If you love to fly, yes, you can really get paid doing what you love!

This article reveals all about how it works and some of the best companies and programs that pay you to fly.



Consider this…

The greatest distance from one American city to another would be the distance from New York City to Honolulu, Hawaii.

First, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

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The distance is 4983 miles.

If you were to travel by airplane nonstop, if it was possible, the flight would take you 11 hours and 40 minutes.

That is almost half a day.

That is a considerable amount of time spent in the air and certainly would help your frequent traveler miles.

My point?

To become a commercial airline pilot the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) requires that a potential pilot logs in 1500 hours of air time.

In other words, as it relates to traveling to Hawaii from New York, you would have to make that trip 125 times or another way of putting it is that you would need it to be in the air 62 1/2 days.

It can be safely said that the stringent requirements to become a pilot are demanding and exacting.

If one wishes to become a pilot it would certainly require that the individual be fully focused and committed to this line of work.

Let us, therefore, look at ways for an individual to earn money so that they in turn can earn their wings.


10 Ways/Tips to Get Paid to Learn to Fly


1. Budget 

In starting on your journey to learn how to fly and get paid, the beginning action step would be the devising of a budget.

A budget will reflect your income and expenses and help you determine what, if any, shortfalls there are or will be in planning on getting paid to go to flight school.

As part of the process, you can pay attention to both sides of the ledger by increasing your revenue through a variety of options and also cutting back on your expenses by reducing various expenditures throughout the month.

Some of those expenditures could include the reduction in entertainment such as doing away with cable TV or unsubscribing to streaming services.

Also See: Cheapest Days To Fly and Other Secret Cheap Flights Hacks.


2. Plan

As a soon-to-be pilot, you most likely know the value of filing a flight plan.

The same is true as it relates to planning significant events in our lives.

By devising or filing a flight plan, we are provided clear directions as to where we are headed, and the steps needed in between to get there.

As it relates to a plan to get paid to learn to fly, a strategy needs to be developed as to what you will do, who you will approach, and various steps in between to know that you are on track to achieving your goal.


3. Loans 

An option to get paid to learn to fly would be to investigate the possibilities of taking out a loan.

The loan can be from a commercial financial institution and through your research and investigation, secure a loan with the best possible interest rates and an acceptable payment plan.

Also, you can look to family to possibly help loan you the money with the promise to pay back the loan with a modest amount of interest.


4. Scholarships 

In essence, going to flight school is like pursuing any other higher learning or degreed educational opportunity.

Therefore, there are entities that you can research to provide scholarships.

One such website that you can begin your journey in researching scholarships can be found at https://landing.redbirdflight.com/posts/flight-school-scholarships.

An additional resource can be found by clicking here.


5. Share the Cost

A cost-savings measure or way to get paid to learn to fly at a reduced cost would be to share the expenses with another individual who also wishes to learn to fly and become a pilot.

The flying sessions could be split evenly with each of the individuals sharing the cost.


6. Military 

Each of the branches of the Armed Forces has a pilot component.

To be a pilot you would need to be a commissioned officer.

To be a commissioned officer requires that you have a bachelor’s degree and upon enlistment, you would apply to go to the various academies affiliated with the branches of the services.

Upon completion of officer’s training school, you then could be selected to go to flight training school.

Additionally, the United States Army provides an additional track to become a pilot and that is through their warrant officer program.

For more information about that program, you can click here.


7. GI Bill 

An additional option, as it relates to being involved with the military, is to fulfill the terms of your military contract and upon completion, you would be eligible for the GI Bill.

This is a benefit provided to reserve members as well as veterans that will help pay for an individual’s advanced training at a higher level of schooling.


8. Work at Flight School 

Given your love for aviation and your desire to become a pilot, perhaps you could secure an employment position with a flight school.

Often, as a benefit, flight schools will offer a discounted rate to their employees to help with their pilot training.

Additionally, the employment position doesn’t need to involve actual flying or working within the plane, the discount, offered to employees, could be whether you are working in the office or helping to maintain the grounds, etc.


9. Research 

Of course, there are most likely a variety of other opportunities that you can avail yourself of to get paid to learn to fly.

