Commercial Pilot License (CPL): Your Pathway to a Professional Flying Career

Commercial Pilot License

The FAA Commercial Pilot Certificate qualifies pilots to be financially compensated for piloting an aircraft. It is referred to internationally as a Commercial Pilot License (CPL). It is unlike the Private Pilot certificate, which is designed for recreational use. Furthermore, the PPL only permits the licensed pilot to share the cost of the flight. A CPL is the key to earning money through your service as an aircraft pilot. So, if you want to learn how to get your CPL, read on.

Our CPL course meets the minimum equivalent licensing requirements to be co-validated as a commercial pilot in the USA and around the world. The only exceptions to this are the countries in the European Union that require dual EASA. Most importantly, Epic’s pilot training courses are recognized internationally.

Commercial Pilot License Course Requirements

To be eligible to pursue a Commercial Pilot License, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Hold at least a current private pilot certificate.
  • Read, speak, write, and understand English.

4 Steps to Earn a Commercial Pilot License

Time needed: 60 days

Follow these four steps:

  1. Meet the requirements.

    You must be at least 18 years old, hold a valid Private Pilot License (PPL), and be proficient in English. If you meet these minimums, you must then decide whether you want to pursue a commercial single-engine license (CSEL) or commercial multi-engine license (CMEL). Once you decide, then you should find a reputable flight school for your training. You will also need a 2nd class medical certificate.
    Step 1 Commercial Pilot License

  2. Complete ground school training.

    In ground school, pilots expand their knowledge base to meet rigorous FAA standards. Upon completion of 40 hours of ground school, you must pass the FAA written knowledge test.
    Step 2 Commercial Pilot License

  3. Complete flight training.

    To qualify for your commercial pilot license, you must have logged 250 hours of flight time with 100 of those hours in powered aircraft and 50 in airplanes. Also, 100 hours must be pilot-in-command, 50 of which had to have been in an airplane. You also must have logged 50 hours of cross-country (10 in an airplane), 20 hours of training (10 instrument, 10 complex or TAA), and 10 hours of solo training.
    Step 3 Commercial Pilot License

  4. Pass your checkride.

    The FAA Commercial Pilot Oral and Practical Exam is conducted by a designated pilot examiner (DPE). First, you must pass a two-hour oral exam where you demonstrate your knowledge from ground school and flight training. The flight portion of the exam takes about 90 minutes. Your flight instructor will work with you ahead of your checkride to make sure you are ready.
    Step 4 Commercial Pilot License

Commercial Pilot License Course Overview

We offer four different commercial pilot course options to suit your career needs. Epic’s flight school prepares you for a prosperous aviation career through a strong emphasis on safety, professionalism, and technical training.

  • Single-Engine Commercial Initial – Part 141d
  • Multi-Engine Commercial Initial – Part 141d
  • Multi-Engine Commercial Add-On
  • Single-Engine Commercial Add-On

Rather than having to first build additional flight time, our courses allow you to enroll directly after completing your Instrument Rating. All of our Commercial courses cover procedures required for students to meet FAA Commercial Pilot Training Practical Test Standards. For instance, mastering maneuvers is essential for complex aircraft operation in Cessna and Piper training aircraft. Therefore, we thoroughly prepare Epic Commercial Pilots for the jet cockpit of their dreams.

Commercial Pilot – Multi-Engine

We conduct training for the Commercial Multi-Engine Land (CMEL) course in a multi-engine Piper Seminole training aircraft. This is defined as “complex” because it has a constant speed propeller and retractable landing gear. The course is essential for aspiring airline pilots. Topics include Slow Flight, Stalls, and VMC Demos. Epic focuses on proper procedures for complex emergency situations.

Commercial Pilot – Single-Engine

The Commercial Single-Engine Land (CSEL) Initial course is a logical step for some pilots based upon their career track. However, it is not required. We conduct the course in a single-engine Cessna 172 TAA (technologically Advanced Aircraft). Instruction includes Chandelles, Eights-on-Pylons, and Lazy Eights. As a result you will perfect the use of a rudder.

