How to Become a Pilot After 12th? [Complete Guide]

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How to Become a Pilot After 12th

What should I do after the 12th to become a pilot? If this question comes ahead of your plan to pursue the career path of a pilot, you can go for a pilot training course after the 12th or qualify NDA exam to get the training of an Air Force pilot. The key requirement to become a pilot after the 12th is that you must have completed 10+2 in Science. However several pilot training academies also offer admission to commerce students. This blog brings you all the information on How to become a pilot after the 12th, fees of pilot training courses, requirements, eligibility, top pilot training institutes in India and abroad, and salary prospects of pilots in India.

Entrance ExamNDA Exam
Eligibility10+2 in Science (MPC)/Commerce
LicenseCommercial Pilot License (CPL)
Salary2 Lakhs to 5 Lakhs
Fees of Pilot Training Courses15 Lakhs to 20 Lakhs
Types of PilotsAirline Pilot,
Commercial Pilot,
Fighter Pilot,
Charter Pilot
Top Pilot SchoolsIndira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy,
Bombay Flying Club,
Rajiv Gandhi Academy of Aviation Technology, Madhya Pradesh Flying Club,
National Flying Training Institute

Who is a Pilot?

Highly trained professionals who go through in-depth training for flying various kinds of aircraft are known as pilots. There are different specialization courses available for different types of aircraft. From learning to operate various types of aircraft such as passenger aircraft, goods aircraft, and mail aircraft, pilots are also responsible for maintaining the internal mechanisms of aircraft. There are different types of pilots based on what kind of streams and subjects, candidates pursue.

  • Airline Transport Pilots – Those pilots who fly commercial planes by private airlines and transport customers are called airline transport pilots.
  • Private Pilots – The ones who can afford a private jet, prefer to have private pilots who can fly them around at any time required.
  • Sport Pilots – Sports Pilots are required to fly under 10,000 feet and mostly stay within a certain range.
  • Flight Instructors – They work under a training institution where their job is to train other aspiring candidates on how to fly.
  • Air Force Pilots – Trained under the country’s air force, they are experts in flying armed jets and work under the defence ministry.

Also Read: How to Become an Air Hostess?

Know All About a Career in Aviation!

How to Become a Pilot in India after 12th?

Before providing you with a detailed guide on how to become a pilot after the 12th, let’s first give you an overview of the two routes you can take to become a pilot in India which are as follows:

Source – Boeing Boy

Civil Aviation

(Taking the Non-Military Route through Commercial Pilot Training Programmes)

To take this route to become a pilot, you need to gain a commercial pilot certification from a certified authority which is the Directorate of General of Civil Aviation in India. As a commercial pilot, you will be flying a specific aircraft for an airline and many training academies around the world offer varied programs in Commercial Pilot Training the essential eligibility requirement for the same is that the student must have completed 10+2 with science stream from a recognized board of education [more on this in the next section]. Here is a list of top flying schools across the globe that you must consider:

  • CAE Oxford Aviation Academy
  • Flight Safety Academy
  • Pan AM International Flying Academy
  • Singapore Flying College
  • CTC Wings, Europe

To explore training programs for this route, check out our blog on Commercial Pilot Courses!

Indian Defence Forces (Air Force)

If you are willing to clear the competitive entrance exams for the Indian Defence Forces, then taking the Air Force route to become a pilot is the suitable one for you. The shortlisted candidates from the rigorous admission process are trained for 3 years at the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla. Here is the admission procedure to get into the Indian Defence Forces:

Pilot Entrance Exam After 12th – The pilot entrance exam after the 12th in India is the NDA Exam. By qualifying for the NDA exam, you can join the flying branch of IAF. It is a math-based and general ability exam comprising English, Geography, History, General Knowledge, Physics, Maths, Chemistry, and Current Events as the main subjects.

SSB Interview – There are two stages of the interview:
1. Officer Intelligence Test & a Picture Perception and Discussion Test
2. Psychological tests are taken by a psychologist followed by group tasks and then a personal interview

Pilot Aptitude Test – Consists of written and machine tests to assess the candidate’s ability to read instruments as well as their mental strength and how efficiently they can perform in different circumstances.
This test must be cleared in the first attempt otherwise you will be deemed ineligible for the flying branch and can not apply again.

