The commercial pilot certificate upgrades your private pilot certificate, qualifying you to be financially compensated for piloting an aircraft. Contact us today for more information!

How to Obtain a Commercial Certificate


  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have at least a private pilot certificate prior to completion of commercial pilot certificate
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language
  • Have at least a third-class FAA medical certificate

Getting Started

  • Contact Sweet Aviation to meet our training manager
    • Discuss commercial training plan & commercial ground training options
  • Begin ground instruction and/or commercial flight training

Flight Training Requirements

  • Flight experience — must have logged at least:
    • Airplane certification requires 250 hours of total flight time
    • Helicopter certification requires 150 hours of total flight time
  • 100 hours in powered aircraft
    • 50 hours in airplanes or in helicopters
    • 50 hours as pilot in command cross-country flight
    • 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor (CFI)
    • 5 hours of night flight
    • 10 hours of solo flight time or 10 hours with an instructor performing the duties of pilot in command
    • 3 hours of flight test preparation within preceding two calendar months of the practical test (check ride)

Final Steps

  • Pass your FAA Commercial Knowledge exam
  • Fulfill the minimum requirements of flight time and training specified by the FAA
  • Pass oral and flight tests given by the FAA or an approved designated pilot examiner

Q: What does a commercial certificate do for me?
A: It allows you to be compensated for operating an aircraft when flying for a commercial operator.

Q: How much does it cost to obtain a commercial certificate?
A: There are many variables. Once you receive your private pilot certificate and instrument rating, call us to schedule a meeting to plan your next steps for obtaining a commercial pilot certificate.

Q: Once I get my commercial certificate, can I work for an airline?
A: No, not yet. You would be required to obtain an airline transport pilot certificate (ATP) to work for an airline company. Some entry-level commercial pilot opportunities might include being a copilot for corporate aircraft, banner towing, aerial survey, photography, and more. The most common way to receive compensation for your new commercial pilot privileges is to become a certified flight instructor (CFI).

Helicopter Handshake

Email us or give us a call at (260) 267-5505 if you have questions or would like more information.