Students that have completed the CMEL course may enroll in the Single-Engine Add-On Rating course. This covers the same topics as the CSEL Initial. However, we conduct this course in the Cessna 172, because complex aircraft training requirements have already been met.

Epic Flight Academy Students
Epic Flight Academy students on their way to earning their CPL

Commercial Pilot License Course Duration

How many hours are required for this course? Full-time students enrolled in our accelerated program will have a minimum of 20 hours of flight lessons per week. Students who dedicate themselves to completing their Multi-Engine or Single-Engine Initial CPL complete faster. Because they study hard and make pilot training the top priority, they complete a course within 4 to 6 weeks. Students often complete the Single-Engine Add-On in as little as one week. Part-time students that are working or enrolled in school typically take longer. As a result, many find that their CPL courses take 2-3 months to finish due to scheduling limitations. However, our course duration is an estimate, and we highly encourage you to chat with an Admissions Representative.  They can discuss your training needs and come up with a suitable schedule. In other words, we work with you to plan your courses.

Want to watch our four minute video instead?

Commercial Pilot License Course Training

The FAA requires students to log a minimum of 65 total flight hours in order to be eligible for the Commercial Pilot Multi-Engine Land Certificate. Further, they require 18 hours for the Single-Engine Initial Certificate. Finally, the FAA requires 10 for the Single-Engine Add-On Rating. Most importantly, Epic students typically complete within the required total flight hours for each of our Commercial Pilot courses. Check out this video on Epic’s CPL course.

Commercial Pilot License Course Tuition

Single-Engine Commercial Initial – Part 141d

Commercial Ground School – 40 Hours
Flight – Cessna 172 w/ Instructor – 32.5 Hours
Time-Building Flight – Cessna 172 w/ Partner – 10 Hours
One-on-One Ground Instruction – 12 Hours
Pre/Post-Activity Briefing – 3 Hours
Total Course Time: 2 months
Total Course Tuition: $16,7

Multi-Engine Commercial Add-On

Simulator | Piper PA-44 w/ Instructor – 3 Hours
Flight | Piper PA-44 w/ Instructor – 5 Hours
One-on-One Ground Instruction – 18 Hours
Pre/Post-Activity Briefing – 10 Hours
Total Course Time: 3 weeks
Total Course Tuition: $6,503

For information about financing the cost of tuition.

Check Flight School Eligibility!

Meet Your Commercial Pilot Course Team Leader!

Commercial Pilot Ray Altmann
Ray Altmann

Meet Ray Altmann, Epic’s Commercial Pilot Course Manager. In this role, Ray’s primary goals are to make sure all students in the Commercial Pilot Course progress through their training efficiently. Further, Ray provides guidance and assistance to students and flight instructors. He is committed to providing the best possible learning experience to all students. Ray trained at Epic, so he knows the high standards we hold for all students.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Commercial Pilot

Q: How do I get a commercial pilot license?

A: First of all, to get a commercial pilot license you need to get your PPL. Next, if you are are 18 years old and proficient in English, you can enroll in a commercial pilot course. After that, take the course and flight training. Finally, you must pass your FAA test and checkride.

Q: How many hours does it take to get a commercial pilot license?

A: We are often asked how many hours to get a commercial pilot license, but there are two answers to this question. First, there are total course hours. Second, there are total flight hours. Depending on the time commitment you make, your initial will take approximately two months. As for hours, the FAA requires you to log a minimum of 65 hours for your CPL. Certainly, some pilots require more hours than others to meet requirements.

Q: How much does a commercial pilot license cost?

A: The cost to get your CPL depends on several factors. For instance, costs vary among flight schools. Furthermore, your ability and availability can impact costs. At Epic, there are four courses. 1) Single-engine Commercial Initial costs $15,530. Multi-engine Commercial Initial costs $17,709.03. Add-on courses cost less. Above all, research all aspects of cost, including training, tests, and materials.

After I earn my Commercial Pilot License, what’s next?

Finally, once you’ve earned your Commercial Pilot License, you will probably want to go on to the next rating. The Flight Instructor Courses is the next logical step. Above all, we want to support you in your ultimate goal of becoming a professional pilot!

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