Medical Examination – The candidate’s height, weight, and eyesight are thoroughly examined.
Eye vision: 6/6 in one eye & 6/9 in the other. (correctable 6/6 for hypermetropia)
Height & Weight: 152 cm with correlated weight

Also Read: How to Join Indian Air Force!

Step-by-Step Process to Become a Pilot After 12th

Courtesy: Pinterest

Stage 1: Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree

An airline pilot requires a bachelor’s degree in any subject, whereas a commercial pilot usually needs a high school diploma or equivalent. Some of the flight schools are part of 2-4 year colleges/universities offering the desired aviation or aeronautics degree, approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

Pilot Courses after 12th

Opting for a Commercial Pilot Training [CPL] program after 10+2 is yet another way to become a pilot after the 12th. For this, you will be required to clear an entrance exam, interview, and a medical test as set by the institute. The fees of Pilot Training courses after the 12th range from INR 15 Lakhs to 20 Lakhs and can also vary if you plan to study abroad. Here are the top institutes for Pilot Training courses after the 12th:

  • Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy
  • Bombay Flying Club
  • Rajiv Gandhi Academy of Aviation Technology 
  • Madhya Pradesh Flying Club
  • National Flying Training Institute

Through NDA Exam

In India, the coveted NDA exam is a golden opportunity for those who want to become a pilot after the 12th. Upon completing the 3-year-long course, you also have to attend flying training. Thereafter, you will work as a permanent commission officer.

Other Essential Details on How to Become a Pilot After 12th:

  • It is necessary to clear the class 2 medical of DGCA
  • Join an aviation institute
  • Fly at least 200 hours
  • Clear the exams
  • Get the CPL certificate

Must Read: Career in Aerospace Medicine

Stage 2: Get the Flying Experience

If you are aspiring to become a pilot then, you are required to achieve a certain number of flight training hours to earn a license. The training hours depend upon the desired type of pilot program. For instance, for a commercial pilot’s license, 250 hours of flying is needed, and 1,500 hours of flight time for an airline pilot. Formal training equips you with basic education, however, to gain in-depth knowledge and experience, you can hire a personal instructor or even join the military for exposure. 

Explore MBA in Aviation Management

Stage 3: Earn a Pilot’s License

The first step is to complete the required number of hours of flight experience, followed by a written assessment exhibiting your flying abilities and clearing the physical test. The key is to be confident and prepared. The list of major pilot licensing issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in each country is as follows:

  • Private Pilot License (PPL)
  • Commercial Pilot License (CPL)
  • Airline Transport Pilot License (ATP)
  • Multi-crew Pilot License (MPL)
  • Commercial Multi-Engine Land (CMEL)
  • Certified Flight Instructor (CFL)

In the US, certification is regulated by the FAA, while Transport Canada issues licensing in Canada. In most European nations, including the UK, Switzerland, Greece, France, and many more, licensing is furnished by the National Aviation Authority. 

Further, based on the type of pilot you want to become, the age requirements for a license will vary.

  • Student Pilot License – 16 years
  • Private Pilot License – 17 years
  • Commercial Pilot License – 18 years

Check Out: Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering

Stage 4: Complete Additional Training and Tests

A lot of airline companies require pilots to take aptitude and psychological tests as a precondition for employment. Once placed, pilots undergo further weeks of training and flight experience to get a hang of an adventure as co-pilots. Securing a prior experience with a regional airline company is always beneficial in the long run if you plan to join a major airline. 

Stage 5: Advance as an Airline Pilot

Leaping from pilot to the rank of captain completely depends on seniority and experience. You will have to clear additional FAA written and practical exams to obtain more flight ratings. You can continue learning and exploring the changes in the industry. Enriching seminars and webcasts are extended by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), and the International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations (IFALPA) for mastering and growth. 

