Obtaining a commercial certificate allows you as a pilot to be compensated for your services. The most common of these include flight instruction, aerial photography, banner towing, aircraft ferrying and even fire fighting!
The first step in working towards becoming a commercial pilot is fine tuning all the skills you had learned as a private pilot and learning to safely and accurately control a high performance, complex aircraft within stricter tolerances than before! There are also a few more maneuvers that a commercial pilot must master beyond those demonstrated at the private pilot level. These include Lazy 8's, Chandelles, 8's on Pylons, Steep Sprials and Power-off 180's. A commercial pilot must be able to comprehend and explain the systems of a complex aircraft, including the operation of a retractable gear, constant speed propeller, and a pressurized cabin.
14 CFR 61.123 Eligibility RequirmentsBe at least 18 years of ageHold at least a private pilot certificateBe able to read, speak, write and understand the English languagePass the required knowledge test in the areas listed in 61.125Receive training and a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructorMeet the aeronautical experience requirements of 61.129Pass the practical test on the areas of operation listed in 61.127(b)Comply with the sections of this part that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought
14 CFR 61.129 Aeronautical ExperienceMust log at least 250 hours of flight time that consist of at least 100 hours in powered aircraft, of which 50 hours must be in airplanes100 hours of pilot-in-command flight time of which includes at least: 50 hours in airplanes and 50 hours of cross-country flight of which 10 hours must be in airplanes20 hours of training that includes at least: 10 hours of instrument training of which 5 hours must be in airplanes; 10 hours of training in a airplane that has retractable landing gear, flaps and a controllable pitch propeller; one cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a single-engine airplane in day VFR conditions with a total straight-line distance of at least 100 nautical miles from the original point of departure; one cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a single engine airplane in night VFR conditions with a total straight-line distance of 100 nautical miles from the original point of departure; 3 hours in a single-engine airplane in preparation for the practical test with 2 calendar months preceding the date of the test10 hours of solo flight in a single-engine airplane which includes at least: one cross-country flight of not less than 300 nautical miles total distance, with landings at a minimum of three points, one of which is a straight-lie distance of at least 250 nautical miles from the original point of departure; 5 hours in night VFR conditions with 10 takeoffs and 10 landings (with each involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower