Becoming an Airline Pilot in Canada

Becoming an Airline Pilot in Canada

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By Neha Vyavahare

Working as an airline pilot is considered to be quite a respectable profession; however, the potential hazards that one must be ready for as an airline pilot come hand in hand with the respect.The understanding of weather and climate patterns, the engineering, design, and structure of a plane, and extreme safety measures, an airline pilot needs to be adaptable to the ever-changing scenarios of climate and have the ability to multitask in situations where  stress is high. The following is the education one requires to pursue a career as an airline pilot, as well as further information about the profession:

To begin one’s journey, you must obtain a license in order to begin your  journey in becoming a pilot. Such licensing is controlled by Transport Canada.


There are multiple options on where to obtain flight training. There is no initial flight experience necessary in order to go to a flight school. A basic understanding of math and physics will do. Here are 3 options to choose from:

  • Flight school
  • College program
  • The Air Force

The differences between costs will not be insurmountable. One must select a school that aligns with the individual’s needs, desires, and long-term goals.


Although there are multiple pilot licenses, each with their own rules and steps, the commercial pilot license is the license one needs in order to fly professionally. This license is compulsory if one’s goal is to pursue a career as a pilot. The main requirement for this license is the private pilot license.

The average cost of obtaining this license is approximately $30,000-$40,000. Indeed, the prices vary by schools, and how quickly one retains knowledge.

One must be at least 18 years old of age in order to get this license.

One also needs an Aviation Medical Certificate provided by an Aviation Medical Examiner, without one, you cannot practice as a pilot. You must have a Class 1 Medical Certificate valid for a commercial pilot license (and a Class 3 valid for the private pilot license) , and pass a colorblindedness test  (Pseudoisochromatic Plates Colour Vision Test/Farnsworth Lantern Test), as your  health is arguably the most important aspect of becoming a pilot.

More Info

  • complete 80 hours of private pilot ground school instruction.
  • achieve a minimum score of 60% on the written exam
  • complete a minimum of 200 hours of flying time
  • pass a flight test as pilot-in-command within 12 months after when you apply for the commercial pilot license


The average Air Canada pilot is paid around $150, 000.


The lifestyle of a pilot is unique, as one is constantly on the move around the globe. This may be the desires of one’s heart, to wake up in one country and fall asleep in another; however, one must accept the irregular sleep patterns and minimal time one can spend with his/her family along with the adventurous, never-ending journey of a pilot.

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