Breaking Stereotypes: Can a Woman Be a Pilot?

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can a woman be a pilot

Let’s begin with a story. You’re in your twenties, living close to an airport, and often wonder what it takes to operate such magnificent transportation.

You remember seeing pilots during your last air travel and didn’t notice any female pilots. That misconception stops you from pursuing your dream of becoming a pilot.

You grew up knowing becoming a pilot is not for women. But whoever told you that probably knows nothing about becoming a pilot, regardless of gender.

Thus, I’m here to tell you otherwise.

There is a massive opportunity for women in the aviation industry, specifically as a pilot. The straightforward answer to whether a woman can be a pilot is: YES, women can be a pilot.

A typical suburban person in the USA might tell you that women can’t fly airplanes. Women are meant to raise children and look after a family.

On the contrary, some female pilots work long hours and still can get home to their children.

You may wonder why I mentioned the USA despite America being a developed country and the epicenter of human rights because the data tells a different story.

This report from Statista says the percentage of female pilots in the USA is much less than in other countries.

can a woman be a pilot

Just because you are a woman in the USA, don’t let this data discourage you from becoming a pilot in the USA. Instead, allow this data to motivate you to become a female pilot in the USA.

In contrast to India and Africa, American women have vast opportunities to work as a pilot. I will discuss further why I believe opportunities for female pilots are greater later in the post.

To become a woman pilot and overcome the industry challenges.

To become a pilot, everyone must follow the same procedures by going to flight school and maintaining good health regardless of gender.

The FAA regulations are not different, and flight training is stringent for all individuals.

It is crucial to have knowledge and skills to become a pilot. The more you learn and experience, the more proficient you become as a pilot.

Understand this: Becoming a female pilot depends on your merit and not what others think of you.

In the 21st century, you don’t need others to tell you what you must do as long as you do the right thing.

How to become a female pilot?

Now that you know a woman can become a professional pilot and have a positive outcome in the industry; I suggest you don’t get too excited yet.

As a woman, you find this new opportunity and want to start immediately because your dream job in an airliner cockpit awaits you. But the struggle to get that dream job is real, like any other profession.

Like a male pilot, you must build experience (flight hours), work your way up by taking several examinations, and meet essential requirements.

You must get a student pilot license and medical certificates, complete ground school, and pass all the exams. You might need working experience as a Certified Flight Instructor too.

Getting pilot licenses is a fun, thrilling experience, yet the challenges are the same for both men and women. Check out this article on our blog to learn more about the difficulties of becoming a pilot.

Though similar, each Civil Aviation Authorities have separate rules and regulations. Regardless of your location, getting their first pilot license is the most confusing part for everyone.

Once you get your first pilot license, you’ll familiarize yourself with the general aviation training and procedures. From there, things will get a lot simpler.

After obtaining your Private Pilot License, you work toward your Instrument Rating and a Commercial Pilot License.

If reading all these terms seems like alien words to you, I urge you to download our FREE eBook and read that first.

Now let’s say you have a commercial pilot license and are ready to work. Would it be easy for a woman to work in a male-dominated industry? Allow me to break the ice.

Is it hard to work in the male-dominated aviation industry?

The misconception is women are not capable of responsibly flying hundreds of passengers. But it’s far from the truth.

I observed women are admired more in the industry by their male colleagues for playing the same ball game. Likewise, seeing a female in uniform in the cockpit fascinates passengers.

No one is going to judge you by your gender or by your looks. Everyone would judge you by your performance at work.

Instructor pilots in the airlines will assess your performance in the cockpit and not evaluate you by your gender.

Gender discrimination is unacceptable and uncommon in the aviation industry. Praising a pilot for their rational decision-making and skills is expected regardless of sex.

I want to give an example from Middle Eastern countries to boost your confidence. Most Western societies view middle eastern women as oppressed. They are not allowed to do things that are meant for men only.

But there are even female pilots working in middle eastern airlines. In 2022, the first-ever all-female crew flight took off in Saudi Arabia.

It amazes me that the number of female pilots in the United States is still much below that of other nations. But don’t let that stop you from dreaming.

Who would have thought India would have the first spot in women empowerment in the Aviation industry? But it’s surprisingly good to see so many taking flight lessons in the USA.

So the answer is always a yes. A female can become a pilot. And all pilots would face the same consequence for error during flight regardless of gender.

How ample is the opportunity to become successful in the industry as a female pilot?

At this article’s beginning, I mentioned that women pilots have greater chances in the industry. Now I’ll explain why I think so.

You know now that female pilots’ chances to succeed in the industry are equal to male pilots’ window of opportunity.

A shiny career awaits you if you’re excellent at your task, worthy, and with adequate flying experience and licenses.

