Professional aviation pilot apprenticeship

Professional aviation pilot apprenticeship

The Higher Apprenticeship for Professional Aviation Pilots has been designed to provide the aviation sector with a new route into commercial pilot training.

Professional aviation pilots combine their skills and knowledge, good judgement and common sense, to safely and efficiently operate aircraft for commercial purposes.

As an apprentice you will follow a structured training programme to gain higher-level technical and practical skills. You will develop leadership, managerial and command experience, together with analytical and problem-solving abilities, and the communication and team skills that are essential for a role as a professional aviation pilot. On completion of your apprenticeship you will be awarded with an Honours degree that incorporates all the regulatory requirements for the issue of a commercial pilot licence and employment as a professional aviation pilot.

The apprenticeship will take a minimum of 24 months (and up to 36 months to complete) and may encompass either the Multi-crew Pilot Licence (MPL) or the Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) training schemes.

The Higher Apprenticeship for Professional Aviation Pilots provides a nationally recognised, qualification-based route into training. As a trainee apprentice you might be able to access loans and grants to cover your fees in line with other higher education learners.

Once you have qualified as a pilot, you may not gain immediate full-time employment; you must, however, maintain minimum levels of flying/experience to ensure that your licence remains valid and you should be aware of the additional cost of this before undertaking an Apprenticeship.

For more information on careers in aviation, visit the following websites:

Aviation Skills

Royal Aeronautical

Guild of Air Pilots and Air

Careers in


Training to become a commercial airline pilot requires personal investment of between £70,000 and £100,000. There is no public support for training, and the regulated elements of the training are delivered by private training providers. In general airlines do not recruit pilots until basic training has been completed.


Higher (Level 6)

Starting salary:

Around £30,000 for pilots working for a budget airline

Job roles:

Professional aviation pilot

Issuing authority:

People 1st –