Careers Career Paths How to Earn a Multi-Engine Rating as a Pilot Share PINTEREST Email Print hao chen / Getty Images Career Paths Aviation Technology Careers Sports Careers Sales Project Management Professional Writer Music Careers Media Legal Careers US Military Careers Government Careers Finance Careers Fiction Writing Careers Entertainment Careers Criminology Careers Book Publishing Animal Careers Advertising Learn More By Sarina Houston Sarina Houston Twitter Commercial Pilot, Flight Instructor, Aviation Writer Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Sarina Houston was the aviation expert for The Balance Careers. She is a commercial pilot and certified flight instructor. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 02/18/20 If you want to fly higher, farther, and faster, you'll want to earn a multi-engine rating. The multi-engine rating is also a necessary step for any professional pilot who wants a career at one of the airlines. An applicant for a multi-engine rating is typically already a private or commercial pilot. Rarely, a student pilot will choose to obtain a private pilot certificate in a multi-engine aircraft. There is a common misconception that a multi-engine aircraft is always safer than a single-engine airplane. In most cases, that's true, but some twin-engine aircraft can be challenging to control when one engine fails. The multi-engine rating, therefore, focuses a lot of attention on aircraft control, performance, and single-engine operations in addition to the usual training topics. Beyond systems, controllability, and performance, obtaining a multi-engine rating is pretty simple. While it is more costly to train in a twin-engine aircraft, the training is necessary for a professional pilot and important for the aircraft owner who wants to be able to gain in performance, payload, passenger space, and speed. 01 of 04 Eligibility CraigRJD/Getty Images If you've already earned a private or commercial pilot certificate, you'll just need to obtain the necessary training required for a multi-engine rating, as outlined in the Federal Aviation Regulations. If you're applying for a private pilot certificate in a multi-engine aircraft, then normal private pilot applicant requirements apply. That means you will need to be able to read, speak, write, and understand English; be at least 17 years of age; have an FAA medical certificate; and be able to perform basic math. 02 of 04 No Knowledge Exam Required Tetra Images/Getty Images There is no FAA written exam for a multi-engine add-on rating; you'll need to have acquired multi-engine knowledge (performance, aerodynamics, single-engine performance, emergency operations, etc.) only for your practical test, or checkride. If you're a private pilot applicant in a multi-engine aircraft, you'll have to pass the private pilot FAA knowledge exam. The exam is 60 questions, and applicants are given two-and-a-half hours to complete it. You need a 70 percent score or better to pass. 03 of 04 Flight Training Hero Images/Getty Images To obtain a multi-engine add-on rating under Code of Federal Regulations Part 61, you'll need to be trained on the aircraft's performance and limitations, aircraft systems, performance maneuvers, single-engine operations, spin awareness, emergency operations, and instrument approaches (single-engine) if applicable. There are no additional flying-hour requirements on top of the private pilot or commercial pilot certificate except you must have at least three hours in a multi-engine aircraft prior to taking the checkride. 04 of 04 The Checkride Juan Silva/Getty Images After you've demonstrated proficiency in a multi-engine aircraft, you should be ready for your checkride. You'll need to be skilled at flying a twin-engine aircraft with one engine failed, and you'll practice that scenario in many different times during a flight: takeoff, landing, maneuvering, during an instrument approach, etc. Since you'll have taken checkrides before, you probably know what to expect: a couple of hours of groundwork for the verbal portion of the exam and a flight. You'll have to respond properly in the many different single-engine scenarios. And don't forget to have your paperwork in order, including your pilot certificate and medical certificate, and to bring the examiner's fee.