It’s not what I think or believe. The statistics tell alike.

According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of commercial pilots is projected to grow by 6% between 2021 to 2031. About 18,000 openings for commercial pilot jobs are expected on average each only in the USA.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With so much opportunity, why women in aviation are not growing in large numbers?

In the past, very few women decided to become pilots because little information was available for women to start flying.

The internet wasn’t prevalent fifty years ago, and accessing correct information was limited.

Although there were women pilots then, limited accessibility of news had less impact on motivating younger women to become pilots.

Gender inequality mattered in the past too. Men felt superior and believed aviation was not a place for women. This has changed too. Now, women are as good as male pilots and have successful careers in the industry.

In reality, there has been a presence of female pilots since the 1970s, and the number is gradually growing. According to the records from the FAA database and this article by Air Cargo Week, there has been a massive 52% increase in the number of female pilots in the USA compared to 2017.

Air Cargo Week.

I want to wrap up by mentioning some female pilots who are successful in the aviation industry and have a large following on social media platforms.

Who is the first female pilot?

Becoming a commercial pilot has no difference, regardless of your gender.

  • Harriet Quimby was the first-ever woman to pilot an airplane and acquire a pilot license. The Aero Club of America awarded Harriet Quimby a pilot’s license.
  • Helen Richey from McKeesport, Pennsylvania, was the first woman to work as a commercial pilot. Born in 1909, Helen Richey learned to fly an airplane by age 20. Eventually, she had to step down from being a commercial pilot as the all-male pilot union did not like having a female pilot in the cockpit.
  • Emily Howell Warner was born in Denver, Colorado, on October 30, 1939. She disappeared on a flight over the pacific ocean on July 2, 1937, en route to Howland Island.
  • The first female aviator to cross the Atlantic is Amelia Mary Earhart.


Women are as good as men in acquiring skills. With enough practice and effort, anyone can become a pilot.

As the time is changing and women empowerment prevails, airlines are also willing to accept more female pilots.

However, the number and data show there are far fewer female/women pilots in the industry. It implies there is still room for female pilots to grab opportunities in the industry.

So if you’ve only dreamed of becoming a pilot and someone told you otherwise because of your gender, now is the time you decide and embark on a fresh journey towards your goals.

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    1. If you have the time and put real effort then you can be a pilot. It will not matter if you are a male or a female.

      Numerous female pilots worked their way up and are working in the airlines today. You can become one of them too!

    2. Hi I also want to become a pilot after I’m done with my A/L…But I have some questions…. I am a sri lankan citizen… and can I be a pilot in another country like NZ ?

      1. Once you complete your pilot training from a country, you have permission to work in that particular country with your pilot license. For example, if you train in a Sri Lanka flight school, you can work in Sri Lanka with your license.
        That doesn’t mean you cannot work in New Zealand. If you intend to work in New Zealand, you have to convert your Sri Lankan pilot license to a New Zealand pilot license. This means you must fly a few extra hours in New Zealand to familiarize yourself with the New Zealand flying environment and the regulation.

    3. Hey, Being a pilot is one of the best things you can ever think of! Just think of the view you will be able to see from your front window. It will be like another feeling and most importantly you will get respect from all over the places you will go, I think it is an excellent career and it is like a dream job to many. But remember one thing for sure, that as during the time of corona, All the flights, airlines were closed and were not working so when you think of becoming one, just remember this thing as it will be helpful for your future, You can do two jobs at a time if you won’t like as you are a pilot you get to travel a lot and meanwhile you can have a job of software engineering so that when you land you can do that thing, and let me tell you one thing that a female pilot is much respected when you are doing a job as a software engineering. In this way when in near future some pandemic like corona comes again( I seriously hope not but just in case) you don’t have to worry about your job as a pilot cause then you will have your engineering job to keep you going on! It’s always better to have multiple sources for your income! That’s all folks, thanks for reading:) Peace!!!

    1. Hi iam tamilpriya iam completed MBA degree with 71% with typewriting classes completed. iam can I becom pilot. I’m continue my pilot training which pilot school you recommend. Please reply.

    1. Hi Sneh, my suggestion is this:
      1. Complete your BSC first;
      2. Then enroll in a suitable flight school in your country or abroad;
      3. Get your PPL, CPL, IR;
      4. Figure out ways to build hours or work as a flight instructor to build hours and look for better opportunities.
      These four steps are just a heads-up, but by the time you are in step 3, you will learn most of the things about becoming a pilot yourself.

    1. Hi Prachi, surely you can take a pilot course after your aircraft technician course. It would be easier to grasp many aeronautical subjects as you are already an aircraft technician. Likewise, your chances of getting a job after your pilot course is better.
      If you want more info, reply to this comment, I will try to get back to you.