One just simply needs to carve out the time in their schedule and do their research to see what opportunities might be available.


10. Simulator

A possible alternative to reduce costs or, in actuality get paid to learn to fly, is through the use of a full-motion simulator.

Although this is not the real thing as climbing into a cockpit and taking to the air and learning how to fly, a simulator is a good alternative.

Additionally, the use of a simulator is less expensive than renting a plane and taking lessons.

Generally, an hour at a full-motion simulator will cost an individual roughly $95.



10 Best Companies/Programs to Get Paid to Learn to Fly


1. Federal Grant 

Another way that an individual can consider getting paid to learn to fly is through federal grants.

One such site that lists potential opportunities for making applications for grant money can be found at https://www.faa.gov/education/grants_and_scholarships/.


2. ATP Flight School

ATP Flight School offers a pilot training program that provides the needed training, and resources plus the added dimension of airline partnerships that provide the potential of joining that airline as a commercial pilot.

The program can be completed in seven months with the anticipation that the individual can be an airline pilot within two years.

Certification is provided by a certified flight instructor that offers multi-and single instrument instruction as it relates to the cockpit.

As an added dimension to their service provided to students in a variety of partnerships with major airlines.

Some of those airlines include:

  • United
  • Spirit
  • Delta
  • Frontier
  • Sun Country Airlines
  • Air Wisconsin
  • Avelo

Click here to check out ATP Flight School


3. United Airlines 

United Aviate is the Pilot Development Program associated with United Airlines that a potential pilot can make an application with.

If accepted, you would, upon graduation, start your career with United by being a United express pilot with the possibility of transitioning to a first officer.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

Initial criteria include being at least 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen, and having a high school diploma.

There are a variety of scholarship funds available and distributed.

Click here to check out United Airlines


4. Spirit

Spirit operates the Spirit Direct Program in which the individual graduating from ATP flight school will possibly be involved with an interview as recommended by the instructors at the flight school.

Upon reaching the required 1500 hours, taking the proper courses, program, and involvement with similar training, if hired by Spirit, the trained pilot may become a first officer.

Click here to check out Spirit Direct Program


5. Delta

The Propel – Pilot Career Path Program is administered by Delta Airlines.

To be part of this program offered by Delta the individual would need to be a Delta employee and hold their private pilot certification.

They would then enroll in the flight school and earned their FAA commercial multi-engine pilot’s certificate

They would build upon this experience and become an ATP flight instructor after graduation.

Following this step, they would then be eligible at a point in time to return to Delta to begin their career as an airline pilot flying for this commercial airliner.

Their website can be accessed at https://propel.delta.com/content/propel/en_US/home.html


6. Frontier

Frontier offers to potential pilots their Frontier Direct Program.

This program has partnered with ATP so that the individual earning their FAA commercial multi-engine pilot certificate can be interviewed and possibly be fast-tracked with Frontier airlines.

Once the individual has graduated from the school they will then build on that experience by becoming a flight instructor.

Following this milestone, Frontier airlines, on the recommendation of the instructors at ATP, may secure an interview with Frontier airlines.

Following this action item, the individual will be further involved in a jet transition program and utilizing the simulator to receive the proper additional training.

Ultimately, the opportunity may present itself for Frontier airlines to hire the individual as a first officer.

For more information, you can click here.


7. AirWisconsin 

The Airline Pilot Hiring Partnership operated by Air Wisconsin works in concert with ATP flight school.

Bonuses and potential financial incentives could total close to $30,000.

Click here to check out AirWisconsin


8. Sun Country

Sun Country operates its Sun Country Direct Program.

The process to become a first officer with Sun Country Airlines is the same structure as the other affiliated airlines associated with ATP.

Click here to check out Sun Country


9. SkyWest 

SkyWest Airlines has developed a pilot training program in concert with AeroGuard.

Through SkyWest Airlines, a reimbursement package for tuition is offered to help the individual cover a percentage of the cost of their tuition.

Through their cadet program, SkyWest endeavors to make the transition from cadet to pilot as smooth as possible.

