Real Answers from Real Pilots

ATP Flight School on your Resumé

So, I have a question for you guys… It seems like this site is made, or at least supported by, ATP Flight School and all of the professional pilots answering questions are therefore affiliates with the school. But from a practical standpoint, how does ATP flight school look on your resumé versus some of the four year aviation universities or the military and what chance do you stand in the interview process? I already know that a four year degree is required, and I have already obtained one from Auburn University (war eagle!), but how does ATP bode when you’re applying for a major airline?

Considering that ATP Flight School has a large number of regional airlines as affiliates, I’d assume the probability of getting a job with major airline further in your career is probably somewhat good, but will it take forever for you to find a job with only going to ATP? I know this might sound silly, but in my current profession, where you attended school is a pretty big deal as to whether or not you are looked at as a serious candidate in the application process.

And I know everyone responding here will say something to the effect of, “It looks great, best school there is!” or “The airlines are so desperate for people right now they’ll take anyone” but I really want a true, bottom of your heart answer. I’m really close to making the switch in careers but just can’t get over the anxiety of not knowing where to start school at and hoping to avoid another four years of it.

If you could possibly say what airline you work for or if someone you know from ATP getting to a major that would be awesome! (Not sure if that’s allowed or not).

I’m only a “near future” ATP student, but have been on the forum for a while and can answer at least one of your questions. The three “pilot mentors” on here did all attend ATP for their ratings, but are not paid for their participation on the forum, they answer questions in their spare time because they appreciate the training they received. Chris is currently flying for United(99% sure, correct me if I’m wrong Chris), Adam is flying for Hawaiian(100% sure, he loves it), and Yarden is flying for a regional but I don’t remember which one.

I personally believe that although the school you attend is a big deal in many professions due to the fact that the school is not only training you but ALSO testing and grading your proficiency, whereas in aviation the school is primarily only doing the training portion. The proficiency testing in the aviation profession is strictly regulated by the FAA, even the part 141 schools which are (I believe) allowed to provide their own examiners have to use DPE’s (Designated Pilot Examiners) who are certified by the FAA to give the appropriate ratings, and all DPE’s use the same set of FAA testing standards (ACS/PTS) to verify said proficiency. Lastly, I have heard that nearly always if not always the final certificate required to fly for an airline, the ATP Certificate, is done by an actual FAA employed examiner. For all of these ratings and different examiners, if you don’t meet the standards, you won’t pass. Your checkride pass/fail(hopefully not) history is truly what the airlines are looking for in terms of qualifications, other than the intangibles of airline interviews.

I don’t personally think any one school is “best”, some are simply more efficient. My local school which is quite small has had numerous students turned instructors who have moved on to the airlines, including my first PPL instructor who is now flying for SkyWest. I also don’t think dozens of regional hiring departments would partner with ATP (and subsequently allow their logos on the ATP website) if they didn’t have faith in its graduates.

Hope that helps,
James

I’m following this because Billy asked very similar like minded questions.

To kind of go off on what James said he’s right and you can find that answer all over here. Adam will say it flat out Yes he went to ATP, Yes he loves helping us but the other thing that has stuck with me that Adam (former hiring person and trainer for I believe ExpressJet) is that ATP goes in line with how the Airlines train, fast, furious and to the point. They give you training and deadlines.

Now I can’t answer how it looks to the airlines but I can tell you from the Fire Service side if someone went through a Modular program for their training (partial this month, partial in 6 months etc) vs Straight Academy (3 months and done) I know the chief (and most of the department) would be looking at the straight academy more because they were able to follow the regiment, the pace, and will be able to get the job done in a timely manner. Hope this helps a little while the mentors are out doing what they love or spending time with family.

Billy,

The funding for this website is provided by ATP and all three of us mentors went to ATP, but we are not paid to solicit new students or to act as salesman. I went to ATP in 2004, instructed for them and then went on to work for ExpressJet before getting hired on at United.

