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Emirates is one of the best airlines to work for as it is the World’s 4th Best Airline of 2021 awarded by the Skytrax World Airline Awards. The airline offers various job opportunities for aviation enthusiasts and a pilot is one of them.

If you are planning to become an Emirates Pilot, this article is for you. We have included almost every information related to becoming a professional airline pilot for Emirates including requirements, recruitment steps, cadet pilot program, salary, benefits, and much more.

So, stay till the end to explore every piece of information. Having said that, let’s get started with some basic details about Emirates.

About Emirates Airline

IdentityNational Flag Carrier of Dubai
World’s 4th Best Airline of 2021 (Skytrax World Airline Awards)
HubDubai International Airport (DXB)
FleetOver 250 aircraft
Airbus A380
Boeing 777
DestinationOver 140 international destinations in 70 countries across six continents.
Codeshare AgreementsChina Southern Airlines, flydubai, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, JetBlue, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Thai Airways, TAP Air Portugal and much more.

How to Become an Emirates Pilot?

Emirates announces vacancies for the pilot position on its official website. As an applicant, you must fulfill basic qualifications and apply online via the careers site.

At Emirates, you can become a pilot in four ways as mentioned below.

  • Direct Entry Captains
  • Become a First Officer
  • Accelerated Command
  • Join National Cadet Programme

Let’s explore all these opportunities in detail.

Direct Entry Captains

Experienced pilots can apply for A380 Direct Entry Captains at Emirates if they fulfill all requirements.

In order to qualify as an Emirates A380 Captain, candidates must hold a minimum of 7000 hours of total flight experience in multi-crew, and multi-engine settings. Please note that only actual flight hours in the pilot’s seat of a turboprop and/or turbojet aircraft will be considered; simulator time will not be included.

Requirements for Emirates Direct Entry Captain

  • Minimum of 4000 hours recent command on Airbus FBW (Fly-by-wire) Wide Body (A330/A340/A350/A380).
  • A Valid ICAO ATPL with an unrestricted Class 1 Medical.
  • Must have flown at least 150 hours in command within the last 12 months at the time of joining.
  • Fluency in English (equivalent to ICAO English Level 5 or above).

Salary for Emirates A380 Captains

The basic salary for Emirates A380 Captains is AED 44,385 (USD 12,084) based on an average of 85 flight hours per month. Likewise, the flying pay is AED 730 (USD199) for each block hour above the monthly target.

Other Benefits for A380 Captains

  • The company provided accommodation with utilities.
  • Primary Education Allowance worth AED 47,500 (USD 12,932), and Secondary Education Allowance worth AED 72,500 (USD 19,739) provided for families with up to 3 children aged 4-19 (all numbers are per year/per child, and are subject to benefits policy).
  • 42 Calendar Days of annual leave with confirmed annual leave tickets for the pilots, and their dependents.
  • Business Class upgradable to First Class
  • Provident Fund or End of Service Benefits
  • Pick up, and Drop Off to and from duty
  • Platinum Card Discount
  • Eligibility for an annual profit share
  • Company Uniform & Dry Cleaning in Dubai
  • Concessional Staff Travel Economy/Business/First Class eligibility

Become a First Officer

If you are already an experienced pilot and hold some flying hours, you are eligible for directly applying to the First Officer (FO) position at Emirates. 

Emirates Pilot Requirements for First Officer

Here are the basic requirements you need to satisfy before applying for the First Officer position (A380 or B777) at Emirates.

  • A minimum of 2000 hours on aircraft with a Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW) greater than or equal to 20T is mandatory. OR, a minimum of 3000 hours on MTOW between 10T and 20T.
  • Applicants must hold a valid ICAO ATPL.
  • Applicants must have obtained a Class 1 Medical Certificate issued by ICAO.
  • ICAO English Level 4 is a minimum language proficiency requirement.
  • Applicants must have flown at least 150 hours within the last 12 months at the time of joining on an aircraft with MTOW greater than or equal to 10T.

Emirates Pilot Hiring Process

emirates pilot hiring process
  • If you fulfil the basic requirements for Emirates First Officer, you are an eligible candidate for the post. And to apply, you must go through the following processes.
  • At first, you need to visit the Emirates Careers Website and find any active vacancies for First Officer. If there is any, you can apply online by submitting an application form with the necessary document, photographs and other essential attributes.
  • The airline recruitment team will review your online application and if selected, you will go through a short video interview, psychometric tests, Abstract Reasoning tests and a live Panel interview that are conducted remotely.
  • If you manage to pass the first phase of the selection process, you will be invited for the second phase which includes Simulator assessments, advanced compass and medical examinations. This process is carried out in Dubai over a 2 days period.
  • The successful completion of the second stage means you are now at the final step to get selected for the First Officer position. Before providing a job offer letter, the airline will conduct pre-employment checks.

