How Long Does it Take to Become a Commercial Pilot?

If your idea of success includes transitioning from the office to the cockpit, how long does it take to become a commercial pilot? Paragon Flight offers an expedited program to get you there faster and more affordably than other options. By participating in the P3 program, candidates graduate from novices to commercially licensed pilots with flight instructor privileges in fewer than 10 months!

How Long Does it Take to Become a Commercial Pilot?Commercial pilots are in high demand, especially those with airline ambitions, but the extent of training required and the costs of time and cash involved may inhibit otherwise appropriate candidates. Paragon Flight’s answer to this problem is the P3 Program, which we’ve devised to help participants develop their skills, grow professionally, and secure appropriate financing. Let’s dive deeper into this revolutionary program that you’ll only find here at Paragon Flight.

The P3 Program for Professional Pilots at Paragon Flight


The P3 Program breaks down into phases, and in each phase, participants work on earning specific credentials and learning vital skills.

The first phase, which takes 10 weeks, involves achieving a Private Pilot License (PPL). During this phase, students master the basics of aviation, including an understanding of aerodynamics, the impacts of weather on flight, aircraft systems, and more. We encourage pilots to begin with good practices so that those continue throughout their careers.

Next, students add an Instrument Flight Rating (IFR) to their resumes. This supplemental rating allows pilots to fly in non-VFR conditions and at higher altitudes by using communication and navigation equipment. Both of these skills are vital for professional pilots, as they will use them routinely no matter the role they choose in the industry. This phase occurs during Weeks 11-18 of the P3 Program.

The third phase focuses on mastering the skills needed for commercially licensed pilots. It culminates with the pilot earning the Commercial Single-Engine License (CSEL) and the Commercial Multi-Engine License (CMEL). This phase takes 12 weeks. The commercial license is legally mandated before any pilot can be paid for their work in the sky.

The program’s final phase is eight additional weeks and ends with the commercial pilot becoming a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI). We include this phase because it benefits entry-level pilots, especially those who plan to apply to an airline one day. As flight instructors, pilots can log flight time, master their craft, and share their love of flight—all while making a living doing what they love.

Paragon Flight also prefers applications from P3 Program graduates. We’re well aware of your capabilities and training, and we can trust you to perform!

Qualify to Participate in the P3 Program

As you can see, the rigorous nature of the P3 Program demands a certain level of candidates. We require a step above in terms of prerequisites:

  • Age: 18 years, minimum
  • Education: high school diploma or GED, minimum
  • References: one professional and one personal
  • MVR record: clean
  • FAA record: clean
  • FAA Medical Certificate: 1st class
  • Behavioral/Cognitive Assessment: passed
  • Criminal Background Check: passed
  • Language: English, literate and fluent
  • Availability: Full-Time
  • Character: Integrity, work ethic, drive

Interested in 38 weeks in response to the question of how long it takes to become a commercial pilot? If so, click here or call (239) 747-0056 to contact our team at Paragon Flight.