How to Become a Pilot in Vietnam 2021

Hi there, future Pilot! Your interest in becoming a pilot must have brought you to this page. You might be wondering how to become a Pilot in Vietnam after 12th Grade? Is becoming a Pilot your dream or are you simply just curious about how to become a Pilot in Vietnam? If you answer yes to one of these, then this “How to Become a Pilot in Vietnam 2021” page is for you!


You probably have a multitude of questions when it comes to qualifications, duration, and requirements necessary for pilot training in Vietnam. Fret not, as we, at Aviationfly, have compiled the most basic things you need to know when planning to take your pilot course/program in Vietnam.

But before we walk you through the following step-by-step guide, did you know that Vietnam, with its population of 96 million people,  has four (4) big airlines and a number of smaller airlines. Well-known airlines such as Vietjet, Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific and Bamboo Airways have all ordered a large number of airplanes that will need more pilots to fly them. Vietjet has hundreds of aircraft on order both from Airbus and Boeing and will need thousands of new pilots over the next few years. The Airlines in Vietnam will have a preference for Vietnamese Nationals. Nevertheless, this is open to international applications and because of this, there is not a better time to start your pilot training than now!

However, currently, only Pilot Simulator Training Centers are available in Vietnam. Vietnamese nationals have to do their initial pilot training abroad. 

Aviationfly has helped many aspiring pilots just like you become a pilot with our step-by-step guide below. In this page, we will walk you through all the steps that you need to take into consideration when pursuing your dream of becoming either a private pilot, commercial pilot, or an airline transport pilot.

Step 1. Do research on the available flight training options in Vietnam

You need to know what pilot training programs are being offered in the country and which among those is the most suitable for you. This is where you should take into account what is your aviation goal. Do you want to obtain a Private Pilot License (PPL) or a Commercial Pilot License (CPL). Are you seeking to work for an airline? If yes, then an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) is for you. Do you aim to attain a college degree at the same time too? Or do you see yourself joining the military, particularly the Air Force? 

Did we lose you? Don’t panic! If you’re not familiar with the terms or can’t choose which license is the right for you, you can send in your questions and our team will be happy to help you out.

Here are your options

  • Flight School

Currently, there are no initial pilot training schools in Vietnam. Only Pilot Simulator Centers are available as of this writing. Hence, Vietnamese Nationals have to do their pilot training abroad. Now, it is important that you create a list of your preferred flight school/s abroad so you can compare which is fitting for you. Each school has its own procedures, enrollment requirements, and depending on which pilot training courses you decide to take, the tuition fee also varies. There are only a few Pilot Schools in the world approved by the CAAV and can connect you with the right ones (click the yellow CONTACT US button). 

  • Aviation-related college degree program

However, if you’re interested in obtaining a college degree accompanied with flight training, you should consider aviation-related college degree programs. These programs allow students to combine a college degree with flight training. With this kind of program, you will earn a college degree together with a pilot license such as Commercial Pilot License (CPL) in most cases. This will give you the opportunity to have the best of both worlds.

  • Airline cadet pilot program

Meanwhile, if your greatest childhood dream is to become an airline pilot, you should consider airline cadet pilot programs. Airlines often sponsor these programs and students are guaranteed employment upon course completion. In this pilot program, you will obtain an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL). You can reach out to us to get an insight on the options currently available.

  • Join the military

Finally, if you’re interested in serving your country, you can join the Vietnam People’s Air Force. The Government will sponsor your flight training but you will have to stay with the military for around 12 years  after completion before you can apply to commercial airlines.

Step 2. Look up the Basic Requirements

  • What is the minimum age to become a pilot in Vietnam?

    • You need to be at least 17 years old to start your pilot training in Vietnam. However, at 16 years old, you can already be issued a Student Pilot License (SPL).
  • What do I need to start pilot training in Vietnam? 

    • In order to start your pilot training, you will need to secure a medical certificate. The best way to do this is to speak with the flight school you would like to enroll in and they will help arrange it for you.
  • What are the minimum educational requirements to become a pilot in Vietnam?

    • Potential students must be at least a high school graduate (class 12). 
  • What level of English do I need to become a pilot in Vietnam?

    • Since the language of aviation internationally is English, it is recommended to have at least a level 4 English standard before receiving your pilot license. If you are looking to improve your English, you can send us a message and we will give you tips on what courses to take.
  • What is the maximum age for airline pilots in Vietnam? 

    • The retirement age for airline pilots is 65 years old.

Step 3. Decide on which training stages you will have to undergo

In general, there are five (5) different pilot training stages in which students need to complete depending on what their goal is. The stages of pilot training are as follows:

  • Student Pilot License (SPL)

The first pilot license you will need to obtain is a student pilot license. This license allows you to start your flight training. To get a Vietnamese student pilot certificate, you need to be at least 16 years old, and able to speak, understand, read, and write in English language at the minimum level required by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV).

