We actually get this question a lot. Hot air balloons are regulated by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and the class is called LTA (lighter than air). In order to get your private hot air balloon license you have to be at least 16 years of age, have 10 hours of hot air balloon training, pass a written FAA test, and complete your check ride with a designated FAA examiner.
Commercial hot air balloon pilots require a much more rigorous training, and upon receiving their commercial license are able to train new pilots and commercial hot air balloon pilots.
If you are interested in learning more about ballooning or are interested in becoming a hot air balloon pilot, feel free do get in touch with us. We typically take on 1-2 students each year.
About the Author
Chief pilot of Seattle Ballooning. I get the opportunity to provide luxury hot air balloon rides just South of Seattle in front of Mt. Rainier. When you do what you love, it's not considered work.