Becoming a Pilot in 2022

Posted on Sun, 17/04/2022 - 17:17

Become a Pilot in 2022

The aviation and travel industries are slowly showing the green shoots of recovery within the new COVID pandemic landscape. The following guide should help you to make your first steps to becoming an airline pilot in 2022. 





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Training Routes Available To You

In 2022 there are three available routes to follow to become an airline pilot: 

  • Integrated

Integrated flight training is a well established and recognised type of training. It takes you from zero flying experience to airline ready along a well structured training pathway delivered by one flight school. The course offers good training continuity and requires the bare minimum of planning/management for you as a student as this is all handled by the school, however this ease of training results in higher average training costs and leaves you at the mercy of any training delays the school may encounter. You can find our detailed Integrated Flight Training Guide here.

  • MPL (Multi Pilot Licence)

The Multi Pilot Licence (MPL) is a highly focused training route specialised in delivering airline ready first officers. MPL courses are delivered alongside a partner airline with the students being trained following the airline standard operating procedures from day one. The training is airline oriented and specific to multi crew operations, therefore the licence you receive at the end of the course is both aircraft and airline specific and includes a multi crew restriction - meaning you can only fly for one airline, on one aircraft type at the end of your training. The MPL is the most expensive route to the flight deck and comes with the greatest risk, if the airline partner no longer has the recruitment requirements or you fail part of the final selection process you could face costly further training to make use of your licence.

  • Modular

Modular flight training is almost entirely structured and organised by you, the student, and can make use of as many or as few ATOs as you wish. This freedom allows you to fully tailor your training to your situation and that of the industry. Modular is the only route which offers the ability to work alongside your training, spreading the cost over a larger time and even allow you to train part time. While ‘fast track’ modular courses often are completed quicker than integrated courses in general modular students decide to take slightly longer. Modular allows you to choose where and who you train with which does require planning and careful consideration but opens you up to the benefits of the cheapest/fastest courses and tailoring your training to finish at a time when the industry is booming.

For more detailed looks at training routes and other useful guides visit our advice section.

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Cost of Flight Training in 2022

The majority of flight training is self funded in 2022. This funding either comes directly from your own pockets, or from sponsors such as your parents, wider family, friends and occasionally scholarships. In 2022 airlines do not pay for your flight training.

The price of flight training depends on the route you take, as a guide:

Full Modular flight training is very difficult to provide averages for however it can be completed for as little as £45,000 ~ €55,000. Our modular budgeting excel spreadsheet can help you to accurately budget for your flight training. Please contact us to receive this.

It is important to also remember that if considering joining an airline you will likely be expected to self fund the type rating, potentially adding as much as £30,000 to your training costs. 

Alternatively you may consider becoming a flying instructor. This course costs between £5,000 to £12,000 depending on if you complete it in the UK or Europe. It is often possible that a flight school will assist in funding this course and either offer reduced salary employment or some form of bond agreement.

Pilot Job Recruitment In 2022

The airline and travel industry have suffered considerable setbacks in the last few years including the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max, the current Russian war in Ukraine and of course the Corona Virus Pandemic.

As it stands in 2022 there are still thousands of experienced and recent flight school graduates who are unemployed, or not employed as pilots, however, there are green shoots of recovery. Low cost carriers such as Ryanair, EasyJet and Wizz Air are gradually starting recruitment for both flight school graduates and ‘direct entry’ experienced pilots. Other opportunities including joining airlines such as Jet2 as a Pilot Apprentice and working in non-flying roles for a number of months before transitioning over to a flight deck role. You could also consider becoming a flying instructor. 

The high supply of available pilots and relatively small amount of demand makes the current recruitment market incredibly competitive. Excluding any further setbacks or restrictions the amount employment opportunities within the industry are only going to increase but it could be as many as 5 years before we truly see a pilot ‘shortage’.

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You can find pilot jobs by visiting our partners PilotBase.

You can help yourself to stand out in an airline interview by visiting our partners Airline Prep.

You can save yourself money on flight school equipment by using the discount code ‘PilotNetwork5’ with our partners Pooleys Flight Equipment.

Airline Pilot Salaries in 2022

When you first graduate from flight school you will likely join a low cost carrier such as Ryanair, EasyJet or Wizz Air as a Second/First Officer and receive an initial salary of £20,000-£30,000. This will quickly rise as your experience increases and within 2 years you can expect a gross salary (including flight pay, holiday, allowances etc) of £45,000+. 

Flying instructors can initially expect to earn between £18,000-£25,000 depending on their restrictions.

You can find a more detailed breakdown about the life of an airline pilot and airline pilot salaries in our article here.

We hope this quick look guide helps you to understand more about becoming a pilot in 2022 and flight training. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.

Pilot Network is Europe's leading flight school review and comparison platform.

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Have you thought about?

Below are a few additional things you need to consider when considering flight training.

Other things to consider

  • Licensing

Brexit has complicated the situation with flight crew licences. Currently you have to commit to either an EASA licence, which allows you to work for European operators, or a UK licence which allows you to work for UK operators. At the moment this doesn’t mean you have to be based in the respective areas but this may change. It is also possible to gain both licences, although this has an added cost but is a brilliant method of keeping doors open.

  • Right to live and work

Another Brexit complication is the new right to live and work rules. You will need the right to live and work in the country which you will be based in with an airline. This could reduce the airlines they are available to you.

Pilot Network is Europe's leading flight school review and comparison platform.

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