot according to specialization.

  • Private Pilot License costs $1,775.00.
  • Commercial Pilot License cost 17$2,750.00
  • Flight Instructor Rating cost $3,750.00

How much does a pilot earn monthly in Canada?

On average a pilot earn up to $15,000 monthly, it also t depend on the rank and type of pilot.

What are the top flying or aviation colleges in Canada? 

Find below the top aviation college or schools in Canada.

  • The University of British Columbia Institute of Technology
  • University of Waterloo
  • University of Fraser Valley
  • Western University Canada
  • Seneca College
  • Confederation College

What are DGCA exams?

DGCA exams are qualifying exams that are written by potential pilots in training to acquire commercial pilot license in Canada. In case you don’t know, DGCA which simply means Directorate General of Civil Aviation,


Conclusively, becoming a pilot in Canada is desire of many; it is not difficult but highly competitive and expensive. Vital information has been provided, hopefully it add value to your questions that begs for answers.

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