How to Become a Helicopter Pilot – Career Path


helicopter pilotTo become a helicopter pilot, you don’t need to have a formal education. However, you will have to invest a substantial amount of time effort and money to get a private pilot license. You will equally need to have a good hand-eye combination and around $70,000 to get started in this career. First, evaluate if this career is a good fit for your skills, personality traits, and interest.

Evaluate if you would love to enjoy operating aircraft for a living and whether you can deal with loud noise and varying heights. You should be able to keep calm and be decisive in challenging and stressful situations. Besides that, you should be willing to take responsibility for the custody of the crew and passengers cargo. You should be able to remain mentally and physically alert for an extended period.

Education Needed

Becoming a helicopter pilot doesn’t require detailed education levels. You typically need a high school diploma and training. In fact, you don’t need formal education to get started in this career. The key challenge lies in investing a substantial amount of time, money and effort to succeed.

Helicopter pilots are responsible for transporting freight and passengers by helicopter. During the flight, they use a range of instruments for controlling the height and speed of the helicopter. They navigate and communicate with the air traffic controllers. After they land, they are responsible for doing all the post flight paperwork.


helicopterThe tasks of a helicopter pilot vary significantly depending on the job specification. Typically, they are responsible for checking weather conditions and restrictions in airspace along a planned route. They determine fuel requirements and maximum loads. They review he helicopter’s equipment and instruments and perform all safety checks. They work on gaining clearance from the air traffic control to take off and operate the helicopter.


In the United States, all professional helicopter pilots must have at least a Commercial Rotorcraft License that Federal Aviation Administration regulates. This license can be acquired from the different flight schools that FAA approves. To qualify for this license, you must be at least 18 years and be able to read, write and understand English.

Additionally, you should have a private pilot license for whichever category of aircraft and have at least 150 hours of your total flight time, including night flying and solo time. You should also score more than 90 percent on the FAA written knowledge test and complete all ground instructions.

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