What is a Commercial Pilot Certificate?

A Commercial Pilot Certificate allows the holder to act as pilot-in-command of an aircraft that is flown for compensation or hire. Simply put, you can get paid to fly a plane as a commercial pilot! Training to become a commercial pilot includes following the FAA standards listed in the Commercial Pilot ACS. Learn new maneuvers and refine your skills as a safe and proficient aviator.


In order to be eligible for a Commercial Pilot License, one must meet the following criteria.

⦁ Be at least 18 years of age
⦁ Hold at least a Private Pilot Certificate
⦁ Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language
⦁ Receive flight and ground training, along with appropriate endorsements from an authorized flight instructor
⦁ Pass the FAA written Aeronautical Knowledge test
⦁ Pass the FAA Commercial Pilot Practical test

What can I do with a Commercial Pilot certificate?

A commercial pilot’s license opens the door to several opportunities to earn money as you fly! Common commercial pilot jobs include flight instruction, corporate pilot, banner towing, agricultural pilot, pipeline patrol, and parachute operations just to name a few. All of which are great opportunities to get paid to fly while you increase your experience as a pilot, as well as build hours towards your Airline Transport Pilot certificate (ATP).

What should I expect when training to get my Commercial Pilot Certificate?

Commercial training starts in a single engine Cessna C172 or Piper Archer. During commercial training, you will learn new manoeuvres in addition to the ones you learned during your private pilot training. Ground instruction will include learning FAA commercial regulations and safety standards in order to prepare you for the written exam and teach you to make safe decisions as a commercial pilot. Cross country flight planning and flying as pilot in command are also required during commercial training.

Once you successfully attain a Commercial Pilot Certificate in a single engine airplane, you will then be ready to add a multi-engine rating! For this part of your training, you will have the opportunity to fly the Piper Seminole. The Seminole is exciting to fly and introduces multi-engine aerodynamics along with new emergency procedures that you will become proficient with during your training. The multi-engine add-on is required if you intend to find a job in an airplane with more than one engine.

How long does it take to earn A Commercial Pilot Certificate?

The answer to this depends on several factors. These include weather, student availability for training, and financing. The FAA requires a total of 120 hours for a Commercial Pilot Certificate under Part 141 training.  Motivated students in a fast track program, finish Commercial training on average in 5 months which includes the instrument rating. Students that are less available could take much longer.


Course costs are based on the average number of hours it takes a student to complete the course and may vary from student to student according to their capability and motivation. This makes it difficult to estimate the total cost of training before enrolling in a program.

Students are advised to look for financing options to cover their commercial pilot license cost and other expenses in advance to avoid any delays or interruptions in their training schedule.


The cost of becoming a professional pilot through traditional college-based aviation programs can be hefty. At UND Aerospace Foundation, we can help you save money by getting you into the cockpit and helping you master your flying skills within a shorter amount of time.

Additionally, our Phoenix flight training center has been granted examining authority by the FAA, meaning your certificate-granting exams can be administered by our staff in-house. This means our students don’t need to enlist the services of an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE), which can significantly reduce the commercial pilot license cost and logistical burden of obtaining your license.


for more information to get your pilot career started.