How to Become a Pilot After 12th in India?

Becoming a pilot after Class 12th is one of the great career options in India. India is the fastest-growing country in the world, and the aviation sector is a major beneficiary of it. To become a certified pilot in India, there is a three-step process that we will discuss here.

Choosing piloting as a career is a high-paying, secure, and inspiring career option. For pilots, India has strict eligibility criteria, pilot exams, and expensive training. You can get different types of pilot licenses in India, and all have almost the same procedure.

But one thing is clear: India’s aviation sector is growing very fast, due to which more pilots and aircraft are required to meet this opportunity. Whether you are from a commerce background or a science background, you can become a pilot in India. You must carefully read this detailed pilot guide.

Pilots Overview in India

A pilot is a term for a person who is responsible for flying an aircraft safely and efficiently. There are different types of pilot options available, for example, commercial pilot, military pilot, corporate pilot, helicopter pilot, etc.

Let’s take a look at Indian Airlines’ future growth. 

The government will expand airports from 149 (right now) to 220 in the next 5–6 years. Airline companies have already placed orders for 1100+ aircraft in India. They regularly hire pilots, cabin crew members, and ground staff.

You can become a part of this growing industry. This career also offers you a high salary, a good lifestyle, and the opportunity to travel around the world.

It’s the right time to start your pilot training. After the 12th, to get a pilot license, you need almost 2 to 3 years.

Steps to Become a Pilot After 12th in India?

There are a few things that need to be done to become a pilot in India. Please carefully give attention to this, because this will cover all of your doubts about becoming a pilot in India.

Step 1: Eligibility Criteria for Pilot After 12th

  1. Age: The age should be 16 years old.
  2. Education: Of course, you have to be 12th-pass with physics and mathematics. As per Indian airline companies, your combined percentage of English, math, and physics should be more than 51% for Indigo, whereas Air India needs 60%.

If you do not have physics and mathematics in 12th grade, then you can take an open exam for two subjects from NIOS. Pass it, and start training.

  1. After a Medical test, you should be physically fit to fly an aircraft. For that, you should take a class 2 medical test from a DGCA-certified doctor. You must hold a valid DGCA class 1 and class 2 medical certificate.

There are a few tests required for you to get an SPL (Student Pilot License). The test includes

  • Eye Test
  • Radiology
  • Ear Test
  • ECG
  • CBC
  • Urine RE ME
  • Liver Function Test
  • Blood sugar, F, and PP
  • USG whole abdomen

Note: The medical test is more important than the 12th. All of your tests should be perfect, and if something can be fixed, then go for it.

Read More:- DGCA Class 1 and Class 2 Medical For Pilot Training.

Step 2: DGCA Exam Subjects for Pilots

The candidate needs to meet all the above requirements and pass their DGCA class 2 medical certificate before they can start preparation for the DGCA exams. Also, there is no percentage required to fill out the form.

DGCA conducted five exams, and the final RTR was conducted by WPC.

  • Air Navigation
  • Aviation Meteorology
  • Air Regulation
  • Technical General
  • Technical Specific
  • Radio Telephony Restricted RTR (A)

Each candidate needs to clear all the exams with a minimum of 70% marks. You can join ground-class training at India’s top aviation institute to clear your exams. Make sure to choose your training school wisely.

DGCA exams are only an entrance to joining a flight training school. Other than this, you also need to be prepared for the interview and have physical fitness.

Read More:- DGCA Exam Syllabus and Subjects

Step 3: Join a Flight School

Once you have completed all the DGCA exams, you need to apply to a flight training school where you will get practical knowledge of flying. There are lots of flying schools available in India.

Here, they will give you complete practical knowledge of flying a plane.

Phase 1: Ground Classes

Your training will start with ground classes, where teachers will give you basic knowledge about the aircraft and its functions. This includes topics such as aircraft systems, meteorology, and air traffic control.

Phase 2: Training on Single-Engine Aircraft

First, you got training on a single-engine simulator for 10 hours. They provide the basic workings of it. They will instruct you about safety procedures, pre-flight briefings, emergency instructions, etc.

