Flight School Options in Minnesota

flight school Minnesota

Looking for a flight school in Minnesota? Check out our list of options. [Credit: iStock]

Editor's note: The following article is not intended to be a ranking, but is only to serve as a list of possible options. As the saying goes, your mileage may vary.

Learning to fly gets easier every year as more flight schools offer aviation programs, and superior flight schools continue to provide future pilot’s with the knowledge and education they need. Whether you’re looking for a smaller flight school in Minnesota that focuses solely in aviation, or if you’re looking to make a change and have your prerequisites transfer to the aviation program at a university, there are flight schools out there for everyone. Budgets, time constraints, location, you name it, everyone’s needs are different and fortunately, there are flight schools in Minnesota available with varying costs, schedules, and more. When you’re ready to fly, don’t let anything get in the way! 

Quicklook: Flight School Options in Minnesota

  • Inflight Pilot Training
  • Academy College
  • Lake Superior College - Center for Advanced Aviation
  • Minnesota State University - Mankato
  • Twin Cities Flight Training

5 Flight Schools in Minnesota

Your best flight school option is out there, all you have to do is find it! We’ve gathered five of your best choices for flight schools in Minnesota. No matter the type of flight school you’ve been leaning towards, the right fit is just ahead. 

Inflight Pilot Training 

Inflight Pilot Training has been providing those in Minnesota with a love for flying with the education and certifications they need since 2008. No matter what path you’re looking to take with flying, they’ve got you covered. They offer flight school programs for the following areas: 

  • Private Pilot
  • Instrument Rating
  • Commercial Pilot
  • Flight Instructor
  • Airline Career Pilot
  • Accelerated Courses
  • And much more!  

Wherever you are in your aviation career or goals, if you’re in the Twin Cities area, then Inflight Pilot Training is the best flight school in Minnesota for you! 

Location: 13801 Pioneer Trail Eden Prairie, MN 55347

Tuition & Fees: Tuition and Fees vary depending on the program. 

  • Private Pilot Program costs $9,037.50 - $12,400 (Additional $350 club buy in and $70/monthly dues not included in those cost estimates)
  • Instrument Rating Program costs $8,675
  • Commercial Pilot Program costs $5,150
  • Flight Instructor Program costs $6,075
  • Airline Career Pilot Program costs $42,950

Different prerequisites may be required depending on the program you choose. 

Financial Assistance: Inflight Pilot Training offers financing options for their pilot programs. Both AOPA Flight Training Finance and Pilot Finance Inc. are recommended resources. 

Accreditation: Yes

Program Length: One of the greatest advantages of Inflight Pilot Training’s programs is that they are completely adaptable to your timing requirements. Every program can be modified to fit your timeline and the time it takes to complete it depends on how often you fly. Whether it be a month or a year, this flight school offers flexibility for every pilot looking for more. 

Endorsements: None

School Size: 300 students 

Job Placement: Yes

Virtual Learning: Yes

Academy College 

One of the leading flight schools in Minnesota, Academy College boasts a retention rate like no other. With flexible schedules for your flights and classes, you can make a schedule that will work for you. With their Preferred Hiring Program, you could be flying as a commercial pilot sooner than you’d ever thought! 

Location: 1600 W 82nd Street, STE. 100 Bloomington, MN 55431

Tuition & Fees: Tuition for the 2020-2021 school year was $18,699, with books and additional supplies costing $1,269. Additional flight costs may vary depending on the program.

Financial Assistance: 

  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Student Loans

Accreditation: Yes

Program Length: 

  • Bachelor Degree - Commercial Aviation - 4 years
  • Associate Degree - Commercial Pilot - 2 Years 

Endorsements: None

School Size: In Fall 2020 there were 95 undergraduate students. 

Job Placement: Yes

Virtual Learning: Yes

Lake Superior College - Center for Advanced Aviation

Further north in Minnesota, Lake Superior College offers flight students the education they require in a gorgeous setting right next to Lake Superior. One of the most affordable colleges in Minnesota, Lake Superior College continues to be a premium option for a trusted flight school in Minnesota. The advanced aviation program they provide will help provide a solid education for anyone looking to advance in their career or love for flying! 

Location: 2101 Trinity Road Duluth, MN 55811

Tuition & Fees: $81,000 average tuition estimate for entire aviation program, all fees included

Financial Assistance: 

  • Student Loans
  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Work Studies or Student Employment 

Accreditation Yes

Program Length: The aviation program can take 2 years when prerequisites are completed ahead of time. 

Endorsements: None

Job Placement: Yes

Virtual Learning: Yes

Minnesota State University - Mankato

When you’re looking for a flight school in Minnesota that has the community you need, Minnesota State University at Mankato is the school for you. With an education that will take you where you need to go in your aviation career, you won’t be drowning in debt with the more affordable tuition rates they offer. With job ready training, there’s a lot to love about the aviation programs at MNSU! 

Location: South Rd and Ellis Ave Mankato, MN 56001

Tuition & Fees: Average annual tuition is $23,224, not including additional flight and other aviation program costs. 

