With great weather year round, an abundance of airports, countless military bases, and one of the largest air shows in the country known as SUN ‘n FUN, it’s no surprise that Florida is home to many high-quality flight schools.
Florida is also the third most populated state in the U.S. It is the location of the majority of airline pilots in the country as well. Though Florida is home to some 4-year universities with heavy focuses on aviation, like Embry-Riddle, this list contains 5 of the best flight school programs in the state.
- 1 Quicklook: Flight Schools Options in Florida
- 2 5 Flight Schools in Florida
- 3 How Does Flight School Training in Florida Work?
- 4 Florida Flight School Facts & Figures
- 5 Florida Pilot Employment Facts & Figures
- 6 Florida: One of the Best States for Flight Schools
Quicklook: Flight Schools Options in Florida
- Kingsky Flight Academy
- Florida Flyers Flight Academy
- Epic Flight Academy (Airline Pilot Program)
- Paragon Flight Academy
- Pan Am Flight Academy (ATP CTP)
5 Flight Schools in Florida
From the ages of 15 to 95, it’ll never be too late to learn how to fly! Here are 5 of the best flight schools in Florida, any of which could help you make your dreams of becoming a pilot in Florida come true.
Kingsky Flight Academy
Kingsky is located in Lakeland, a big aviation hub, and home of SUN ‘n FUN. Owned and operated by two airline captains, Kingsky preaches safety and responsibility above all else, and offers housing options and funding.
Tuition & Fees:
- Part 61 Private: $8,060 to $9,460 depending on the aircraft
- Part 61 Commercial: $2,790 to $8,060 depending on the aircraft
- Part 141 Private: $8,700
- Part 141 Commercial: $19,305 to $24,030
Additional programs include PPL instructor, instrument ratings, and certified flight instructor training.
- Available if attending a special aviation program
- Scholarships also available
- Private, Commercial, and CFI programs = 3 months on average
- Instrument rating
- Commercial pilot
- Multi-engine add-on
- CFI multi-engine
- CFII instrument rating instructor
- Total: 135 students
- Average class size: 1-on-1
Job Placement: Not officially, but many connections and opportunities
Virtual Learning: In-person
Florida Flyers Flight Academy
The Florida Flyers Academy aims to give their students a customer feel with personalization, 24-hour service, and an assessment to set you up with everything you’ll need and nothing you won’t. Their main course aims to take pilots from having no experience to becoming a CPL, either single or multi, within 12 months.
Location: St. Augustine
Tuition & Fees:
- Total Price of Zero to CPL Single Engine: $36,663
- Total Price of Zero to CPL Multi Engine: $43,200
- Financial assistance available for U.S. students
- No scholarships
Accreditation: EASA Accredited
Program Length: Approximately 12 months
- CPL Multi
- CPL Single
- Enrollment: 100
- Class size: 1 Instructor per 4 students
Job Placement: No
- Class is in-person
- FAA test prep available online
Epic Flight Academy (Airline Pilot Program)
A program directed at those wanting to become airline pilots, the Epic Flight Academy boasts an impressive 100% hiring rate. They also offer many opportunities to instruct in order to get necessary hours towards your ATP.
Location: Smyrna Beach
Tuition & Fees:
- Zero experience to airline pilot: $67,000
- PPL holder starting with IR course: $46,000
- PPL/IR holder starting with commercial course: $33,000
Financial Assistance: Many options here.
Program Length: 24 months for pilots with zero experience
- 250 enrolled
- Class size: 1 instructor per 3 students
- Major selling point
Virtual Learning: In-person program
Paragon Flight Academy
Paragon offers a full gamut of pilot education options, from PPLs to ATPs. They refer to all attendees as clients, not students, and aim to customize each client’s needs. Some of their programs can be completed in a week’s time, but also offer a pipeline from zero experience to full-time airline pilot.
Location: Fort Myers
Tuition & Fees:
- Personalized programs ensure you don’t pay for anything you already know
- A cost estimate is determined after an evaluation
Financial Assistance: Yes. Apply here.
Program Length: Zero experience to ATP
- 150 students
- Class size: 1 Instructor per 3 or 4 students
Job Placement: Not officially
Virtual Learning: All in-person
Pan Am Flight Academy (ATP CTP)
The Pan Am Flight Academy is primarily for established pilots looking to get their Airline Transport Certification. Students must already have their 1,500 hours of flight and all other prerequisites completed before enrolling.
Tuition & Fees: $3,995
Financial Assistance: No
- As little as 5 days with use of simulators
- Actual duration of the program differs from one person to the next
- ATP CTP
School Size: 1 instructor for 4 students
Job Placement: No
Virtual Learning: In-person learning
How Does Flight School Training in Florida Work?
Flight training in Florida is similar to everywhere else, but the weather allows for more clear days, resulting in a more expedited process. There are also a lot of options in Florida, compared to other locales, especially for those looking to become Airline Transit Pilots.
Florida Flight School Facts & Figures
Here are a few things to know when comparing the best flight schools in Florida.
Number of Schools
Being a big-time aviation hub, as well as offering four seasons of trainable weather, it’s probably no surprise that Florida has more than 125 flight training facilities.
Number of Students per Class
Some schools boast a 1 to 1 ratio, but the norm is 1:3 or 1:4 with none reporting higher than 1:6.
Most flight schools offer customized rates depending on what levels and ratings a given pilot has already received. For those pilots looking to go from no experience to being an airline captain, the educational fees are generally between $60,000 and $120,000.
Average Loan Amount
Many aviation programs allow for federal student loan funding, and most student loans are the same for flight school as they would be for another educational institution. However, most 4-year colleges need to repeat every year, whereas most pilot programs take less than a year.
Most flight academies do not offer scholarships directly, but other entities do and the funds can be used at these facilities.
With so many airlines headquartered in Florida, as well as a large military and government aviation presence (NASA, for instance), Job Placement numbers from Florida flight schools are very high.
Florida Pilot Employment Facts & Figures
For many pilots across the globe, being a pilot has busy seasons, and not-so-busy seasons, but in Florida
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida is the number 1 employer of full-time airline pilots, which equals about 4,680 pilots in total. This certainly accounts for some of the reasoning behind all of the flight schools. Some of the major employers of pilots in Florida are Spirit, Delta, and the U.S. Military.
|Biggest Employer||Average Salary||Full- or Part-Time Pilots|
|Delta Airline||$92,000+||Full- and Part-Time|
|American Airways||$90,000+||Full-Time or Part-T|
Airline pilot salary in Florida is higher than the rest of the country, with an average of $147,000 per year.
Florida: One of the Best States for Flight Schools
With plenty of options, plenty of good weather, and many potential employers nearby, Florida is one of the best options for flight school, as far as locations go!
How Do I Become a Pilot in Florida?
It’s important to research your schools, but luckily there are plenty of options in Florida. If you just want to be a private pilot, you can probably throw a rock and hit a qualified instructor, but even those individuals looking to become airline pilots have a lot of educational options in Florida.
How Much is Flight School in Florida?
It depends on how much training you have already completed, but even a zero experience pilot can complete the necessary training to fly airliners for somewhere between $60,000 and $100,000.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Pilot?
The time requirements necessary in order to qualify to be an airline pilot are extremely high, but most flight schools will do their best to have you in the air frequently. Many of these programs can take a zero-experience pilot to an airline pilot in under two years.