Be a part of the solution to the pilot shortage and set yourself up for the career of your dreams.


Our Professional Pilot Training Academy offers three overlapping phases that will help you successfully prepare for your career in: airlines, charter, corporate, freight, agriculture, law enforcement, and more.

phase one: Earn your certificates and ratings

During each step of your professional flight training, we will also be developing your confidence as a pilot and leader so that you can stand out throughout your career.

Phase Two: gain experience as a  professional flight instructor

Enjoy excellent compensation and benefits while you gain experience and log the 1,500 flight hours you need to be employed by commercial airlines. 

Phase Three: Career placement & Progression

Our regional airlines partnerships offer excellent cultural values, pay packages, and flow through to major airlines. We also can help you get into other pilot career fields. 

Because we are located in Lincoln, Nebraska (the center of the U.S.), you’ll gain valuable experience training in varying weather patterns, and we know you’ll love our friendly Midwestern values.

phase one:Flight Training

Training for your pilot career will require you to earn a series of certificates and ratings that build on each other to increase your skills and abilities as a pilot. Below is a list of the standard ratings and certificates that a flight training student working toward a career in charter, airlines, or another similar pilot job would need to earn.

standard ratings and certificates

Private Pilot Certificate

About the Private Pilot Certificate:
The first step in becoming a career pilot is to earn your Private Pilot Certificate. Starting in a single-engine airplane, this stage of training focuses on the fundamentals and sets the foundation for more advanced certificates and ratings.

How long does it take to complete your Private Pilot Certificate Training?
Estimated Time:  12-14 weeks
Flight Hours: 40-55 hours

NOTE: Because flight training is proficiency-based training, the exact amount of time each student takes to complete their training will vary. We find that accelerated students at Ignite Flight who train consistently average about 20-25% less time than the national average. 

Instrument Rating

About the Instrument Rating:
After becoming a private pilot, the next step is to earn your instrument rating. An instrument rating allows a pilot to fly under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) in most kinds of weather.

How long does it take to complete your Instrument Rating?
Estimated Time:  6-8 weeks
Flight Hours: 40-50 hours 

Commercial Pilot Certificate

About the Commercial Pilot Certificate:
Pilots must meet specific experience requirements and fly to a higher standard in order to become commercial pilots, which ultimately allows them to be paid to fly.

How long does it take to complete your Commercial Pilot Certificate Training?
Estimated Time:  8-12 weeks
Flight Hours: 120 hours 

Certified Flight Instructor Certificate

About the Certified Flight Instructor Certificate:
Becoming a CFI allows pilots to earn a living flying, while they obtain the flight experience required by airlines. Becoming a CFI and a CFII is not required by all airlines, but the certificate and experience is highly valued by airlines and commercial aviation employers.

How long does it take to complete your Certified Flight Instructor Training?
Estimated Time: 5-7 weeks
Flight Hours: 25 hours

Where can you find employment as a Certified Flight Instructor? See the section below about working as a Flight Instructor at Ignite Flight.

Commercial Multi-Engine Rating

About the Multi Engine Rating:
Multi engine allows the privilege to operate larger and faster aircraft. Completing the commercial multi-engine add on gives pilots the required certification needed to transition into airline or charter operations.

How long does it take to complete your Commercial Multi Engine Training?
Estimated Time:  2-3 weeks
Flight Hours: 15 hours

CFII and MEI Ratings

About the CFII and MEI Ratings:
Most pilots work as flight instructors, and many also get their Certified Flight Instructor – Instrument Add-on and Multi-Engine Instructor Add-On ratings to help them gain the relevant flight experience necessary to satisfy the requirements of the Airline Transport Pilot certificate, which airline and charter pilots are required to hold (1,500 hours total flight time). However, flight time can also be built through other avenues such as aerial surveying, banner towing, sight-seeing, etc.

How long does it take to complete your CFII training?
Estimated Time:  2-3 weeks
Flight Hours: 10 hours 

How long does it take to complete your MEI training?
Estimated Time:  2-3 weeks
Flight Hours: 10 hours 

Airline Transport Pilot Certificate

About the Airline Transport Pilot Certificate:
Upon meeting the requirements of the Airline Transport Pilot certificate, you are eligible to fly for an airline and will meet the hiring minimums of most regional airline pilot jobs. Many regional airlines cover the expenses to obtain this certificate as a part of their on-boarding process. 

phase two:begin your career

Certified Flight Instructors (CFIs) are consistently in high demand, and working as a CFI allows you to get paid while you invest in flight training students and log the 1,500 hours you need to be employed by commercial airlines.  At this point in your own flight training, you should have about 250 to 275 hours of flight time.

about working at Performance

You can get to 1,500 hours in as little as 12-15 months after starting to work as a CFI at Ignite Flight. That means you can have all of the certificates, ratings, and experience you need to become employed as an airline pilot within two years after starting our Professional Pilot Training Academy.

At Ignite Flight, Flight Instructors enjoy our excellent team culture, along with great pay and benefits and opportunities for career advancement. They are an integral part of our Flight Training Team, providing instruction in our technologically-advanced fleet and tracking each customer’s progress with our user-friendly course tracker. Each member of our team receives ongoing coaching and leadership training, as they help us continue to build our program and company culture.

“I came to Ignite flight because of their midwest location and excellent team culture. I wanted to work at a place that shared my same values. I love instructing here because of the people. It’s a really fun work environment.” – Matthew Gabel, CFI  

enjoy benefits from our airline partners

Benefits can begin immediately after you begin working as a CFI.

airline/travel benefits | mentorship programs | advanced seniority accrual 

expedited hiring processes | and more

average flight hours for new CFI

flight hours needed to work for airline

phase three:career progression and placement

A final phase in our Professional Pilot Training Academy is career placement assistance. In addition to career progression opportunities at Ignite Flight and the relationships we have with our partner airlines, we also have a network of contacts within charter, law enforcement, freight, and other institutions who can help provide excellent career opportunities. It is our goal to help you achieve your pilot career goals and make informed decisions as you complete our program.

We can help you  interview and lock in your future employment while you are training. 

From the moment we meet you, our priority is to help you identify and earn the pilot career opportunity that is best suited for you. We begin by learning about you and any goals and dreams you have for your career. We will educate you regarding a variety of options you have as you navigate each step of your professional flight training.

Once you begin logging flight time and working as a CFI, we will help you take advantage of any benefits and mentorship programs available through our partner airlines. You will also receive continued coaching and guidance to help you grow your leadership experience and capacity and connect you with contacts within the pilot career field(s) you are interested in pursuing.  

starting salary and benefits

As a First Officer for regional airlines, you can make up to $50,000 in your first year salary and enjoy additional benefits. You will probably also provide services for major airlines. For example, as a First Officer for SkyWest, you may be servicing a Delta flight.

Explore More Information

As a Ignite Flight student, you will join a great culture, gain access to quality instruction, modern aircraft, and job placement assistance.

We have the experience and airline relationships to take you from zero to flying for regional airlines in about two years, and from there on to the major airlines.

If you are interested in other pilot career tracks, such as charter, corporate, law enforcement, or agriculture, we can connect you with people in those fields.

When you choose Ignite Flight, you can rest assured our focus will be to develop your character and skill capacity for success in your flying career.

my professional Flight Plan

Create a professional plan for your pilot career.


MY Professional FLIGHT PLAN can help set you up for success as you train for your pilot career. Our Pilot Academy in Lincoln, NE provides a superior learning environment that will help you achieve your goals.

Learn more about the different pilot career opportunities and receive guidance to help you set goals and navigate each step of your professional flight training.


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