Credits – JET.SET. FLY

Also Read: High Salary Courses After 12th Science

Best Universities for Pilot Course Abroad

These are some of the globally recognized colleges, universities, and academies catering to providing foundational and technical skills essential to building your career as a professional pilot:

Top Colleges for Pilot Courses in India

To study and train for a Pilot in India, here are some of the most renowned colleges in the country.

  • Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy
  • Bombay Flying Club
  • Rajiv Gandhi Academy of Aviation Technology 
  • Madhya Pradesh Flying Club
  • National Flying Training Institute
  • Ahmedabad Aviation and Aeronautics Limited
  • CAE Oxford Aviation Academy
  • Indigo Cadet Training Program 
  • Government Aviation Training Institute
  • Puducherry Thakur College of Aviation
  • Government Flying Club 
  • Orient Flying School
  • Institute of Aviation and Aviation Safety 

What are the Qualifications for a Pilot?

To enrol in any of the Aviation courses, you will be required to fulfil eligibility criteria as set by the institute or academy. Enlisted are the eligibility requirements to become a pilot after the 12th in India:

  • Your age should not be less than 17 years to begin training
  • You must have scored 50% in 10+2 which may vary as per the Institute’s requirement
  • You must have studied MPC subjects [Maths, Physics, and Chemistry] along with English at the intermediate level
  • If you are a non-science student, you may pursue the required subjects through the National Institute of Open Schooling or as a private candidate from the respective state board
  • You will need a medical certificate issued by the required authorities.

License to Become a Pilot

  • An individual with a private pilot license (PPL) can operate small jets and private aircraft. They are unable to pilot commercial aircraft. They work as personal jet pilots for the wealthy or the government.
  • An individual with a Certified Flight Instructor (CFL) License can instruct flying classes at flying training facilities. Future generations receive their information from them.
  • The most sought-after license to become a pilot after completing high school is the commercial pilot license (CPL). Big airline commercial jets can only be flown by those having a commercial pilot license.

Certifications to Become Airline Pilot after 12th

  • Aviation: Aircraft Ground Support Equipment
  • Security Operations, Processes & Strategies in Aviation
  • Aviation: Airline Customer
  • Cabin Crew Training
  • Service Course: Aviation Industry

UG Courses to Become a Pilot

PG Courses to Become Pilot

  • M.Sc. (Master of Science) Aerospace Engineering
  • MBA in Aviation
  • MSc in Aviation
  • M.Sc. (Master of Science) Aeronautical Science
  • M.E. (Master of Engineering) Aeronautical Engineering
  • M.Tech. (Master of Technology) Aeronautical Engineering
  • M.Tech. (Master of Technology) Aerospace Engineering
  • M.E. (Master of Engineering) Aerospace Engineering
  • M.Tech. (Master of Technology) Avionics Engineering

Skills Required 

To become a successful pilot, students must have the following skills other than academic knowledge:

  • Strong technical skills
  • Critical thinking and decision-making
  • Situational and environmental awareness
  • Good communication skills
  • A highly focused and disciplined personality
  • Striving continually for excellence
  • High-level flexibility
  • Mental stability and physical fitness
  • Good sense of teamwork
  • Inherent or learned leadership quality

Types of Pilot Careers

Before we delve deep into the explanation of how to become a pilot after the 12th, let us first understand how many types of pilots are there:

  • Airline Pilot – A pilot is someone who is involved in flying the airline to carry passengers and cargo on a fixed schedule at a larger distance around the world. This is considered to be the number one career for pilots.
  • Regional or Commercial Pilot – A commercial pilot is involved in flying regional airlines to carry passengers and cargo at shorter distances. Younger aspirants prefer this career because it requires fewer overnight trips and will keep you nearer to home. 
Types of Pilots
These are some of the pilot careers that one can pursue after one decides to become a pilot.
  • Corporate Pilot – A corporate pilot is involved in flying smaller corporate turboprops and jets for private enterprises or individuals to assist in the travel of corporate executives to meetings. 
  • Fighter Pilot – Also known as a Military Pilot, you will be trained to work for the Air Force or Army, flying military aircraft and transporting military cargo and riders. Fighter pilots are involved in aerial combat as well.
  • Charter Pilot – A pilot flying travellers to specific destinations is known as a charter pilot, it is also termed an “Air Taxi”. You can operate your own private charter company or simply work for other charter airlines.