  • Private Pilot License (PPL)

The private pilot license will allow you to fly solo, passengers, or cargo but without monetary compensation. In order to get a Vietnamese private pilot license, you must:

  1. be at least 17 years old;
  2. be a holder of Student Pilot License (SPL);
  3. holds a Class 2 Medical Certificate; and
  4. has at least 40 hours of flight time that includes:

i)  at least 20 hours of flight training from an instructor;

ii) 10 hours of solo flight training; and 

iii) 5 Solo takeoffs and landings to a full stop

  • Commercial Pilot License (CPL)

To start earning from flying, you will need to obtain a commercial pilot license. This license allows you to become a paid professional pilot. In order to obtain a commercial pilot license in Vietnam, you will need to meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Must be over 18 years old;
  2. A holder of Private Pilot License (PPL); and
  3. Total flight time requirements is at least 150 flight hours (which must include 70 hours as Pilot in Command or PIC)

Both 4 and 5 are add-ons to your pilot license…

  • Instrument Rating (IR)

Being instrument-rated means that you can fly the aircraft in any weather condition (for example low or zero visibility) using just the instruments. Flight schools offer Instrument Rating along with their commercial pilot training. But this can also be obtained separately.

  • Multi-Engine Rating (MER)

The multi-engine rating will allow you to fly multi-engine aircraft. Flight schools offer Multi-Engine Rating along with their private pilot training and commercial pilot training. But this can also be obtained separately.

  • Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL)

This is the highest level of Pilot License both in Vietnam and globally. The license is a requirement if you want to be a Captain (in command) of a multi-crew aircraft (like a commercial airline aircraft). To get an ATPL, you must:

  1. be at least 21 years of age and demonstrate English language proficiency of Level 4;
  2. Valid and current Commercial Pilot License (CPL) including Instrument Rating;
  3. Class 1 Medical Certificate;
  4. Flight Logbook with a Total Flight Time of at least 1,500 hours; and
  5. Approved Training Organisation (ATO) Certificate of ATPL Ground training – minimum of 750 hours

If you have any questions so far, feel free to use chat messenger to send us a message.

Step 4. Choose a flight school

After doing your research on the type of license you would like to obtain, the next step is to choose which flight school is the most suitable for your budget.

So, how much does pilot training cost? 

It is important to note that becoming a pilot requires a certain budget. The minimum is around US$60,000 and higher. Your flight training cost depends on the country you do your training, the flight school you pick, and a number of other factors.

You can find a list of flight training institutes in the United States, Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Australia, where most Vietnamese do their pilot training, by registering with us on Our flight school directory has a list of all the latest active flight schools in these countries including their brief background, pilot training courses being offered, the school’s fleet details, what they can offer to you, and other information. It takes an average of around 2 years to obtain a commercial pilot license in CAAV-approved flight schools abroad and costs around US $60,000. Following the training, you will have to convert your license to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.

Step 5. Consider your Career Options

Many aspiring pilots have a defined career path they would like to pursue, while others don’t. Below is a list of options for what you can potentially do with a pilot license.

  • Airline pilot for large airlines or smaller regional ones
  • Corporate or business aviation pilot
  • Cargo pilot
  • Charter / Air taxi pilot
  • Flight instructor
  • Medical/ Air ambulance pilots
  • Agricultural pilot and many more options

A frequently asked question is: how much does an Airline Captain in Vietnam make? The short answer is an average of VNĐ229 million (US$9,946) per month*!

**This/these number/numbers is/are based on available data and research conducted in the year 2019. There is no guarantee that the number/s provided is/are accurate. Please read our Disclaimer.

Tips for Picking a Flight School

Tip 1. Decide on your pilot goals

Firstly, ask yourself – what are your long-term aspirations in aviation? Do you want to become a pilot in your free time (Private Pilot License)? Or do you want to fly in General Aviation (Commercial Pilot License)? Do you want to become an airline pilot through an airline pilot cadet program? Additionally, which airlines are currently hiring? What type of aircraft will be utilized by airlines in the next few years? Which flight schools do the airlines usually hire from? Best to ask flight schools if they have partnerships with airlines. These are critical questions you should list and get answers to when asking yourself “how will I become a Pilot”.

Tip 2. Determine how much you can afford to spend

Secondly, different flight schools have different costs (due to location, number of students, aircraft type and several other factors), find out the reasons for the price difference. Moreover, do these programs have financial assistance/loan programs? Might a part-time program work for you?

Tip 3. Determine how much free time you have

Each flight training school has its own training schedules with some offering flexibility while others want the cadets to train full time and on campus. Note that delaying flight training usually increases your training costs.

Tip 4. Find out what type of aircraft the flight school uses and information of its aircraft maintenance center

This is important from a training point of view, but even more importantly, from a safety aspect. Furthermore, you should also take into consideration the equipment preference of airlines. Aircraft age does not always relate to safety, this is dependent on the aircraft maintenance – ask the flight school in detail about their aircraft maintenance department and safety features of the aircraft.

Tip 5. Visit your shortlist of flight schools

Finally, when possible, speak to the instructors and flight school management teams to learn about the training, safety policies, history, and graduates of the flight school.

Do you still have questions? Send us a message!

You can also check out How to become a Pilot in the Philippines or other countries by navigating on our platform or simply just reach out to our team through chat.

Step-by-Step Guide on Becoming a Pilot in Vietnam

How to become a Pilot in Vietnam - Aviationfly

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