How much does it really cost to become a helicopter pilot?
When considering a helicopter pilot career the cost is most often the deciding factor.
Flight school is a big investment. If you go directly to flight school to earn your private pilot license, you can expect to pay about $30 to $40 per hour. This will likely add up to around $10,000 - $15,000 in total. This is just for your private helicopter pilot’s license and will not be enough to get you a job flying helicopters commercially.
To be able to work as a pilot you will need your private license and commercial license, and your instrument license as well. Getting a commercial license will add about another $30,000-45,000 to your training.
For the bare minimum licenses, you can expect to spend about $45,000-$70,000.
Having your private, commercial, and instrument licenses will qualify you to fly helicopters for a living, but with only these three licenses, you probably won’t be able to find a very high paying job that you enjoy. Some of the most advantageous jobs to have, like being a flight instructor, will not be an option for you unless you pay for more training.
In order to land a high paying job, you should get as many licenses and certifications as you can.
If you decide to go to a university flight school, you are looking to pay around $130,000 to earn your helicopter pilot’s licenses and certifications.
This cost can fluctuate depending on tuition fees, fuel prices, and aircraft maintenance. The cost can go up depending on which aircraft you are flying. Depending on your weight, you may have to spend more on your education because you’ll have to fly in the larger aircraft, which takes more fuel.
At a university flight school, you’ll graduate with a degree, advanced training, and more flight hours, all of which will help you land a good job, but it will take you 4 years to do so.
Once you have the required hours and licenses, you can then enter the helicopter industry in an entry level position.
Although the initial investment is high and it will take time to work up to a higher paying job, there really is no other ”office” like a helicopter.
”You don’t need wings to fly.” —Unknown
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“My soul is in the sky.” —William Shakespeare