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Beginner’s Guide to Aviation English Training Programs
September 22, 2021 at 9:30 PM
Image of a man in front of a private plane who's leaping for joy because he did English aviation training for a fast PPL and CPL.

A career as a pilot with a commercial airline is not only rewarding; it also comes with unique benefits that are tough to find in any other field. Besides the expected health, retirement, and paid vacation, pilots get “jump seats” on flights with their airline, allowing them to travel the world for free. Airlines also limit pilot flight time to 1000 hours per year, leaving them with as much as two weeks of leisure time each month.

There’s a pilot shortage, meaning well-trained individuals will have no trouble finding a job in the future. If English is your second language, you may worry that becoming a pilot will take too long or you won’t qualify. With an aviation English training program, you’ll learn career-specific language skills while training for your commercial pilot’s license.

I had to choose between the front and back seat … but realistically I only fit in the front. Just this simple choice impacted what images I could take, what stories I could tell.

How long does it take to become a commercial pilot?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires 1500 hours of experience to become a commercial pilot. On average, completing the requirements takes two years. If you’re building proficiency with English before enrolling in a training program, getting a commercial pilot’s license can feel a long time away.

The American English Institute program allows you to learn English while completing hours of experience you need to qualify for a Commercial Pilot License with aviation and English training.

What licenses does an aviation English training program include?

The qualification for a commercial pilot license is the most strenuous, and you can earn other qualifications on your way to certification. Our aviation English training students receive their Private Pilot License (PPL) after three to four months. The length of the program depends on how much English students already know.

Students also earn their Instrument Rating (IR) to show they can pilot a plane through instrumentation alone before their Commercial Pilot License (CPL). Single and multi-engine certification add-ons are up to the student’s discretion.

How much English do I need to know to become a commercial pilot?

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a United Nations agency. They set the language requirement for pilots flying international routes and air traffic controllers manning international airports. As of 2008, anyone in those positions must have ICAO Level 4 English.

Level 4 is the Operational Level of Aviation English. It does not require perfect pronunciation, but your intent and message are clearly expressed through vocabulary, sentence structure, and spoken fluency.

Bucket List

What jobs does an aviation English training program qualify me for?

A CPL doesn’t mean you have to choose a career working for a commercial airline. It simply shows you’re qualified for a wide variety of jobs that include:

  • Mainline and low-cost carriers: work for United and Delta, or Spirit and Southwest.
  • Cargo carriers: transport packages and shipments with FedEx or USPS.
  • Corporate aviation: work for a business as a private pilot.
  • Firefighting or EMS: help communities by piloting fire bombers or transporting patients, equipment, and aid worldwide.
  • Tour guide: work in popular tourist areas giving private tours of scenic attractions.

A Commercial Pilot License is the start of an exciting aviation career.

Start your journey to becoming a commercial pilot with an aviation English training program.

The American English Institute in Riverside, California, works with international and U.S.-based students to help them achieve their language and career goals. We pair comprehensive language instruction with professional training in conversational English, nursing, and commercial pilot programs. Our sped-up programs feature small class sizes––five students in a classroom, organized homestays with American families, and fun weekend excursions to popular California destinations.

Get the training and skills you need for a successful career as a commercial pilot with our aviation English training program. If you’re ready to take charge of your future, contact the American English Institute for more information, or enroll now.