After that, they give you training on the actual aircraft, where you will learn the entire process of managing the flight, piloting it, and working on the aircraft. You will learn about takeoff, landing, operations, and more. 

This practical training focuses on teaching basic maneuvering skills in Visual Flight Rules (VFR) conditions.

Phase 3: Get a Private Pilot License

After flying for 185 hours on actual single-engine aircraft and 10 hours on a simulator, you will get your private pilot license.

Phase 4: Training on Multi-Engine Aircraft

Now, you get training on multi-engine aircraft for 15 hours and 10 hours on a simulator. Once you complete your training, you can get a commercial pilot license.

Note: The cost of flying school may vary based on location, training institute, and curriculum.

Type Rating

Once you have completed single- or multi-engine aircraft training, you can now do type rating. This is advanced training on complex aircraft. This training is important to understand the operation of specific types of aircraft. This certification allows candidates to get a better job faster. This training happens on a simulator that covers various aspects such as navigation, emergency procedures, and performance.

Now, you are eligible to apply for jobs at different airline companies when they open for hiring. After this, you have to work as a co-pilot to gain more experience. 

Read More:- What is the Pilot Flight Duty Time in India?


Pilot is a great career option that anyone can pursue just after the 12th. The best recommendation is to take a medical test. This is a three-step process to get a license: verify your eligibility, clear all DGCA exams, and take practical flight training. This is a 2- to 3-year process for getting a license. You can start your pilot preparation today if your medical is clear.

When you are choosing an aviation institute for your ground classes, make sure to choose it wisely. The best aviation institutes, like TCA, will also provide you with complete guidance for becoming a pilot.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different routes to becoming a pilot?

Ans: There are only two ways to become a pilot: the first CPL and the second NDA. NDA is conducted by the government, and you fly military planes. Another way to get a license is through CPL, the route we already discussed in the above part.

What are the different types of pilot licenses?

Ans: There are mainly three types of pilot licenses available in India.

First, a private pilot license, where you are responsible for flying single-engine airplanes for personal purposes.

Second, a commercial pilot license allows you to fly large aircraft for commercial purposes.

Third, an airline transport pilot license gives you the option to fly aircraft for commercial purposes.

What are the top flying schools in India?

Ans: In India, there are many flying schools available. For example 

  • National Flying Training Institute
  • The Bombay Flying Club. 
  • Hindustan Aviation Academy. 

How much does it cost to become a pilot in India?

Ans: Cost may vary as per institute, curriculum, and location. But on average, you require 55 to 70 lakh rupees to get a pilot license in India. This complete pilot journey required 2 to 3 years.

What are the job opportunities in India for pilots?

In India, the airline industry is growing rapidly. Indian airline companies are buying more aircraft to fulfill the needs of the Indian economy. A pilot can look for opportunities in commercial airlines, cargo operations, corporate aviation, and flight instruction. Demand is driven by fleet expansions, retirements, and increasing air travel, which ensure stable career paths for qualified pilots.

After CPL, can I also become a pilot on a fighter jet?

Yes, but there is another procedure that you need to follow. NDA is the best option to become a pilot for a fighter jet. Also, there are other job options available for commercial pilots in the government sector in India.

Is a job guaranteed after CPL?

No, you can fly an aircraft after CPL, but there is no guarantee of a job. Every year, airline companies launch new hiring options for candidates. You can apply for a job, clear your interview, and earn money. Right now, we can see fast growth in the Indian aviation sector.

Is the pilot exam very difficult?

This completely depends on the candidates. Every year, thousands of candidates become pilots. I recommend you choose your aviation training institute wisely.

How much of a percentage is required in 12th grade?

As per the DGCA, there is no guideline on a percentage to become a pilot. But when you look for a job, airline companies ask for a percentage. Air India looks for 60%, whereas Indigo looks for 51% in combined physics, math, and English.

Which degree is best for pilots?

To become a pilot, no degree is required. You can pursue your career as a pilot just after the 12th.

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