How to Become a Pilot in India after 12th: Steps, Eligibility Criteria

Step by Step Comprehensive Guide on How to Become Pilot in India 2023

If you are a high school student looking at taking vocational courses after your eleventh and twelfth grade, you’ve probably considered piloting as a career path to pursue. Becoming a pilot is an exhilarating and rewarding career choice, offering high earning potential, good job security and a dynamic day-to-day work environment.

In India, the aviation industry has been experiencing consistently steady growth, opening up numerous opportunities for aspiring pilots to make their dream jobs. Whether you are interested in flying commercial planes, becoming a military aviator, or pursuing a career in aviation management, here are a few essential steps to give you an idea of the educational and job requirements for you to arrive at your desired career.

1. Set Your Sights on the Skies:

Before you begin your pilot training, it's crucial to evaluate your passion, dedication, and commitment to a career in aviation. The path to becoming a pilot requires perseverance, hard work, and unwavering determination. And this is old advice, but it’s good: follow your heart. A good way to gauge your potential interest in the field of piloting is to begin researching the different types of pilots, their roles, and the specific requirements for each subtype. This will give you a good idea of what your potential career options in aviation entail, and whether any of them sound right for you.

2. Educational Qualifications and Eligibility:

To become a pilot in India, you’ll need to meet certain eligibility criteria, including age, medical fitness and educational qualifications. As you start out your journey towards becoming a licensed pilot, constantly keep track of these eligibility criteria, and any timelines and procedures associated with them, to ensure that you stay on track.


You must be at least 17 years old to obtain a Student Pilot License (SPL), 18 years old for a Private Pilot License (PPL), and 20 years old for a Commercial Pilot License (CPL).

👉Educational Qualification

 A 10+2 (or equivalent) certificate of secondary education, with Physics and Mathematics as subjects, is required for pilot training in India. Some flying schools may have additional requirements, so it's important to check the specific criteria of the training institution you choose to apply to.

👉Medical Fitness

Clearing a medical examination conducted by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is mandatory to ensure physical fitness and eligibility for flying.

3. Choose the Right Flying School:

Selecting a reputable flying school is crucial for acquiring quality training and maintaining good career prospects. Look for schools recognized by the DGCA or affiliated with established aviation institutes. When choosing a school, consider factors such as infrastructure, training facilities, aircraft fleet, instructor qualifications, reputation, and placement records.

4. Acquiring Licenses:

The licensing process involves three main stages: SPL, PPL and CPL.

👉Student Pilot License (SPL):

You’ll need to apply for an SPL after completing your 10+2 education. At this point, you will undergo a medical examination, appear for a written examination, and complete at least 20 hours of flight training, including solo flying.

👉Private Pilot License (PPL):

To obtain a PPL, you must clear written exams in Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, and Technical General. Additionally, you’ll need to accumulate at least 60 hours of flying experience, including cross-country flights.

👉Commercial Pilot License (CPL):

The CPL requires theoretical exams covering subjects like Air Navigation, Aviation Meteorology, Aircraft and Engines, Air Regulations, and more. You must complete at least 200 hours of flight time, including specific hours of solo and cross-country flying.

5. Building Flight Experience:

After obtaining your CPL, you'll need to accumulate more flying hours to enhance your skills and increase employability. Consider options like becoming a flight instructor, joining a flying club, or working as a co-pilot.

6. Type Rating and Additional Certifications:

If you aim to fly specific types of aircraft, you may need to undergo a type rating course to obtain the necessary certification. Additionally, pursuing advanced certifications such as Instrument Rating (IR) and Multi-Engine Rating (MER) can broaden your career prospects.

7. Job Placement and Career Progression:

Aviation is a dynamic industry with diverse career opportunities. You can explore various avenues, including commercial airlines, cargo operations, corporate flying, charter services, military aviation, and more, over the course of your career in piloting. It is key to stay updated on job openings, network with professionals, and continually enhance your skills, to boost your chances of securing any desired position in the aviation industry.


Becoming a pilot in India requires continual perseverance and a passion for aviation. Armed with the baseline information in this career map, you can begin setting yourself on the path to realizing your dream of taking flight, even as early as high school.


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