If you are a student in Nigeria and you aspire to become a pilot one day, reading this article on how to become a pilot in Nigeria is your first step.
As funny as it may sound to you, learning how to fly an airplane, either a private jet or commercial airline is actually one of the easiest tasks in becoming a pilot.
The hardest part of being a pilot is being in charge of one, which embodies the cabin crew, Cargo and the passengers you are transporting to whatever part of the world.
You have to know that the lives and safety of everyone aboard depends mostly on the pilot.
And this real life situation is actually not as easy as it might seem to most people, who see pilots in operations through movies.
Another hard aspect of becoming a pilot in Nigeria is the training, time, and money. Have you seen our post on the new cost of International Passport in Nigeria? You should check it out.
But, we are not here to bore you about the hard aspects. To be fair, working as a pilot is one of the most lucrative, exciting, and attractive job anyone could wish for.
So, if you are one who loves the open skies, then maybe a career as a commercial pilot is your calling.
Let us delve into all the training and necessary information you need to know in order to make that special dream a reality.
Who Is a Pilot?
A pilot is an individual in any aviation company, be it commercial, Private, or Military trained, who is qualified to operate an aircraft for the purpose of transporting people, goods, military personnel or cargo.
Pilots are usually employed by government agencies, private companies, and commercial airlines in Nigeria.
Yes, you complete your flight training and become a professional pilot, you can be hired by any of these top local airlines in Nigeria.
Private pilots in Nigeria are either self-employed or their services are acquired by individuals who have private jets to provide transport.
The aviation industry is a very large one with a lot of opportunities available to work in Nigeria, either private or public.
Careers are also available in the military, where pilots transport military personnel, soldiers, equipment, or goods for the government.
Military pilots fly jets, bombers, and helicopters in combat, rescue, or reconnaissance missions.
Other functions of a Pilot include:
- They are tasked with transporting people either for business or recreational purposes
- They also transport members of the military to combat zones
- They transport private goods, commercial products, or other types of cargo to appointed destinations.
- Pilots check the weather and confirm flight plans before moving.
- They also perform pre-flight inspections and check flight logs prior to departure
- In the course of a flight, pilots are responsible for the safety of all crew and passengers on board.
Requirements On How to Become a Pilot In Nigeria
For students who are aspiring to fly the skies in the future, there are a lot of requirements involved in how to become a pilot in Nigeria.
Without meeting these requirements, it’s impossible to achieve that flying dreams of yours.
But fear not, as this article will put you through all you need to know.
To become a pilot:
- You must be at least 18 years old: This is the minimum age before you can even gain admission into any of the aviation schools in Nigeria before you can be employed in the Industry.
- You must be fluent in English and any other native language: Well, English is the formal language to communicate in Nigeria. You have to be able to speak English correctly as well as fluently.
- You must have a Secondary School Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 5 credits including Mathematics, English, Physics, Geography, and any other science subjects
- You must have a University degree which is not mandatory but gives you a higher chance of getting a job
- You must have a Commercial Pilot Certificate: This is the final requirement before you can get employed by any airline company in Nigeria.
I believe the first four requirements on how to become a pilot in Nigeria are self-explanatory, so we’ll just skip to the last part which might not really be clear.
Pilot Course Qualification
In order to be a professional pilot to fly airplanes in Nigeria, you are required to have a commercial pilot certificate.
To get the commercial pilot certificate, you need to enroll in any of the top aviation schools in Nigeria.
One thing to note is that aviation schools usually require high tuition fees ranging from N5-7 million.
This is usually because the course is a practically intensive course where you will have to drive test planes or a simulation.
Through any of these Aviation schools, you will go through training in different courses including Private license course, Instrument rating, Multi-Engine rating, Night rating, and so on.
Aside from these courses, you will also go through training to learn how to drive a plane through either simulations or test planes.
Before you can graduate as a certified pilot, you must have passed all the tests, examinations, and successfully completed a minimum of 40 hours of flight training.
Then you will be awarded a Private Pilot License.
To have a commercial Pilot License, you need to successfully complete at least 1,500 flight hours.
To be able to work for any airline company in Nigeria, you need at least 4,000 hours of flight training under your belt.
Also, these licenses are issued at the end of your training by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority NCAA.
For those who need to know how to become a pilot in Nigeria, specifically in the Nigerian airforce, all you need is to join the Nigerian Defense Academy (NDA).
Though admission into this school is usually very hard due to tough screening requirements which might involve your physical features aside your intellectual qualifications, once you get in, it’s usually easier from there.
The tuition fees for a Military Pilot Training is relatively low compared to Commercial Pilot training due to the Government’s input.
Interesting enough, while some individuals are so interested in learning how to fly an aircraft, some are visiting driving schools to learn how to drive.
What Is Pilot Type Rating?
Pilot Type Rating is like getting a license to drive any kind of aircraft.
To get the better explanation, it is usually compared to getting your driver’s license.
Let’s play with the idea that your drivers’ license only gave you the right to drive cars in general and when you get your driver’s license you would still need to get a “type rating” for Volvos (if that is the car you are going to drive).
This “type rating” would only allow you to drive Volvos however, and you would have to get another “type rating” for a BMW or a Ford. That is how it works type ratings for pilots!
In other words, when you have obtained the licenses and ratings you need to apply for jobs as a First Officer you can technically fly ANY aircraft. You just have to get type rated on that particular aircraft first.
Importance of Pilot Schools In Nigeria
- Pilot schools help train seasoned Pilots to help transport people within Nigeria to other countries
- Pilot schools improve the foreign exchange trade in Nigeria through businesses with other international bodies.
Overview of Pilot Salary In Nigeria
For anyone especially looking for how to become a pilot in Nigeria, it is expected of you to also be interested in the incentives that come with becoming one.
The reason might be due to the high cost of training in Nigeria.
A fresh pilot from the Nigerian aviation school with Commercial Pilot License (CPL), from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) but without Type Rating, may find it difficult to get a job in Nigeria.
Though the chances may be slim, it is possible if the airline wishes to send you on a training to get your type rating.
In Nigeria today, a Commercial Pilot license holder without a type rating can earn in the range of N250,000-N500,000 while one with a type rating can get up to N800,000 per month depending on the airline and experience.
A Nigerian Pilot who is, however, Captain (usually referred to as authority of the aircraft) earns up to N1.5 million monthly also depending on the airline.
Local airline Captains earn up to N1.2 million monthly while international airline captains earn close to N2 million per month.
Summary of How to Become A Pilot In Nigeria
Do you as a student think you are up for the challenge to become the pilot of your dreams, especially as a student?
If yes, this article on how to become a pilot in Nigeria is just an insightful guide you need to get there.
Just like any other course to study, there is so much to learn through the training schools you are going to enroll in.
It takes study, focus, determination to achieve that precious dream of yours.
We know it’s an exciting career for you, so you definitely have the zeal to do all it takes to become a pilot.
The more you read on the course, the higher your chances to succeed.
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