What is the first step to becoming a pilot?

Decide what you want to fly. FAA's rules for getting a pilot's license (certificate) differ depending on the type of aircraft you fly. You can choose among airplanes, gyroplanes, helicopters, gliders, balloons, or airships. If you are interested in flying ultralight vehicles, you don't need a pilot's license.

You should also think about what type of flying you want to do. There are several different types of pilot's licenses, from student pilot all the way up to airline transport pilot. The information below describes the eligibility, training, experience, and testing requirements for Student Pilots, Recreational Pilots and Private Pilots.

If you didn't find what you need above, please contact your nearest FAA Flight Standards District Office. For information on piloting careers, including job outlook and rates of pay, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics.