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Cost Comparison of a University Flight Training Program vs Inflight Pilot Training

When we speak with ambitious aspiring pilots, we commonly get the question about whether or not they should invest a lot of money in obtaining an aviation-related degree through a university flight training program or choosing the more affordable option of training at a local flight school.

While there are pros and cons to each path, in this post, we want to specifically discuss the costs of attending a college flight training program versus the cost of private training at Inflight. Let’s take a look at what you can expect to spend through each path.

Cost of University Flight Training Program

The biggest drawback of attending an aviation university and obtaining a pilot license through a four-year program is the steep cost. The top schools for aviation, like Embry-Riddle, North Dakota University and Purdue can run you around $30,000 a year, which may or may not include the cost of flying (For example, it costs Embry-Riddle students $537 an hour just to train in the Frasca CLJ200 Simulator). At the end of the training process, students will spend $100,000+ on an aviation degree.

One thing to note about whether you should attend a university program or attend flight school is that many pilots that are working today don’t actually have a college degree. A bachelor’s degree is not required to be a paid pilot or airline pilot — though some airlines do require it, while others do not. Yet, the career of a pilot is still one that is highly skilled, respected, well-paid and rewarding, even though many don’t have 4-year degrees. So, essentially, you could spend a bunch of money on a degree, yet still be a candidate for the same types of jobs.

Cost of Inflight Pilot Training Flight School

As a local flight school, our options are more cost effective, as we don’t carry the same overhead that a university does.

At Inflight, students can obtain full certification as a private pilot in the US, starting at $8,262.50 for the 40-hour FAA minimum program. Our second most expensive package is national average 55 hours in a Cessna 152, costing $9,700. Our most expensive and comprehensive program is the national average 55 hours in a Cessna 172, costing $11,750. Overall, our prices are well under the U.S. average of $15,000 for private flight training. Of course, payments are spread out over several months, up to a year, making the costs much more manageable and saving you from a big up-front payment.

Inflight will work with you to craft the best payment plan for you, should you decide to break up the costs over time. Monthly Payments are usually around $150-$400 depending on the license or rating you are training for. To provide you with the best rates, we work with top organizations that can help you finance your flight training, such as the AOPA Flight Training Finance, Pilot Finance Inc, Sallie Mae Private Loans.

In terms of career options, many of those students taking our commercial pilot training course have the ability to start earning money as soon as they qualify, within 16-18 months of starting their course, at which point you can start to repay any loans that you may have taken out to fund the cost of training. Plus, all the same pilot career paths that are open to those with 4-year aviation degrees are open to you, as long as you progress and keep moving up the ladder, including certified flight instructor and airline transport pilot licenses.

Are you ready to get started with flight school?

Get in touch with the team at Inflight Pilot Training today to learn more about our financing options so you can get started with your training.

Inflight is a leading pilot training company serving the Twin Cities area. With a reputable training program and deep roster of highly skilled flight instructors, we can help you pursue your passion for taking flight – whether you want to obtain a private, commercial or airline transport pilot certification. Get in touch with our team of flight instructors to find out more.

For additional information on Inflight Pilot Training, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.