Career opportunities for CPL holders in India

Career opportunities for CPL holders in India 

Having a commercial pilot license in India opens up a plethora of opportunities for those who want to make a mark in the aviation industry.

In India, be it in the private or public aviation sector, a commercial pilot license brings lucrative career growth in terms of remuneration and professional perks. 

However, before getting a taste of these opportunities, one has to go through rigorous training and preparation to get a commercial pilot license in India to become eligible as a pilot.  

Cracking the training and examination for a commercial pilot license in India is no cakewalk. It is expensive and extremely difficult. 


What is the cost of getting a commercial pilot license in India? 


Getting trained for a commercial pilot license in India is expensive. One has to consider extra costs for books and training gear and the cost for re-training if the applicant cannot clear their examinations. 

One should have nearly Rs 25-35 lakhs to complete their training for CPL. T

One can avail of scholarships or take an educational loan to meet the cost of training. 

What are the skills to become a successful pilot? 


To become a successful commercial pilot in India, one has to clear the training and examinations as prescribed by the guidelines of DGCA. 

Let us look at them : 

Clear the medical preliminary education qualifications  

If you are thinking of having a commercial pilot license in India, you need to have the requisite educational qualification and medical test clearance to be considered eligible.  

This means an applicant who is 18 years old has to have strong proficiency in writing, reading, and speaking English. 

To clear the medical and fitness test, applicants need to have stable cholesterol levels. 

Clearing examinations and completing flying training 

After obtaining the pilot number from DGCA, applicants need to clear the examinations prescribed by DGCA. The examination comprises five theoretical papers and one practical Radio Telephony examination. 


To complete training at a flying school, applicants need to have 200 hours of flying. 

After completing the training and the examinations, successful applicants are called for interviews. Post clearance of the interview round, the commercial pilot license is granted. 


Have strong team-building and quick thinking abilities  

Only having the technical knowledge and skills is insufficient to become a commercial pilot in India. One needs to have strong team-building and problem-solving skills.  

As a commercial pilot, one is in charge of the cabin crews and needs to guide them for efficient execution of operations in the aircraft. 

Career opportunities for CPL holders 

After successfully obtaining a commercial pilot license in India, one can decide the career path they want to take in the aviation industry. 

These include  

  • Airline Pilot 
  • Cargo Pilot 
  • Charter/Air Taxi Pilot 
  • Corporate or Business Aviation Pilot 
  • Flight Instructor 
  • Agricultural Pilot 
  • Medical/Air Ambulance Pilot 

With more international private sector investment and frequent flying, the need for qualified commercial pilots has risen in India. Having experience of higher flying hours is a predominant factor to ace as a successful commercial pilot for an airline. 


One needs to undergo training to get their Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL). This requires rigorous training to clear 1500 hours of flying as mandated by airlines

Many prominent airlines have their own ATPL training programs. After clearing it, the applicant can join the airline as a pilot. 

Salaries of commercial pilots in India 

The salary scale of a commercial pilot in India starts with Rs 1.5 lakhs per month. With more experience, it can go up to Rs 5-8 lakhs per month. 

The perks and monetary benefits make commercial pilots one of India’s most lucrative career paths. 

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