Pilot training: How to become a pilot in Germany

With pilot training, you can become a pilot in Germany. We explain in our guide how it works.

The Allure of Being a Pilot: Exploring the Irresistible Appeal of the Profession

The profession of a pilot has long been revered and regarded as one of the most appealing careers in the world. The combination of a high-flying lifestyle, unique experiences, and a sense of adventure makes it an irresistible choice for many aspiring professionals. Furthermore, the allure of being a pilot can be attributed to a plethora of factors that contribute to its attractiveness.

One significant aspect that makes the pilot profession attractive is the prestigious and respected status associated with it. Pilots are regarded as highly skilled individuals who undergo rigorous training and possess the ability to operate complex aircraft, ensuring the safety and comfort of passengers. The responsibility and authority that come with piloting an aircraft evoke a sense of pride and professionalism.

Another factor that adds to the appeal of being a pilot is the opportunity for global travel and exploration. Pilots have the privilege of visiting diverse destinations around the world, immersing themselves in different cultures, and experiencing breathtaking views from the cockpit. The profession offers a unique perspective, allowing pilots to witness stunning landscapes and landmarks that are inaccessible to most people. This constant exposure to new environments and the excitement of exploring new cities make being a pilot an incredibly enriching and rewarding career choice.

Additionally, the financial rewards associated with being a pilot are also a significant factor in its allure. Pilots often enjoy competitive salaries, benefits, and job security, especially in major airlines. The investment in acquiring the necessary training and licenses can lead to a financially stable and prosperous career path. This financial stability, coupled with the prestige and lifestyle perks, further contributes to the attractiveness of pursuing a career as a pilot.

Requirements to become a pilot

The dream of flying: As a pilot, you can professionally control airplanes or helicopters. If you want to become a pilot, you have to complete training and obtain a pilot’s license. Such training takes at least 24 months and includes theoretical and practical instruction.

The combination of prestige, global travel opportunities, and financial rewards make the profession of a pilot highly appealing. It encapsulates a unique blend of professionalism, adventure, and personal fulfillment, making it an aspirational choice for individuals passionate about aviation and seeking a dynamic and rewarding career.

The prerequisites you need to become a pilot differ from airline to airline and flight school to flight school. The prerequisites also change from time to time, so you should compare and observe them.

Basically, the typical prerequisites can be divided into three classes:

1. Personal requirements

  • Physical fitness
  • Health condition without restrictions
  • Height between 165 and 198 cm
  • Reliability and punctuality
  • Honesty and openness
  • Convincing professional motivation
  • Sense of responsibility
  • Strong communication skills
  • Accuracy
  • Discipline, reliability and ability to work in a team
  • Acceptance of long and frequent trips
  • Good eyesight (+/- 3.0 diopters)

2. Administrative Requirements

  • EU citizen
  • Unrestricted passport available
  • Maximum 5 points in the central traffic register
  • At least 17 years old at the time of application

3. Additional requirements

  • General or subject-linked university entrance qualification
  • Fluency in English (at least level B2) and often also proficiency in the airline’s working language.

These criteria are only rough guidelines – for the concrete hiring criteria you have to search the websites of the individual airlines and flight schools. Just take a look at the career pages of various airlines or portals on the subject.

Uncovering the Unique Benefits of Embarking on a Piloting Career

Fulfilling a childhood dream of soaring through the skies, becoming a pilot offers not only this dream but also an array of unique advantages. This diverse and dynamic profession offers numerous opportunities to experience the world in a way that few other professions can match. From jetting off to global destinations, experiencing diverse cultures, to commanding the cockpit of advanced aircraft, piloting brings a lifetime of exhilarating experiences and rewards.

Most airlines do not specify a maximum age at which you can become a pilot. However, your chances of becoming a pilot probably decrease after 30 years of age.

One of the main benefits of becoming a pilot is the opportunity to travel extensively. With each flight, pilots get the chance to explore new destinations, engage with different cultures, and meet people from all walks of life. This provides a dynamic work environment that’s always changing, preventing the job from ever becoming monotonous. Plus, pilots often enjoy travel benefits that extend to their family and friends, making the world even more accessible for personal exploration.

Becoming a pilot also offers the advantage of a highly challenging and satisfying career. The complexities of aviation require pilots to be constantly learning and adapting, pushing their skills and knowledge to new heights. The responsibility of ensuring passenger safety and navigating through diverse weather conditions provides a sense of purpose and accomplishment unparalleled in many other professions. Coupled with competitive salaries and benefits packages, the fulfillment derived from piloting is indeed sky-high.

Questions and answers about pilot training

  1. What school-leaving qualification do I need to become a pilot?

    Most companies require applicants to have a general university entrance qualification (Abitur). However, there are also smaller private companies where you can also try it with an intermediate school leaving certificate (very good secondary school leaving certificate). If you have neither an Abitur nor a Realschulabschluss, then you can catch up on such a school-leaving certificate.

  2. Is there a maximum age for becoming a pilot?

    Most airlines do not specify a maximum age at which you can become a pilot. However, your chances of becoming a pilot probably decrease after 30 years of age, as airlines relate the cost of your training to the number of hours you are expected to fly by the time you retire.

  3. Can foreigners become pilots in Germany?

    As an EU citizen, you usually need a very good knowledge of German to become a pilot in Germany. For the flying itself English is sufficient – but for the communication in the company you often need German. If you are not from the EU, you must also have your school-leaving certificate recognized – it must be confirmed that your school-leaving certificate is equivalent to the Abitur.

  4. How much does a pilot earn in Germany?

    The salary depends very much on your employer, your experience and your length of service. The gross monthly salary is currently in the range of €5,000 to €12,000.