Quite honestly, airlines really don’t care too much about where you did your training because no matter where you go you will still take the exact same FAA check rides. On the regional level, airlines do like ATP instructors because they know that you are a hard worker and that you can handle fast paced training. On the major side the airlines want to see a four year degree from an accredited school, it can be in just about any major, beyond that it really doesn’t matter.

By the time you apply to a major the school where you did your flight training at will be a very distant memory and you likely won’t ever be asked, not even in the interview. You will be applying to a major based on your qualifications at that time. That being said, if it did come up in an interview I would have no problems at all saying ATP. If you want to get to a major quickly then go to a school that can help you get your ratings quickly, one of these longer programs is just going to slow you down.

Chris

Hello Billy and thank you guys for chiming in on our behalf!

I actually did just land in NTA a few hours ago, had some sushi and now I’m checking the forum before I call it a night. Yes ATP created this forum and yes all of the mentors attended ATP. The reason we’re all on here is because ATP helped us get where we are and now we’re “spreading the gospel”. But that doesn’t answer your question. You’re also right in that I would tell you ATP is the best route to the airlines as well as one of the most respected schools out there. Doesn’t mean it isn’t true?

As the guys pointed out I fly for Hawaiian and LOVE my job. Not only do I know dozens of pilots here at Hawaiian who trained at ATP I know dozens at EVERY Major who did. More importantly I currently know of at least 10 who have sent their children to ATP so they can continue the legacy. My best friend here at Hawaiian who formally flew 747’s for Atlas AND graduated from GA Tech with an engineering degree did her training at ATP. Know why? Because her father, a former Presidential Army One pilot (it was Army One before it was Marine One), former Blue Chip corporate Chief Pilot and G5/Global pilot to Hollywood A list sent her there. I could go on but as you said, this is ATPs site…

I therefore have a recommendation for you, don’t ask us. Ask others. If the fact the ATP has affiliations with virtually EVERY Regional of any significance doesn’t convince you ask pilots. There are other forums, if you see some at the airport, whatever. The reality is this, whether you sign up with ATP or not is completely your decision and we receive ZERO incentive if you do. We’re simply telling you about our experience and hoping to help out the next guy. When I started my training there was no forum like this one. ATP created it to help guide future pilots and I personally think that’s a pretty good thing. Do they want you to sign up? Hey, they’re a business and I’m sure they do. For me I say do what you think is best based on your research. BUT, if after you drop $150k and spend 4 years at Riddle (a fine school) and find yourself sitting next to a Capt who spent less than half and was done in 2 (which is why he’s the Capt), well, when he nods and smiles after you tell him where you studied you’ll know why :slight_smile:

Adam

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Thanks guys, this was really helpful to calm the nervousness I had about ATP. I guess my only remaining question is which one do I choose? I live halfway between charlotte and Raleigh so I could go to either one. I plan on scheduling a visit to both to get a feel for myself, but how can you tell what each location has versus another? I saw on the website where it says that ATP had x-number of these planes and those planes but what’s where? On some of them it had a map and showed where they were but it wasn’t on every one.

Billy,

ATP takes great pride in (and works hard to ensure) the fact you’ll receive the same level of training and have access to the comparable equipment regardless of the location you choose. I like your plan to visit both locations. Check them both out and see which “feels” better, is more convenient, has better restaurants nearby whatever works for you. As I said, you’ll do fine at whichever you select.

Adam

Hey Billy,

I’ll also chime in and say that, from a more recent perspective, I don’t even remember mentioning which school I trained at during my interviews for SkyWest and Compass. I don’t believe it matters too much to them since they test your knowledge during the interview process, and you also have a 2-3 month type training program to go through.

Like Adam and Chris said, ATP is considered by the majority of the aviation community as a well respected flight school with a great training program that gets you ready for a career at the airlines. Having it on your resume will definitely be a plus.

Yarden

From a current CFI, ATP has Seminoles and G500 Archers at both Concord and Raleigh. Most locations east of the Rockies have that combo. Most out west have Cessnas and Seminoles. Some locations have all three.