I would like to become a Professional Pilot. How do I get started?

Many different roads lead to becoming a professional pilot.

All these roads and all the flying jobs are now open to women, so follow your heart!

Before embarking on the journey, do remember that the road requires hard work, perseverance, dedication, and usually brings many years of very low pay. Do not worry though, your passion for flying and the support of your sisters in the Ninety-Nines will help you all the way!

Whichever way you choose to start, you will need all the following licenses and ratings, or their military equivalent:

Also consider that many of your long-term dream jobs will require you to have a 4 year degree.

That degree does not need to be in aviation, and some would even recommend considering a different field as this could help find a job in times of furlough.

The table below recaps the main routes to get to your Commercial Multi-Engine ticket, as well as the main pros and cons of each option.



Local FBO

Flight Academy

Aviation University


1 year flight training + several years of service

Several years

1 year to 1.5 year

4 years but you also get a degree


Free training

Cool airplanes!

Different options: active duty, reserves and guard

Pay as you go,

live at home, work

Faster than FBO

Bridge programs to Regional Airlines

Combine degree + flight training

Bridge programs to Regional Airlines


Not for everyone

Age limit to apply

More selective physical

Takes a long time

Few have multi-engine airplanes

Very expensive ($80,000 – $100,000)

Extremely expensive






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