First officer pilot apprenticeship

Support the aircraft captain and commander during flights

The first officer, also known as co-pilot, works in a variety of aircraft, including commercial, military, passenger or freight. The role of the first officer is to support the aircraft commander and to assist them in the safe and efficient conduct of a flight. In the event of the incapacitation of the commander, the first officer will assume the authority and responsibility for the aircraft and its crew, passengers and load. During normal operations, the commander and the first officer will alternate in performing the roles of ‘pilot handling’ and ‘pilot monitoring’. In these situations, the ‘pilot monitoring’ will conduct radio communications and monitor the duties of the ‘pilot handling’. At all times, they are to ensure the safety and security of the passengers and crew. During the first officer pilot apprenticeship, you’ll need to achieve either a ‘frozen’ air transport pilot licence (aeroplane) or a multi-crew pilot licence followed by aircraft type conversion training and supervised line training.


Duration: 24 months

Relevant school subjects: Engineering and maths

Entry requirements for the first officer pilot apprenticeship: Security clearance and a class 1 medical certificate. Apprentices must be at least 18-years-old in order to apply for a multi-crew pilot licence and at least 21-years-old in order to apply for an air transport pilot licence

Achievement upon completion: Level 6 (Higher)—equivalent to a foundation degree

Potential salary upon completion: £30,000 per annum

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