How to become a hot air balloon pilot

How to become a hot air balloon pilot:

The requirements for becoming a hot air balloon pilot differ from your location. However, one thing is for sure, becoming a balloon pilot is achievable for everyone; as long as you’ll meet certain requirements. Depending on your location, those requirements can range from reasonable to quite strict. Here are details you need to know on becoming a pilot.

1. Confirm Your Interest

Before you get started, it is essential to decide what kind of hot air balloon pilot you want to be. Would you like to be a professional pilot or an individual wanting to fly recreationally? Whether you prefer student, private, or commercial balloon pilots, understand that each category requires a different set of requirements.

2. Make Sure You Are Healthy

A health certification will guarantee that you are fit to fly. Pilots should have no condition that will prevent them from operating the balloon safely.

3. Obtain a License

If you want to become a certified hot air balloon pilot, an official certification or license is a must. To get this, you must complete the training required based on the country you live in. You’ll usually have to complete so many hours of balloon flights, as well as complete multiple tests.

Overall, earning your balloon pilot license requires lots of training, a passion for flying, and a commitment to safety. At the end of the day, though, it’s all worth it, as it allows you to fly a balloon legally and safely.

Do you need a license to fly a hot air balloon?

In order to fly a hot air balloon, you must secure a pilot’s license by attending lessons with an instructor and meet requirements based on your country.

How much does it cost to get a hot air balloon license?

Ballooning is an expensive sport/hobby. Getting a license for one is no different. The exact cost depends on the training service you go with, but on average, you can expect a private license to be at least $2,500.

The main two expenses that make up the total cost of a license is the training itself and the equipment used during the training.

Having a competent and helpful instructor is the most important part of the training, and therefore, what costs the most. Don’t try to skimp on an instructor just to save a few bucks, a quality instructor will benefit you in the long run.

Assuming you do not own a balloon, you will also have to rent one along with the necessary equipment. If you are savvy, you may be able to find a good deal, but once again, don’t skimp out. Choose quality over price.

How to get a how to get a hot air balloon license:

Depending on your location, the requirements to secure a license differ.

United States

Live in the United States or under FAA regulation.

United Kingdom

Live in the United Kingdom or under CAA regulation.


Live in Australia or under CASA regulation.

Is it hard to become a hot air balloon pilot?

Given the different requirements that you have to complete, plus costs, becoming a hot air balloon pilot is not an easy task by any stretch. For more information on difficulty, read our detailed post.

How long does it take to become a hot air balloon pilot?

There’s no set time frame on becoming a hot air balloon pilot. It depends on the individual and how they want to achieve their career goals. However, in general, it ranges from a few weeks to several months or even a year. For more information on how long it takes, read our detailed post.

How much do hot air balloon pilots make?

Being a hot air balloon pilot is an extraordinary job. You're strapped to a bunch of hot air balloons, watch the sunrise, and you get paid for doing it. It sounds like a dream job doesn't it? But, how much do they make?

While there is no exact salary for a hot air balloon pilot, compensation varies widely based on several factors, including experience level and geographic location. Besides that, it also depends on the company they work for. Many pilots are paid per flight or by how many passengers they fly. On average, though, a balloonist can count on earning between $30,000 to $150,000 per year.

Where to buy a hot air balloon:

If you are looking to buy a balloon before you secure your license, or you have your license and are now looking to fly your own balloon, you can order a balloon online using our order page. It allows you to browse the highest quality envelopes and baskets.