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Integrated Training: From Zero-Hours To Pilot-Ready In Two Years

Do you have a passion for flying but have no history or experience and don’t know where to start? Have you ever looked into Integrated Pilot Training Courses, because if not, we have all the information here for you.

Sometimes taking a dive into researching course’s can be confusing. It’s difficult to find all the information you’re looking for in a simple, easy-to-read form. With our guide below that gives you an overview, advantages and disadvantages, flight schools and expectations before training and after graduating, we hope you’ll have all the information you need to be able to make a very important decision on your future career, but without all the added stress!


Integrated Training Courses are also known as full-time courses to complete your commercial pilot training. You’ll be looking to complete this course in approximately 14-18 months, however, this can differ depending on what flight school you apply to. This course is known to be very intense and it does require complete commitment from start to finish. On the plus side, you’ll be signing up to a dedicated and well-equipped training facility. What’s amazing about this course, is that in a matter of 2 years you can be taken from a zero-hour flight student with no or little experience, to a well prepared airline pilot!

This type of course is a huge step to take, and shouldn’t be considered lightly. Whilst it is mainly designed for zero-hour flight time students, they do take students with little flight time as well. However, there is more to consider than that. With this course being highly intense, and to be able to provide you with the highest quality of knowledge and training, the course is expensive. Every flight school that provides this course is different, with different time frames and prices, so it is a good idea to look at a range of options you could consider. On average, this cost can be around £80,000- £100,000.

Integrated Pilot Training Course

Advantages & Disadvantages

There are some other advantages that are a major benefit with this course and that’s why it can be highly recommended if being an airline pilot is your passion. Firstly, as this course is highly recognised by airlines, once you have completed your training, you are often placed into a holding pool until an airline recruits you. This means you are much more likely to get a job at an airline after graduation. Some flight schools also allow additional accreditations through their integrated courses, which could be wise to look into, and they often provide you with support after graduation until you secure a job with an airline.

On the other hand, there are a few disadvantages that come with this course which can cause lots of future pilots to look at other options in aviation, or a different career path completely. The first major issue that students find with this course is the price. As well as it being very expensive, a percentage of this cost must be paid upfront, which many people may not be able to afford. To complete this training, there is a strict timetable with very limited, if any, flexibility intact. With this being a full-time course, it does mean you’ll also be unable to work on the side, so you’d need the money before starting your training. However, if you are interested in applying to a course similar to this, there is the option of a Modular Pilot Training Course. Take a look at our article on ‘Modular Training: A Simpler Way To Get To The Top’.

Flight schools

When looking for a flight school for your Integrated Pilot Training Course, there are many you can choose from in the UK and Europe. There used to only be 3 ‘big’ fight schools that offered this type of training; CAE, Flight Training Europe Jerez (FTEJerez), and L3 Aviation Academy, however, over time this has grown. Other training schools, both from the UK and Europe, such as; Airline Pilot Academy (APA), Airways Aviation, European Flight Training (EFT), Stapleford Flight Training, Leading Edge Aviation and many more also provide this intense course. As integrated flight training organisations must be approved and regulated (in the UK these are by the CAA and in the Europe, by EASA) this can guarantee that your pilot training course will be of a high standard.

After choosing the best flight school for you, there are a few tests that the schools require you to pass before being eligible to start your course and training. These tests could differ from school to school, but the majority require you to pass assessments including; aptitude testing, Maths and English tests, group exercises and a competency interview. This is another good thing to look into when researching flight schools.

Flight Schools Integrated Course

Expectations Before Training

Before you start your Integrated Pilot Training Course at your particular fight school, you should take a look at their course outline. Whilst every flight school may be different about how they teach the syllabus, they all want the same outcome, and genuinely are very similar. Most flight schools cover the outline of their course through phases. These can vary from 4 to 6 phases. Here’s a view from CAE of how your course could look;

  • Phase 1: Theoretical Knowledge Training (750 hours)

  • Phase 2: Foundation Flight Training (145 hours)

  • Phase 3: Advanced Flight Training (52 hours)

  • Phase 4: Airline Pilot Standards Multi Crew Cooperation(APS MCC) (32 hours theory, 28 hours practice)

After Graduating

After your busy 2 years of ground school training and flight training, these are the qualifications and certificates you’ll end up obtaining when you have graduated;

  • ATPL Theoretical Knowledge Training

  • Commercial Pilots License with Instrument Rating (CPL/IR/MEP)

  • Multi-Crew Cooperation (MCC) completion certificate

  • Upset Prevention & Recovery Training (UPRT)

All these qualifications and certificates combined are known as a ‘frozen’ ATPL. These are the minimum entry qualifications to be eligible for a Type Rating and line training course. This will then lead you up the ladder to be able to become a Pilot on a Multi-Pilot Aircraft for an airline. With completing your Integrated Pilot Training Course fully, you will be higher up the recognition list. Many airlines prefer integrated students due to the intensity and quality of the course, as well as demonstrating that you can cope with a steep learning curve!


Overall, yes this course can be highly recommended if being a Pilot-in-Command or Co-Pilot for a well known Airline is the career choice you want to follow. And yes you’ll be able to get there in a matter of a few years, with a very high chance of a job after graduating.

This type of training course may suit you completely and if it does, take time looking into different flight schools, covering both the UK and Europe. However, if you are unable to apply for this course, whether it’s financially an issue, or the strict timetable just doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle, that doesn’t mean you can’t follow the same career path. There are other courses out there that can get you to the same place, fitting to your lifestyle better. So make sure you do your research and gather all the information you need to make the best decision for you!