Benefits of a Career as a Pilot

  • Good Payscale: Pilots receive substantial salaries that enable them to lead comfortable lives and pursue their financial goals. As a pilot, one can go for free to locations they have never been to if they are paid well.
  • Job security: Pilots are in demand since there is a growing need for them.
  • The aviation business is always changing, and there is a lot for pilots to learn. This change improves your multitasking abilities.
  • Non-Monetary Benefits: Pilots get a range of health benefits, complimentary lodging, meals, and other allowances, as well as travel savings for friends and family.
  • Pilots have the option of travelling according to their requirements and preferences because of their flexible work schedules.

What is the Salary of Pilot in India?

When it comes to calculating the monetary returns in terms of salary, the sky is the limit for pilots! Out of all the job profiles, commercial pilots generally have better salary packages. In India, upon completing 250 hours of flying, one is entitled to pursue a career as a commercial pilot and can earn a jaw-dropping monthly salary of 1.5- 2 Lakh. On the other hand, if you are choosing the route of the Indian Airforce, your yearly package can go around 5-8 Lakh per annum.

Major Recruiters of Pilots

Your tantalizing career as a pilot will kickstart once you have completed the right education and have obtained the required certification or licensure. Now that you are familiar with the route and know the answer to how to become a pilot after class 12th, let us have a look at some of the major employers in this field-

  • Air India
  • IndiGo
  • Air Asia
  • Spice Jet
  • Air India Charters Ltd
  • Alliance Air
  • India Jet Airways
  • Air Costa


Q1. What should I do after the 12th to become a pilot?

Ans. Here are the top courses after the 12th to become a pilot:
1. Commercial Pilot Training
2. BTech in Aeronautical Engineering
3. Diploma in Ground Staff and Cabin Crew Training
4. BSc in Aviation

Q2. Can we become pilots after the 12th?

Ans. Yes, the minimum criteria to pursue pilot training is 10+2 in Science and the minimum age for pilot training courses is 17 years.

Q3. Which subject is best for the pilot?

Ans. To pursue a career as a pilot, you must have Physics and Mathematics as the core subjects in 10+2.

For pilots, the sky’s the limit and that is exactly what we at Leverage Edu help you with, providing you with all the required knowledge and supporting you build a lucrative flying career.

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  1. I am Abdullah Ahmed khan 120pssout and my percentage60 and my jEE exam clear 82rank and how become h pilot and study

  2. I’m currently in tenth and dream to be commercial pilot. The most worrying thing was what to do after 10+2 and this website has cleared almost all of my doubts. A big thank you to creaters and writters of this webpage.

    1. Hi Anay!

      We are glad this post helped you learn and educate yourself. Sign up for your newsletter for the latest updates and news! Best of luck with your future endeavours.

  3. i just wanted to know that how would i gain a cpl after 12th and which exams i have to give and i would like to do this in the usa? i am now presently in class 10 and live in india

    1. Hi Ashmit!

      Thank you for reaching out to us! Please connect with our experts on this number-1800572000 and they will surely help you out!

  4. Won’t I be able to become a pilot through civl aviation(non-military route), if I had failed in Pilot Aptitude test?
    I also wanna thank the team for this blog as it had cleared most of my doubts for my dream career.

  5. I am currently studying in 8th and I want to join the ‘Air India’.And I don’t know which course is ideal for being a pilot.please help me.

    1. Hi Arya!

      You can reach out to our mentors who will suggest you the best courses and programmes based on your profile and preference. Thank you!

  6. Thanks alot I have learned many things from this site.i want to become a commercial pilot.i finished my 11th standard.i am very much eager to study this.but I have a problem I am very short.can I become a there any problem with height.

