Real Answers from Real Pilots

Am I taking the best route?

Hello, to be straight forward, I live in Ohio and I am starting from scratch. I am a senior in high school taking some basic CCP classes like comp 1 ect… and I have no certificates related to this field or experience aside from a (discovery flight). Currently I am planning to go to a state accredited two year college for about one year and then transfer all my credits to kent state University to continue my education by acquiring my bachelor’s degree in their “aeronautics flight technology” program. My goal is to one day work as a major airline pilot. My concern here, among other things is the pricing. This degree at kent state with special flight fees included is approximately $110,000.00 and I am willing to do whatever it takes to aquire my goal here so I will pay it if I have to. However I do not want to be spending this kind of money if there are better/cheaper options out there that will get me to where I want to be in my career as well.

So in conclusion, I just want someone advice from someone who has already become a major airline pilot and has a good amount of knowledge and experience in this field about weather I am making the right choices here or if there are better options out there that you might recommend.

Alex,

I would suspect Kent State will end up costing you more than $110,000 as they are probably quoting the FAA flight time minimums and not what it actually takes students to get their licenses. You could look at attending community college, then transferring to Kent State for a non aviation degree, then attending a school like ATP and see what that would cost you.

Chris

Alex,

To as you say get to the point, while no one can question Kent is a fine school ATP would literally cost you half. As Chris said you could somewhat stick to your plan except get the 2 yrs, go to ATP, build your time and finish your studies as a Regional pilot getting paid, building time and getting reimbursement for some of that training. WhIle the decision is yours, they’re are definitely not only less expensive but more efficient options.

Adam

Just to clarify, are you saying that I could get an associates degree, then go to ATP to acquire all the licenses to become a regional pilot, then get a job as a regional airline pilot to built flight hours while simultaneously working towards the bachelors degree that is required to work at a major airline? if so, are there any recommendations or requirements set by ATP for as to what I should have said two year degree in?
Also, according to Chris, I should look into getting a non aviation degree from Kent. Does it not matter what my major is? If it does, what general field do you recommend that I should major in if not aviation?
Thank you both, Adam and Chris for your help.

Yes Alex that’s EXACTLY what I’m saying.

While I agree with Chris in principle that it’s always a good idea to have a Plan B and get a degree in something other than aviation (as a back up in case flying doesn’t work out, illness, just change your mind, whatever), I’m not as against it as he is. If you have a passion for it there are many other careers in aviation so if that’s what you want to study I say why not? Same goes for your 2yr degree. Study what you like. The fact is when it comes to the airlines (both Regional and Major) they couldn’t care less what you study as long as you have the degree. I know pilots with degrees in everything from law, engineering, music, art history, EVERYTHING. If you enjoy aviation study it, got something else? Study that.

Adam

Alright, now I have another question. When it comes to tuition reimbursement, ATP’s website says “If you accept the airline’s offer, they make a financial contribution toward your loan payment and you make a commitment to fly for that airline.”. What does it mean when it says “make a commitment to fly for that airline.”? Is it like a contract that forces me to work for that airline for a set amount of time? If so, do you know how long or does it vary?

Alex,

Again that’s exactly what it means. You wouldn’t expect an airline to pay for your training without getting a commitment to fly for them? Why would they? As far how long I’m not certain but I believe it’s 2 yrs? For a specific answer you could call ATP directly or just wait a little. If I’m wrong usually someone in admin will pop-up and correct me :slight_smile:

Adam