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What does it COST to become a Helicopter pilot

Updated: May 23, 2023

How much does it cost to become a helicopter pilot in 2022?


When considering a helicopter pilot career, the cost is most often the deciding factor. Flight school is a big investment, but so is getting educated and qualified for any other career.



The first step to becoming a professional helicopter pilot is getting your private pilot license (PPL). Flight schools will charge you anything from $100 to $400 per hour *. This will likely add up to around $10,000 - $20, 000 in total. This is just for your private pilot license and will not be enough to get you a job flying helicopters commercially. It is recommended to get your Instrument rating after your PPL, which will set you back $15,000 - $18,000.

To be able to work as a pilot you will need your private pilot license (PPL) and commercial pilot license (CPL). Your commercial pilot license (CPL) will add about another $20,000 - $25,000 to your training.


For the bare minimum licenses, you can expect to spend about $45,000-$70,000.



Once you have gained all the basic licenses to fly a helicopter commercially, you might want to get your flight instructor license. This way you can gain more your flight hours while getting paid. Most of the higher paying helicopter jobs, require you to have over 1500 of flight hours. A flight instructors license will cost around $5,000 - $8,000.


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 2 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


For a list of Training centers near you, have a look at our list here.


“My soul is in the sky.” —William Shakespeare


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