    1. Hi Usha!

      There is no minimum height requirement to become a pilot in the commercial sphere. If you have more questions, please consult with our experts at 1800572000! Hope this helps

  7. I want to become airline pilot. I’ll be 16 and will clear 12th with pcm in 2022. I’m still unsure that can I get admission in aviation academy or not and for which exam I need prepration.

    1. Hi, Manav!
      Hope you have gone through the article and institutes of abroad and India.
      For expert guidance, feel free to reach us at 1800 57 2000!

    1. Hi Aditya! Follow the application process given in the blog and if you have further questions then feel free to drop us a comment! Thank you and all the best!

    1. Hi Alphin! The pilot entrance exam after the 12th in India is the NDA Exam. Hope this answers your question

  8. hello, sir, this blog was very helpful for me but I had a question about fees that 30 lakh is for 1 month or for full pilot training? please respond as early as possible. will be waiting for your reply thanks

    1. Hello,
      The fees mentioned in this blog is not for a month but for the entire pilot training program. However, the fees mentioned in the blog is the average estimated fees for a pilot training license. The fees might vary from institute to institute.
      Hope this helps you. Here are a few more interesting reads for you to read:

  9. Hi I am Ananya, I am giving my 12th exams this year.i just wanted to know if I want become a commercial pilot which entrance I must appear for and how to prepare for it….then after than entrance what should I do next

    1. Hi Ananya,
      We are soo thrilled and filled with joy to know that you are aspiring to become a pilot after completing your 12th studies. We would like to first wish you good luck for your 12th exams and for your future aspirations too. Having said that, you have to give CPL exam in order to become a pilot after class 12th. For that, the candidates must have studied Physics and Chemistry in their class 12th and must have attained passing/satisfactory marks in both the subjects. After clearing the exam, you have to further search for a flying school where you can begin with your training. Here’s our detailed guide that will help you search for some of the best flying schools in India:
      If you want to pursue your licence and training abroad, then do connect with our experts at Leverage Edu on 1800572000.

    1. Hi Shekhar,

      You can apply to the flying schools in India or abroad. You have to appear for an entrance exam after which you can secure admission. The average fee of becoming a pilot in India is INR 25 lakhs.

  10. Hi sir / mam
    First of all thanks so much to giving this information , it will help alot of aspirants . my question is I am pursuing (non-medical) first year . so what is best decision for me after it or with it . thanks

    1. Hi Shivam,

      Even after you have graduated, you can get admission to a flying school provided you fulfil their eligibility criteria. Read about the best flying schools in India here-

  11. Hii I’m Pragati,first of all thank you for giving so much information about pilot ..actually I just wanted to know that there only a NDA exam that we have to give or any other exam ??

    1. Hi Pragati,

      You can either go for the NDA exam or the CDSE (Combined Defence Services Exam) conducted by UPSC twice a year. There are various exams taken for various positions and Airforce departments which you are either just for the male gender or for both.

  12. DO we need to do Bachelor of Science in Aviation after 12th to take admission in any flying school OR we can direct join any flying school after 12th and apply for CPL

  13. Hii,I am Faisal.Thanks for lot of Information*I just want to clear that I have just completed a 12th standard by science stream. But I took subject like “PCB”. I can take admission in any Flying institute*

    1. Hi Faisal,

      While Maths in 12th may or may not be an academic requirement for some flying schools in India, maths is generally required for in-flight calculations. However, you must consult the flying school authorities to know more about the same.

  14. I want to know that if student passed 12th without math (Bio, Physics , Chemistry) than student qualify for pilot training

    1. Hello! There are a plethora of opportunities for commerce graduates both in and outside India. We would recommend you to go through our blog Courses After 12th Commerce in case you are interested in knowing all the in-demand commerce courses after 12th. If you would like to start a professional career right after your 12th from a commerce stream then this blog may bring some deep insight Career in Commerce – Complete Guide.
      In case you are aiming to pursue a study abroad commerce course then our experts at Leverage Edu can guide you through your entire study abroad journey. Call us at 1800 572 000!

  1. I am Abdullah Ahmed khan 120pssout and my percentage60 and my jEE exam clear 82rank and how become h pilot and study