Venturing into a career as a pilot is without doubt, one of the noble professions not only in Nigeria, but all across the world. A career as a pilot is one of the most profitable, thrilling and appealing profession anyone would like to venture into.


A pilot is an individual in any aviation organization, be it commercial, Private, or Military trained, who is qualified to operate an aircraft for the purpose of conveying passengers, commodities, military troops or cargo. They are usually employed by government agencies, private companies, and commercial airlines in Nigeria. Venturing into a career as a pilot requires that you meet certain requirements and professional trainings that guide you to success.


I will walk you through the processes required to establish a career as a pilot.


Steps to venturing into a career as a pilot

  1. Obtain an O’ level certificate:

    You need to have your Senior Secondary School Certificate(SSCE) with a minimum of credit pass in subjects such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and English.

  2. Obtain a University degree:

    You can consider pursuing a degree in aviation or science or engineering. However, this is not a mandatory requirement for employment in the aviation sector but it can give a higher chance of finding employment.

  3. Age requirement:

    It is vital to know that the minimum age required to commence flying training for a Private Pilot License(PPL) is 17 years old. Additionally, to earn a Commercial Pilot License(CPL), you must be at least 18 years old.

  4. Medical examination:

    It is mandatory that you undergo a full medical examination done by an aviation medical examiner to ensure that you meet the medical requirements required to become a pilot.

  5. Enroll in an aviation school:

    In Nigeria, there are several aviation schools available. However, it is crucial to verify their official approval by the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) before enrolling in any of them. Additionally, it is important to confirm that the school has a reliable reputation for producing skilled pilots.

  6. Obtain a Private Pilot Certificate(PPC):

    Gain admission to an aviation school and register for a PPC (Private Pilot Certificate) course. Obtaining this essential certification is crucial for all pilots as it grants you the authority to operate an aircraft independently within Nigeria.

  7. Commercial Pilot Certificate(CPC):

    Obtaining the license is obligatory for any pilot who wishes to participate in commercial aviation. It is considered the highest accomplishment in non-military flying, and individuals must meet a minimum age requirement of 23 years to qualify for this license.

  8. Instrument Rating(IR):

    This certification confirms the pilot’s capability to safely operate an aircraft in adverse weather conditions and independently utilize the instruments within the cockpit. Obtaining this rating improves your piloting abilities and increases your prospects for employment.

  9. Build Flight hours:

    In addition to acquiring licenses and certifications, it is necessary to accumulate a range of 40 to 4000 flight hours and gain practical experience. One way to achieve this is by considering employment as a flight instructor or working for regional airlines of smaller scale, as these opportunities can provide the required flight experience.

  10. Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL):

    You require an ATPL in order to fly for major airlines. A particular number of flight hours, further training, and testing are necessary for the ATPL. After obtaining knowledge and experience as a co-pilot or first officer, this license is commonly attained.

  11. Apply for job opportunities:

    After obtaining the necessary licenses and gaining flight experience, you are eligible to begin seeking pilot roles at airlines, charter companies, or other aviation entities. Engage in networking within the industry and keep yourself informed about available job opportunities.


Types of Pilots

  1. Private Pilot: Private pilots in Nigeria fly for personal or recreational reasons. They own or rent small aircraft for leisure flying, transportation, or other non-commercial purposes. Private pilots are not compensated for their flying services.
  2. Airline Pilots: Nigerian airline pilots fly regularly scheduled flights on commercial planes. They transport people and/or goods domestically and abroad for airlines including Arik Air, Air Peace, Dana Air, and others.
  3. Commercial Pilots: Commercial pilots in Nigeria fly non-airline aircraft. They could work for charter companies, photography firms, cargo operators, or other organisations that require aviation services.
  4. Military Pilots: The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) trains military pilots to fly military aircraft for defence and national security missions. They carry out combat missions, surveillance missions, transport and other military tasks.
  5. Helicopter Pilots: In Nigeria, helicopter pilots specialise in flying helicopters, which are often employed for oil and gas activities, search and rescue missions, VIP transportation, and aerial surveys.
  6. Flight Instructors: Pilots with expertise teach and train aspiring pilots in the air in Nigeria as flight instructors. They direct students through classroom education and hands-on flight training at flight schools or aviation training facilities.
  7. Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Pilots: EMS pilots operate special emergency medical services (EMS) aircraft. They fly injured or severely ill patients to hospitals, frequently collaborating with medical staff to offer immediate care throughout the flight.

List of Aviation Schools in Nigeria

  1. Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria
  2. International Aviation College, Ilorin
  3. Dhaewood Aviation Business School, Lagos
  4. Universal school of aviation, Lagos
  5. Sky Aviation Training Center Lagos
  6. Eagle Flight Training Centre
  7. International School of Aviation, Lagos
  8. Royal Institute of Aviation Training
  9. Institute Of Aviation and Maritime Studies, Lagos
  10. Obafemi Awolowo University Aviation Training Institute, Osun
  11. College of Aviation and Management Studies, Oyo
  12. Top Flight International School of Aviation Oyo
  13. Falcon Aviation Training, Lagos
  14. Lagos Aviation Academy


Salary of a Pilot in Nigeria

The amount of money a Pilot earns is dependent on the level of experience and airline. A commercial pilot license holder can earn in the range of N300,000-900,000 monthly. A captain earns up to 1million to 1.5million monthly depending on the airline.


Venturing into a career as a pilot demands serious study, dedication, and determination. It takes a long time to become a professional pilot. So you must be willing to put in the effort to accomplish this goal. You must spend several years in school learning to fly and accumulating flight hours.

Before you can practice, you must have completed flying training and be certified. Following that, people, businesses, and government agencies in need of your professional services can hire you.


Good luck.

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