  5. How much does pilot training cost?

    Training to become a pilot costs between €50,000 and €100,000. Some airlines advance you this money and then deduct it from your salary later. In other cases, you will have to raise this amount yourself, although the airlines or flight schools may be able to arrange favorable loans for you.

  6. Are there many vacancies for pilots?

    The big growth markets for aviation at the moment are still Asia (especially China) and North America. Here you will consistently find a high number of vacancies for pilots. In Germany, there is currently a manageable number of pilot vacancies. However, a wave of retirements is expected here as well, so opportunities may increase again.

  7. Will pilots still be in demand in the future?

    We believe that pilots will continue to be in high demand in the future. Current setbacks in air traffic due to Covid or Russia’s war against Ukraine are expected to be overcome. Basically, there is no alternative to flying in many areas – especially in larger countries with large populations.

  8. Can I retake the policy test?

    If you fail the pilot test, you cannot retake it. So you should only take it prepared, healthy and focused, as there is only this one chance.

Which European airlines hire most pilots?

There are several European airlines that are known to hire a large number of pilots. Some of the major airlines that have a high demand for pilots include:

  1. Ryanair: Based in Ireland, Ryanair is one of the largest airlines in Europe and operates flights to destinations throughout the continent. The airline is known for its large fleet of Boeing 737s and is always looking to hire new pilots.
  2. Lufthansa: Based in Germany, Lufthansa is the largest airline in Europe and a member of the Star Alliance. The airline operates flights to destinations throughout the world and is known for its high standards of pilot training.
  3. EasyJet: Based in the United Kingdom, EasyJet is one of the largest budget airlines in Europe and operates flights to destinations throughout the continent. The airline is known for its large fleet of Airbus aircraft and is always looking to hire new pilots.
  4. Air France: Based in France, Air France is a major European airline and a member of the SkyTeam alliance. The airline operates flights to destinations throughout the world and is known for its high standards of pilot training.
  5. British Airways: Based in the United Kingdom, British Airways is one of the largest and most prestigious airlines in Europe. The airline operates flights to destinations throughout the world and is known for its high standards of pilot training.

Other European airlines that have a high demand for pilots include: KLM, Iberia, SAS, easyJet, and Wizz Air.

Outside of Europe there are the fowllowing airlines with high numbers of hired pilots:

  1. American Airlines: American Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world and employs thousands of pilots to fly its fleet of aircraft.
  2. Delta Air Lines: Delta Air Lines is another major airline that employs a large number of pilots. The company has a strong reputation for providing comprehensive training and career development opportunities for its pilots.
  3. United Airlines: United Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world and employs thousands of pilots to fly its fleet of aircraft.
  4. Southwest Airlines: Southwest Airlines is a major airline in the United States and is known for hiring a large number of pilots each year.
  5. China Southern Airlines: China Southern Airlines is one of the largest airlines in China and is known for hiring a large number of pilots each year.
  6. Emirates: Emirates is one of the largest airlines in the Middle East and is known for hiring a large number of pilots each year.
  7. Qantas: Qantas is one of the largest airlines in Australia and is known for hiring a large number of pilots each year.

What should I look for when choosing a school for pilot training?

In addition to low prices and a high-quality selection, you should pay particular attention to whether the school maintains good relationships with airlines. Let the school explain to you before the training, which connections there are, if and under which conditions you will be recommended to the airlines and how the school can establish contacts etc. for you.

Pilot training teaches you everything you need to know theoretically and practically to be able to work as a pilot later on.

Make sure that the school does not only have good connections to one airline and that the connections are not only personal but structural. Cooperation agreements between pilot schools and airlines are very helpful to identify this quality for example.

Aptitude test for pilots

Every airline or flight school will conduct an aptitude test with you before you start your training. The aptitude test usually uses a computer test to examine the following points:

  • basic technical and physical knowledge
  • knowledge of mathematics
  • English skills
  • Reactivity
  • retentiveness
  • Ability to concentrate

Your ability to work in a team and your behavior will also be tested by assessing you in individual interviews and/or group discussions.

What is it like to work as a pilot?

Before you decide to become a pilot, you should reflect on whether you will be satisfied with the day-to-day work later on. These are some points you should consider when choosing a career:

Becoming a pilot in Germany
Pilots are expected to remain in high demand in the future – especially in populous and large countries.

The great thing about being a pilot for many is that every day is something different. You usually have frequently changing flight schedules and often always have a different captain or first officer at your side. You’re constantly seeing lots of new places – not just from above, but you’re often staying overnight all over the world. That means you’re often away from your family.

Pursuing a global career often entails relocating to a new country, which makes finding the right accommodation crucial. To streamline your search, consider exploring the options available on HousingAnywhere.

One thing that makes the job of being a pilot difficult for many is that you’ll have to fly in all weather and in all situations. You won’t be a fair weather pilot, but you will have to fly in really difficult weather.

Pilot’s work can be challenging

The hours can be tough, too. Not only is the time you spend in the air important, but also the many hours of preparation before each flight. You’ll also have to do a lot of paperwork and many administrative steps.

You must be prepared to work with your colleagues even for many hours in a confined space (cockpit) and you will be enormously exhausted after several short-haul flights per day or a real long-haul.

It is also important to note that you will have irregular working hours. If you are a person with strong routines and pronounced power curves in the day, it could be difficult. As a pilot, you need to be able to fly just as well at 3 a.m. as you do at 4 p.m. in the afternoon.

Alternatives to pilot training

Another option is for you to join the German Armed Forces and, with any luck, become a pilot there. However, this is often not really plannable and in the end no guarantee that you will also become a civilian pilot.

The state police and the federal police in Germany also hire and train pilots.

By the way, there are a lot of jobs at airports besides pilots. We have written an article for you on “Jobs at airports in Germany“.

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