Becoming a Pilot in Kenya: Requirements, Schools, Fees, Salary

Discover the requirements, schools, fees, and salary prospects for becoming a pilot in Kenya. Your ultimate guide to realizing your dream career.

Jul 24, 2023 - 11:55
Becoming a Pilot in Kenya: Requirements, Schools, Fees, Salary
Becoming a Pilot in Kenya: Requirements, Schools, Fees, Salary

Becoming a pilot is a dream many cherish, especially among young children who gaze at the skies with awe. While becoming an aircraft captain in Kenya may seem challenging, it is undoubtedly an attainable and rewarding career path. This comprehensive guide will provide all the necessary information on becoming a pilot in Kenya, including the requirements, available schools, fees, and potential salary prospects. So, fasten your seatbelts as we take off on this exciting adventure!

Critical Requirements for Aspiring Pilots

Becoming an aircraft captain in Kenya is not just about passion but also meeting several requirements and qualifications. Here are the essential prerequisites you need to fulfill:

  1. Academic Credentials: Your academic qualifications must align with the piloting school's entry requirements. Most pilot schools require a minimum KCSE mean grade of C with at least a C in English, Mathematics, and Physics/Chemistry/Physical Science. Some schools may expect a higher KCSE mean grade of C+ with specific subject requirements.
  2. Age and Health: Aspiring pilots should be at least 16 years old. A valid medical fitness certificate issued by an accredited Aviation Medical examiner is also mandatory, ensuring good physical and mental health.
  3. Essential Documents: You'll need copies of your identification documents (national ID/passport/birth certificate) and academic certificates, passport-sized photos, and a certificate of good conduct.
  4. Internal Evaluations: Pass three internal written evaluations in English, Mathematics, and Psychometric Testing.
  5. Flight Assessment: Undergo at least five lessons in flight assessment.

Paths to Becoming a Pilot

There are three main pathways to becoming an aircraft captain in Kenya:

  1. Joining the Military: As a cadet officer, you can undergo pilot training with all expenses covered by the military. This is an excellent option for those seeking financial support.
  2. Airline Training Program: Some airlines offer training programs where they sponsor aspiring pilots' fees. This provides a financially viable route for those pursuing their dream without significant upfront costs.
  3. Aviation Schools: Paying for flying lessons at an aviation school is the most common way of becoming a pilot. While it may require substantial financial investment, it grants you the freedom to choose the training institution.

Available Pilot Courses

In your journey to becoming a pilot, you'll encounter several courses you can pursue, each catering to specific skill sets:

  1. Private Pilot License (PPL): Offers basic and foundational flying skills.
  2. Commercial Pilot License (CPL): Allows flying commercial aircraft and is pursued after obtaining the PPL.
  3. Private Pilot License (Helicopters): Similar to PPL but for flying private helicopters.
  4. Commercial Pilot License (Helicopters): For flying commercial helicopters.
  5. Instrument Rating Training: Trains pilots in flying using instruments.
  6. Multi-engine Rating: Trains pilots to fly multi-engine aircraft.
  7. Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL): The highest level of rigorous training for airline transport captains and pilots in command on large aircraft.

Approved Aviation Schools in Kenya

Kenya has approximately 15 Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) approved aviation schools offering various flying courses, air traffic control training, aircraft maintenance engineering, and flight operations courses. Some of the notable flying schools include:

  • East African School of Aviation, Nairobi
  • KQ Pride Centre, Nairobi
  • Mt Kenya Flight School, Nanyuki
  • Kenya School of Flying, Nairobi
  • Standards Aviation Flying School, Nairobi
  • Flight Training Centre, Nairobi

And many more...

Understanding the Cost of Training

One of the primary challenges for aspiring pilots is the cost of training. The fees for piloting courses in Kenya can be demanding, ranging up to 5 million Ksh. Training abroad may be more cost-effective but comes with additional expenses when returning to Kenya.

Here is an approximate fee structure for various piloting courses in Kenya:

  • Private Pilot License (PPL) Course: Approximately 800,000 Ksh
  • Commercial Pilot License (CPL) Course: Around 2,600,000 Ksh
  • Initial Multi-engine/Instrument Rating (M/IR) Course: Approximately 1,300,000 Ksh

Expect to invest about 5 million Ksh for your pilot training in Kenya, depending on the school and course combination.

Career Opportunities and Salary

Upon completing your pilot training, numerous career opportunities await you, including:

  • An airline pilot for large airlines or regional carriers
  • Corporate or business aviation pilot
  • Cargo pilot
  • Flight Instructor
  • Medical/Air ambulance pilot
  • Agricultural pilot, and many more

Regarding salary, airline pilots in Kenya can earn between 132,000 Ksh and 420,000 Ksh per month, with salary variation based on experience, type of aircraft, and airline.

What are the specific subject requirements for academic qualifications in pilot schools?

The minimum academic requirements for pilot schools in Kenya vary from school to school. However, most schools require a mean grade of C or an equivalent in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam. In addition, most schools require students to take at least three science subjects, including physics, chemistry, and mathematics.

Some schools may also require students to have taken additional subjects, such as English, geography, or history. You must check with the specific school you are interested in to see their specific requirements.

In addition to the academic requirements, most pilot schools require students to pass a medical examination. This examination will assess the student's physical and mental fitness for flying.

Can I Pursue Pilot Training While Studying at University in Kenya?

Piloting is a challenging but rewarding career. If you're interested in becoming a pilot, you may wonder if you can pursue pilot training while studying at a university in Kenya. The answer is yes, and it is possible to do both. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind if you want to be successful.

There are a few different ways to pursue pilot training while studying at a university in Kenya. One option is to enroll in a university program offering an aviation degree. These programs typically include theoretical and practical training, and they can prepare you for a career as a commercial pilot.

Another option is to enroll in a flight training course at a private school. These courses are typically shorter and less expensive than university programs but may provide less theoretical training.

No matter which route you choose, it's essential to make sure that the KCAA accredits the program you enroll in. This will ensure you receive the training you need to meet the requirements for a pilot's license.

READ ALSO: Pilots Salary In Kenya: How Much Money Do Pilots Make in Kenya?


Embarking on the journey to becoming a pilot in Kenya requires passion, dedication, and careful consideration of the available options. Whether you join the military, participate in an airline training program, or attend an aviation school, fulfilling your dream of becoming a pilot is within reach. Remember, aviation demands expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, and by following your passion and acquiring the necessary qualifications, you can soar high in the skies and witness your dreams take flight.


 The information provided in this article is accurate as of the time of writing, but aviation regulations and requirements are subject to change. Always verify the latest information from official sources before deciding on pilot training or aviation careers.

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Joseph Richard Joseph is a graduate of Mathematics and Computer Science (Applied Option). With expertise in Technology and Finance, he brings his knowledge to the field, demonstrating an authoritative understanding of these interrelated areas. Joseph is pursuing a Master's in Software Engineering, further expanding his skill set.