Do I need to have CSEL and CMEL for airline job? Or just CMEL

Hey all,
I’m about to start my private license and then roll into Commercial program. Haven’t decided on a school yet. The plan is get the private and instrument and then start either CSEL or CMEL.
Is it worth the extra 40k to get single engine and then get the multi? I know with getting a CFI job single engine would be easier but obviously trying to save some money.
Thanks everyone!

Where do you get the $40k number from? Getting your commercial multiengine rating initial would be prohibitively more expensive than just getting the CASEL rating and a ME add on.


My question is how are you going to build your 1500hrs with just your CMEL since most flight schools do mainly SE work and most other low time jobs are also SE?


My local flight school told me it was 12 for PPL 1k for instrument 40 for CSEL and 42 for CMEL. So they said I could get everything done and be regional airline ready. So they say lol.

Great question. Do you know if there is steady work for MEI?

42k for The ME add on? Wow!


As I said above and hence my question, not thar I’ve ever seen.

That said the numbers don’t really make sense? You might want to go over them again. There’s something not right. Thinking it might just be $2k for the ME add-on after you get your CSEL?



If you become a flight instructor most of your flight time is going to be in a single engine. It makes more sense to get your CSEL and multi add-on. If you only get your CMEL you’ll be limiting your options.

To Adam’s question, so how do you intend to build your 1500 hours?


I believe that answers my question in itself. Go the CSEL route and do the add on. They didn’t tell me I could do that… might look at different schools.
What should a Mel add on cost on average?
Thanks everyone

You’re saying it’s 2k to add on MEL? That’s well worth it. The school gave me some weird info apparently.

Math doesn’t add up. Instrument rating will be well above $1k. I think what we had here is a failure to communicate. You need a minimum of 50 hours of XC PIC time to get the instrument rating under Part 61. That’s in addition to other training requirements and obviously you have to be proficient to be signed off for a checkride which is more often than not well above the Part 61 mins.
For commercial, you need 250 total hours (up to 50 can be in a sim), of which 100 has to be PIC. No way in heck anyone would charge you $40k for a SE add on to a CAMEL rating. Are you sure it’s not $4k? That seems more likely.

Also… multi time is not cheap. Smaller schools I’ve seen charge about $200-225/hr for a plane plus $50+ for instructor. I’d estimate at least 12-15 hours at a mom and pop school to get you proficient from a SE rating to a ME rating. That’s closer to $4k than $2k but perhaps they discount the rate a bit if you do it all together. And as Adam said… regional airline ready is 1500 hours TT. Unless you have a sweet gig lined up that will let you get the hours without instructing, add a CFI/CFII and maybe MEI rating into the mix.

Well, it depends. The initial commercial checkride needs to be in either a complex airplane or a technically advanced airplane. If the school’s single engine airplane is neither, then that’s why they do the CMEL before the CSEL because the CMEL most likely meets the complex airplane requirement.


No I’m saying $2k makes alot more sense than $42k.


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Yeah I think there was a miscommunication somewhere. I’ll be doing all the training in a pa28 and the multi in a Seminole. I prefer low wing over high. Both those are glass decks and complex aircrafts. And yes I do plan to get my CFI and maybe CFII depending on what’s available for work at the time to build hours.

Makes sense


Most of the numbers you are using make no sense to me. Numbers such as $1k for instrument are simply not feasible, then others seem really high. I suggest that you ask A LOT of follow up questions and look at other schools as well. In contrast, ATP has straight forward pricing that is readily available on their website.