Financial Assistance: 

  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Loans
  • Work Study
  • Other Financial Assistance Available 

Accreditation: Yes

Program Length: 

  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation - 4 years
  • Minors available in: (Length varies)
    • Aeronautics
    • Private Flight
    • Professional Flight 

Endorsements: None

Job Placement: Yes

Virtual Learning: Yes

Twin Cities Flight Training 

Being one of the #1 flight schools in Minnesota is no easy task, but the instructors and other employees at Twin Cities Flight Training remain committed to every student they have. Ensuring every student that comes through their hangar can safely and confidently operate any plane in the air is their job and they look forward to helping you reach your aviation goals! 

Location: 8891 Airport Rd NE Blaine, MN 55449

Tuition & Fees: Tuition and fees vary depending on the program you choose

Financial Assistance: AOPA assistance is available 

Accreditation: Yes

Program Length: 

  • Private Pilot Training - 21 Days
  • Instrument Training - 10 Days
  • Commercial Training - Varies 
  • Flight Instructor Training - Varies 
  • Multiengine Training - Varies 
  • 7-Day Accelerated Courses Available! 
  • And more! 

Endorsements: None

School Size: Varies

Job Placement: Yes

Virtual Learning: Yes

How Does Flight School Training in Minnesota Work?

While a private pilot's license (PPL) alone may not earn you the top salary and with the average pilot’s salary in Minnesota being $109,740, furthering your aviation education at the best flight school in Minnesota will help get you there. Your private pilot’s license is the necessary certificate required to operate an aircraft and it can help lead you to the career path you’ve been dreaming of. No matter the reason you’re looking to get your PPL, make sure you attend a flight school that will fit your needs well. 

Minnesota Flight School Facts & Figures

Many traditional college universities in Minnesota continue to offer aviation programs to their students. If a smaller, more personal aviation education is what you’ve been looking for, then there are a number of top rated flight schools sure to fit your requirements. 

Number of Schools

There are 20 dedicated flight schools in Minnesota. Many of them are located in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. Nonetheless, there are also great options up north as well as around the state. There are additional universities that offer aviation programs including Lake Superior College, UMN - Crookston, MNSU, and more. 

Number of Students per Class

With virtual classrooms growing in popularity, the number of students per class continues to fluctuate in Minnesota. From ground school to flight training , the number of students in your class may vary. However, anytime you’re doing in-flight instruction, you will be one on one with your certified flight instructor. 

Tuition Rates

The average tuition for a student in flight school in Minnesota is $11,600. The average tuition for a traditional school is $7,099, which is slightly lower than the national average. Tuition rates for both flight schools and universities will always vary, but don’t fret as you have loan, grant, and scholarship options available! 

Average Loan Amount

The average student loan amount owed in Minnesota is $31,250, including both federal and private loans. With varying flight schools in Minnesota, it’s important to know you have multiple financial assistance options available. 


Scholarship amounts vary across Minnesota, depending on your school, program, and more. See the many aviation scholarships available here

Other scholarships are also available here

Job Placement

The majority of flight schools in Minnesota have hiring programs in place that make it far easier for aspiring pilots to find the career they’ve been working towards. Many companies offer tuition reimbursement and more. 

Minnesota Pilot Employment Facts & Figures

With a constant need for pilots across the country, Minnesota remains a great state to become a pilot, your job search won’t last long! 


In 2020, there were a total of 3,540 airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers in Minnesota, this includes 340 commercial pilots. The average annual salary for commercial pilots in Minnesota in 2020 was $111,690. 

Biggest Aviation Employers in MinnesotaAverage Salaries in MinnesotaFull or Part Time Pilots Across the US
U.S. Navy$153,614469,062
SkyWest Airlines$139,37812,502
Federal Aviation Administration$126,69748,000
American Airlines$124,52115,550
Air Methods$98,2235,000


The average annual salary for an airline pilot in Minnesota is $143,801. This equates to a monthly salary of $11,983 and a weekly salary of $2,995.

Get Help With Your Future Career in Aviation!  

The flight school you attend can have a direct impact on the company you fly for and we’ve put together some of the finest flight schools in Minnesota for you. Many of the best flight schools have programs in place to help their pilots place well in careers. There is no shortage of need for pilots and thankfully, there is a plethora of varying flight schools available to fit every student’s needs. Don’t navigate through your flight schools and future aviation career alone, FLYING Magazine has a newsletter chock full of beneficial information for pilots of all experience levels. Subscribe today!



How do you become a pilot in Minnesota?

Put simply, to become a pilot in Minnesota, you must be at least 16 years old to start as a student pilot. You can then complete both ground school and flight training and can receive your pilot’s certificate once you are 17 years old.

How much does flight school cost in Minnesota?

Flight school costs vary greatly depending on the program and certifications desired. Obtaining a PPL, private pilot license, typically costs $5,000 - $12,000 whereas a Bachelor Degree as a Commercial Pilot will likely cost upwards of $30,000 - $40,000.

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