Emirates Pilot Training

Selected First Officers will undergo initial training at the Emirates facility in Dubai to get ready for the commercial operation. At first, FOs will participate in an induction week and then Type Rating Course is initiated.

The Type Rating Course includes ETOPS, TCAS, ILS/PRM, RVSM, RNAC and Aircraft Systems. After that, FOs receive Fixed Base IPT and full-flight simulator training to boost technical skills and qualify for Low Visibility Operations and Zero Flight Time.

Completion of the simulator training session will take FOs to the Line training where observation flights are conducted between 12 to 30 training sectors depending upon the previous flying experience. The newly recruited FOs will become a fully-qualified commercial Emirates pilot after the final and successful line check.

When can an Emirates First Officer expect to be upgraded to Captain?

Well, to become an Emirates Captain, FOs must complete the following prerequisites.

  • FOs must accumulate a minimum of 6,000 total flight times.
  • Minimum 2,500 hours actual time in an operation seat (stick time) must have been completed on the aircraft type to upgrade on.
  • FOs must complete a minimum of 4 years of flying with Emirates.
  • FOs must obtain a valid UAE ATPL License.
  • Must complete a minimum of 6 EBT modules on any Emirates aircraft.
  • The minimum age requirement to initiate a command course is 30 years.

Accelerated Command

Emirates offers an interesting opportunity for aspiring pilots to come aboard as an A380 First Officer offering an improved salary package coupled with a fast-tracked path to a command position.

With this opportunity, your role will involve operating from the right-hand seat, accumulating a minimum of 700 hours of flight time, and successfully clearing two Pilot Proficiency Checks (PPCs).

If you meet the established criteria and exhibit the necessary level of performance, you will become eligible for an accelerated command track through an evaluation process and a dedicated upgrade course.

Here are the requirements to qualify for the Accelerated Command program.

  • You must have a minimum of 6000 hours on multi-crew, and multi-engine aircraft.
  • You must be currently type-rated as a commander on an Airbus FBW (Fly-by-wire) aircraft with a minimum of 1,500 hours on type.
  • A valid ICAO ATPL with an unrestricted class one medical certificate issued by the same authority.
  • Must have flown at least 150 hours in command within the last 12 months at the time of joining.
  • Fluency in English, equivalent to ICAO English level 5 or above.
  • Minimum of 3000 hrs command time on multi-crew, multi-engine commercial jet aircraft with MTOW of 50 tonnes or more.

Salary for pilots selected via Accelerated Command Program

The basic salary for pilots hired via Accelerated Command is AED 36,466 per month (equivalent to USD 9,923) based on an average of 85 flight hours monthly. Likewise, the flying pay is AED 515 (USD 140) for each block hour above the monthly target.

Emirates National Cadet Pilot Programme

Emirates offers an opportunity for aspirant Emiratis to apply for the National Cadet Pilot Programme and become professional airline pilots in a systematic way.

emirates national cadet pilot programme aviatechchannel

You must fulfill the following requirements to apply for the National Cadet Pilot Programme.

  • Applicants must hold a valid UAE passport and Khulasat AI Qaid.
  • The age of the applicant must be at least 18 years but not exceeding 26 years.
  • A minimum Grade 12 secondary school certificate is required with an average score of 80%.
  • Fluency in English Language (Writing, Speaking, and Reading) is a must.
  • Applicants must have obtained a TOEFL score of 510.
  • Must possess Military Service Status.
  • Applicants must be medically fit.
  • Must obtain Ministry of Education Attestation for Certificates.

How to apply for the Emirates National Cadet Pilot Programme?

You can apply for the National Cadet Pilot Programme by submitting an online application via the Emirates Group Careers website.

After a review of your application, the airline recruitment team will conduct various assessments including document verification, interviews, medical exams, and various other tests to select you for the program.

Those applicants selected for the Cadet Pilot Programme will go through intensive training to become eligible for flying large commercial jet aircraft. The training is conducted at Emirates Flight Training Academy in Dubai.

