Pilot ratings are additional qualifications that you can add to an existing Pilot’s license to enhance your abilities as a pilot. The examples are: Instrument Rating and Multi Engine Rating.
Instrument Rating (IR)
An Instrument Rating (IR) is what’s required to be able to fly an airplane inside and through the clouds, and at times of low visibility. The training involves the pilot to learn how to fly an airplane simply by looking at flight instruments inside the cockpit. If you are on a career path to be an airline pilot then this is a must. IR is a requirement to get a job with an airline, and also to qualify for an Airline Transport Pilot. This is usually obtained after your get your Private Pilot License, and before you get your Commercial Pilot License.
Most of your training will be done on single engine airplanes (SE), like Cessna and Piper. However, to qualify for an airline pilot position, you will need to be qualified to fly airplanes with multiple engines. Most airline airplanes have more than one engine. And this training is called Multi-Engine Rating (ME). Most people get their Multi-Engine Rating along with or right after their Commercial Pilot License.