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IGHE Consultancy

Become a pilot

Job description

Pilots may do some or all of the following:

  • prepare or check flight plans
  • do pre-flight checks, including checking weather forecasts, the plane's load, fuel and equipment
  • calculate the amount of fuel needed for flights
  • programme flight management systems
  • liaise with air traffic control
  • navigate and fly the plane to its destination
  • write flight reports and keep a flight log
  • greet passengers, give them assistance if needed, and ensure they are seated

Skills and knowledge

Pilots need to have:

  • excellent flying skills
  • knowledge of flight theory and flight planning
  • skill in interpreting flight plans, weather information and navigation data
  • knowledge of aircraft systems
  • understanding of civil aviation laws
  • knowledge of safety rules and emergency procedures
  • management skills.

Personal requirements

Aeroplane pilots need to be:

  • responsible
  • able to lead a team
  • good at planning, thinking logically and following procedures
  • excellent at working under pressure and making quick, sound decisions
  • skilled at communicating and getting along with a wide variety of people
  • resilient
  • good at record-keeping

Physical requirements

Pilots need to have good hearing and eyesight (with or without corrective lenses), and good reflexes and co-ordination. They must also have a good level of fitness and health. They need to pass a medical exam every year (biannual for pilots above 40 years old).

Working conditions


  • work irregular hours – some do shift work
  • work in airports and aeroplane cockpits
  • work in conditions that are often noisy, and can be rough or uncomfortable in bad weather
  • travel between local or international destinations

Paylist in malaysia

  • Entry Level First Officer less than 3 years of experience average total compensation RM 60,000 per year
  • Entry Level Captain less than 3 years of experience average total compensation RM 156,000 per year
  • Senior First Officers more than 10 years of experience average total compensation RM 192,000 per year
  • Senior Captains more than 10 years of experience average total compensation RM 360,000 per year
Paylist source : Malaysia Airlines

Duration of training

  • Private Pilot License (PPL) – 4 months
  • Commercial Pilot License Course (CPL) – 8months
  • Multi Engine Instrument Rating (MEIR) – 4 months
  • ATPL Examinations – 1 year (in Malaysia)
  • Integrated CPL/MEIR – 14 months

*duration can vary greatly from one student to another as progress purely depending on the students’ performance

Categories of Licenses

Private Pilot License (PPL)
permits youto be a pilot-in-command of an aircraft forprivate or recreational use

Commercial Pilot License (CPL)
if you want to get paid for flying then you need this license. This license lets you fly as a professional pilot.

Multi Engine Instrument Rating (MEIR)
this endorsement gives you the added level of safety flying especially over water, rugged terrain and minimum requirement for airline flying

Airline Transport Flying License (ATPL)
the highest-level license of aircraft pilot licenses. You need to have this to be a Captain of an aircraft in a commercial airline. This is achievable (naturally) when you achieve a total of 1500 flying hours.

Frozen ATPL (not an actual license but just a term)
A 'Frozen' Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) is the name given to the qualification of a pilot who holds passes in all ATPL theoretical exams. The ATPL would become un-frozen when the flight experience requirements are met as explained above

Entry requirements

To become a commercial pilot you need a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). To become an airline pilot, you need a CPL with Multi Engine Instrument Rating with Frozen ATPL.

To get either qualification you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • must have completed SPM or O Level equivalent with good credits in Maths, Science and English. For Malaysian students, 5 credits in SPM including Maths, Science and English is a must to obtain the approval letter from Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM)
  • pass a Class 1 Medical Examination
  • satisfy the Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA) fit and proper person requirements (if any)
  • pass the English Language Proficiency test

Learning to fly can be one of life's most rewarding adventures. The freedom of moving in three dimensions is not only fun but can lead to interesting career and travel opportunities. To take advantage of aviation's rewards, you must make sure you get the good, solid information and aviation training that you'll need to be a safe, confident pilot in the air. One of the most important steps in that process is finding the right flight school.

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