National Cadet Pilot Programme Training Module

First PhaseGround SchoolApprox. 13 months
Second Phase (Flight Training)274 hours of flight experience
Commercial Pilot Licence with Multi-Instrument Rating (CPL/Multi-IR)
Multi-Crew Cooperation Course (MCC)
Approx. 15 months
Third Phase (Cadet Pilot)Conversion and Line TrainingApprox. 3 months
Fourth Phase (Final Line Check)Receive a commercial pilot licence with a multi-instrument rating (CPL/Multi IR) and Frozen Air Transport Pilot Licence (Frozen ATPL) approved by the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority.Approx. 6 months

Pay & Benefits for National Cadet Programme

PHASEPay & Benefits
First PhaseAED 4,000 per month, course fees, meals and accommodation
Second Phase (Flight Training)AED 4,000 per month, course fees, meals, and accommodation
Third Phase (Cadet Pilot)AED 15,995 per month, course fees
Fourth Phase (Final Line Check)AED 27,370 per month, course fees

After successful completion of the Cadet Programme, you will be deployed as a line pilot flying Emirates aircraft. You will be earning AED 43,000 (USD 11,707.5) per month as a First Officer.

Emirates Pilot Uniform


Emirates Pilot Salary

Emirates First Officers make AED 376,092 (US$102,393.68) per year.

Direct Entry A380 Captains earn AED 532,620 (US$145,009.52) per year.

Emirates First Officers graduated from National Cadet Programme earn 516,000 (US$140,484.61) per year.

This pay scale increases depending on the flying hours, destination, allowances, seniority level, and experience gained.

Emirates Pilot Salary Per Month

First Officers at Emirates earn AED 31,341 (US$8,533) per month based on 85 flying hours per month. FOs also earn AED 515 (US$140) for each block hour above the monthly target as productivity pay.

On the other hand, pilots selected as Direct Entry A380 Captains earn AED 44,385 (USD 12,084) per month based on an average of 85hrs/month. Likewise, the flying pay is AED 730 (USD 199) for each block hour above the monthly target.

Those pilots selected via National Cadet Programme earn AED 43,000 (USD 11,707.05) per month including basic pay, and fixed allowances.

Emirates Pilot Benefits

In addition to the basic salary, Emirates pilots enjoy various benefits and perks.

  • Attractive Salary Package
  • Accommodation Allowance
  • Productivity Pay
  • Provident Fund or End of Service Benefits
  • 42 calendar days Annual Leave
  • Shuttle service to and from duty
  • Platinum Card Discount
  • Eligibility for an annual profit share
  • Company Uniform and Dry Cleaning in Dubai
  • Life and Accident Insurance
  • Medical and Dental Coverage
  • Loss of License Insurance
  • Economy/Business Class-Eligibility
  • Confirmed Annual Leave Ticket

Conclusion on Becoming Emirates Pilot

Till the end of this informative blog, we discovered almost every piece of information related to becoming an Emirates Pilot. If you meet all the basic requirements and skills, you must apply whenever vacancies arrive for First Officer or Cadet Pilot Programme at Emirates.

If you have any doubts or queries, please write in the comment section below or contact us directly.

Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does an Emirates pilot make?

Emirates pilot salary ranges from AED 376,092 (US$102,393.68) per year to AED 532,620 (US$145,009.52) per year. This pay scale increases depending on the flying hours, destination, allowances, seniority level, and experience gained.

Is it hard to be a pilot in Emirates?

It is not that difficult to be a pilot in the Emirates however, you need to fulfill all the requirements and pass the assessments to get selected.

How do I become an Emirates Pilot?

You can directly apply for Emirates First Officer (if you have previous flying experience) or join the National Cadet Pilot Programme to become an Emirates Pilot. For that, you need to meet all the basic qualifications and undergo various assessments to get selected.

How long does it take to become an Emirates pilot?

If you are going through Emirates National Cade Programme, it takes almost 3.1 years to become a qualified First Officer. With other

Does Emirates have a pilot program?

Yes, Emirates offers a cadet pilot program which is known as the National Cadet Programme. Eligible candidates can apply to this program, and become an Emirates First Officer within 3 years.

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Suman Karki
Suman Karki is the founder of the AviaTech Channel blog and YouTube Channel. He is a passionate aviation enthusiast and holds experience working as a Ground Operations Officer for Swissport International. He is currently serving as a Flight Data Feeder for FlightAware (a US-based company for Flight Tracking). Besides, he has worked as an aviation content editor for various aviation media.


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