The cadet to benefit from tuition reimbursement needs to make a commitment to SkyWest following their initial operating experience.

The program is called the Pilot Pathway Program and is available in the cities of Phoenix, Chandler, Austin, and Riverside.

The package offers 17,500 in reimbursement for tuition fees and costs.

The reimbursement is processed when the candidate completes the initial operating SkyWest Airlines experience.

In addition to the possibility of receiving tuition reimbursement, SkyWest has significant prolific career advancement opportunities that are offered as well.

To learn more about this program you can click here.


10. AeroGuard 

AeroGuard is a flight training center that trains individuals to become pilots.

They are located in the states of Arizona, Texas, and Florida.

Although they don’t provide monetary assistance per se, they do work with major airlines in finding financial resources as well as the development of a pilot career path for interested individuals.

To learn more about this flight training center you can access their website at www.flyaeroguard.com.



Personal Story

When thinking about learning to fly, one can’t help but think about their experience as it relates to air travel.

My first time aboard an airplane was back in 1969.

I had just graduated from the U.S. Navy and was headed to my first assignment.

I was ordered to report to San Diego, California.

Flying from Chicago O’Hare International Airport was quite an adventure and on this particular flight, it was nonstop.

I was impressed as a young sailor and still wet behind the ears with saltwater.

The flight at first was exciting but then kind of became routine and boring.

However, during that time of air travel, service, 30,000 feet, in the air was great.

The attentive stewardess came around and asked whether we wanted beef or chicken, would provide us beverages, and bring our meal.

It was a great service and I felt like an admiral being waited upon in this manner.

Anyone familiar with air travel realizes things have evolved significantly where the meal was eventually replaced with a bag of peanuts or pretzels and a can of soda and then eventually no service at all.

However, there was one constant through all of this and that was the pilot.

Whenever the pilot would address the passengers in the plane, coming across in a confident baritone friendly voice and the epitome of confidence would welcome us aboard, give our estimated time of arrival, provide a weather report, and encourage us to sit back and enjoy the flight.

Today, things have changed considerably as it relates to air travel.

The service has significantly been scaled back and the Perfepossibilities of a tumultuous fight both outside the cabin and inside is a strong possibility.

However, there has been one constant.

That was the voice of the pilot streaming over the internal intercom system.

If I was a betting man, I would wager that the same pilot that transported me on my first flight is the same pilot that flies all around the world today as it seems the voices sound the same.


Getting Paid Learning to Fly FAQs


How Many Commercial Airline Pilots Are There in America?

According to Statista there were in 2020, as measured in the thousands, 691.69 commercial airline pilots in America.


What is the Average Salary of a Commercial Airline Pilot?

There is a great disparity in salaries amongst commercial airline pilots.

Some pilots can earn $56,000 while other pilots will earn $700,000 in a year.

Having said all that, the average salary for an airline pilot in 2020 was $186,870.

For more information click here.


You Can Do It

To become an airline pilot doesn’t happen overnight.

As it relates to experience in the air, it requires many “nights” of equivalent hours to become a pilot.

However, if qualified mentally and physically, the individual can make it happen and there are several possibilities for the aspiring individual to take to the air through a variety of helping programs.



The airline industry has changed significantly as it relates to the services that they render.

There has been a significant scaling back of services and the friendly skies aren’t as friendly as they once were.

There seems to be a constant thread in all of this and that is through the calming voice coming from the airplane cockpit that reflects not only a confidence in who they are as a person but the piloting skills and experience that they bring.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

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Apart from being a seasoned Personal Finance expert who has written for top publications around the world, I bring significant personal financial experience. Long story short... through bad financial choices... I found myself $100,000 plus in debt. I was able to dissolve this indebtedness and regain financial solvency. This financial turn around was accomplished through reading, studying and implementing a financial plan. My financial plan included paying down my debt through budgeting, being cognizant of where my financial resources were being spent, changing my attitude about money and understanding the binding chains of the improper use of credit. Today, and for 10 years, I have been debt free and have invested wisely to enjoy my current retirement. This is allowing me to write to help others make, save and grow money wisely!