Pilot Career -
Wednesday, 02 January 2008 19:47
Dear Captain Lim,
I am a High School graduate from Canada and I hope to become a commercial airlines pilot. I am going to start an Electrical Engineering course this September. I was wondering if you could kindly advise me as to what are the requirements to become a commercial airlines pilot.
FAQ 9 also has the same questions as mine and you have directed the person to FAQ 18 Q 1. Unfortunately, I did not find the answer to my question.
My 2 questions are:
1. Do I need a Technology or an Engineering degree to become a pilot?
2. Is there a height requirement to become an airline pilot?
Thank you in advance,
Most commercial airlines pilots hired today hold a college degree. It doesn't matter whether it is a technological or engineering degree because, for instance, to be eligible for a FAA airline pilot certificate, an applicant only needs be able to "read, speak, write and understand the English Language". But getting a job with a major airline is so competitive today that you have to be a very good all-rounded applicant - not just having the best college degree. You must pass the various examinations in the selection process and excel in the interview. Anyway, an Electrical Engineering course is a good choice.
Different airlines have slightly different filtering processes in selecting the best candidates. I cannot cover everything here. Unlike most Asian airlines where cadet pilots are groomed by the airlines through a scholarship program, aspiring pilots in Canada and the USA have to go through a tougher route to fly some of the best airplanes in the airlines.
In order to get an airline transport pilot license, you have to pass a first class FAA medical certificate in the USA. The medical requirements did not state a minimum height for a pilot and some airlines may have their own rules, such as Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways that spells out the minimum height of 1.6 meters. I am not sure whether the Canadian requirement is similar to the FAA of the USA. Normally, they don't vary much.