    1. The application process for female pilots is not different from male candidates. You can send us an email using the contact form, and we will give you answers to all your questions.

      1. Sir,I’m in my 12th now…
        I heard NDA is not for female candidates is it true??
        If it is yes then what is the entrance exam for female candidates!?

  1. Hello Sir/Ma’am.
    Currently I am in the 3rd year of my Btech. Degree from mechanical engineering branch. I wish to become a pilot . I fit in the age category too. But I need to know what steps to follow and how to make myself suitable enough to become a pilot and get a commercial pilot license.

    1. Hi Awani, all you need to do is complete your Btech first, then look for a local flight school. If you don’t want to enroll in a local flight school, you can research online and find a flight school abroad. Contact them through email and see what their response is. Typically, flight schools will suggest what steps to follow to enroll in their flight school.

      With a Btech Degree, you will be already better than many other pilots in the Industry. Many pilots don’t have a degree, but they get a commercial pilot license.

      If you have any more questions, drop a comment below.

  2. Excuse me sir…..can u help me to know about…inr involved to become a female pilot and I also want to know that…I haven’t passed my +2 class with physics and maths , can I become a pilot…if yes then how

    1. Hi Aastha
      The cost of becoming a female pilot is the same as a male. To become a pilot, all you have to do is enroll in a flight school and get your pilot licenses. To become a pilot, you need only basic maths and physics, which you will learn during flight school ground training. As you are a 10+2 graduate, you are eligible to enroll in a flight school.

      1. Sir, i am in class 12 going to give boards in 2022 willing to become a pilot though I am a girl and belong to a poor background.. Is there any scholarships exams to get into college fees Or any institute who provide the course o basis of best marks scored in exam??? And if a girl can’t apply for nda after 12 th then what are the entrance exams i should go for?? Pls help…

  3. Hi mam ,
    I want to become a pilot. Iam in 11th grade right now. But when i search for the chances & courses to study , they are telling that only men are allowed! Every sites I’ve visited , they are showing that “men can apply” .
    They are not even giving a hint that girls can apply. Why it’s like that? When can i apply to become a pilot training in Indian Air force?
    Can i apply at my 17½ age?
    •Also ive a doubt that ,
    If iam a pilot in Indian Air force , & i wanted to shift to America or abroad , can i get my pilot license under the government there? (Like being a pilot here in India in Indian Air force)
    Please reply??

    1. Hi Muntaha, first you have to finish your 12th standard. After that, you can enroll in a flight school.
      I can’t say much about which college to go to in Mumbai. But pretty much everywhere, aspiring pilots enroll in flight schools for learning to fly an airplane.
      Find a suitable flight school and get your pilot licenses. Start by getting your private pilot license.

  4. Helo mam, I want to become a pilot . Now I am in 11th standard . Mam can u tell me is there certain height and weight is required to become a pilot ? If there is yes how much do we have?

    1. There is no height and weight requirement for becoming a pilot unless you want to be an air force pilot. As long as you are capable of flying airplanes, you have a chance to be a commercial pilot in the future.
      So, don’t worry about height and weight requirements instead enroll in a good flight school and get your pilot licenses. Focus on becoming a competent pilot to get a job as a pilot.

  5. I have cold allergy, high IgE level in blood i.e I have some allergy disorder so can I be a commercial pilot??

  6. I am currently 18 years old, I have spects, my eye power is -1.5, am I fit for becoming a pilot with spects in eyes?? Also i wanna know if there is any specific restrictions medical conditions like no allergy is permitted???

    1. You are eligible to become a pilot. As you mentioned you wear spectacles which not an issue for becoming a pilot. There are pilots that work in airlines and wear spectacles.

      As long as you wear spectacles and your vision is 6/6, you can become a pilot. 🙂

  7. I am currently 15 and in 10th class I want to become a commercial pilot what should I do after 10th??and wanna know that is there any allergic restrictions in medical??

  8. Hi ma’am i am sirisha my 10+2study completed. Now i am 21years old.I want to become a female pilot ma’ can i apply ma’am?

  9. I ma’am am sirisha i want to become a female pilot.i was completed 10+2 graduation.Now i am 21 years old.please give me suggestions ma’am.

  10. Hello maam i liked your content a lot but i had a certain queries… It would be kind of you if you help me in it.

    I am currently studying in class 1w with pcm, while i dont know what exams(like neet is for doctors) should i go through for becoming a pilot in the cheapest way… “meanwhile i wanted to become a non military pilot”

    Thank you

  11. Hi mam I am Riya I am completed my 12th just few days ago and I want to become a pilot so what is required for become a pilot and one more thing I haven’t well financial condition’s so can you also tell me fee structure

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