Real Answers from Real Pilots

ATP or academy of aviation

(Luis palencia) #1

36 years old.
Wife and 2 kids.
ATP seams like the best way to go but in order for me to atend atp i have to get a degree first, in the other heand it is academy of aviation which a i don have to be there a full time seams to me that it is a good option plus they dont requiere a degree, my question is, should i get my degree first and enrolle my self at atp or go to the academy and get my degree after i atend school. What will be my best bet?



In your situation I would recommend going to flight school first, then getting your degree while you work for the airlines. The major airlines require a degree, the regionals do not. Many people shose to attend flight school, then get their degree while they are already flying. For the younger crowd I recommend college first, but for people around your age I recommend flying first as there is a clock ticking on the amount of time that a pilot must fly for the airlines before they retire at the mandatory age of 65.

I have to tell you though that ATP, or just about any “academy” type flight school is absolutely full time. It would be impossible to work while attending a program like this. One of the ways that ATP is able to train students so quickly is that they immerse you in flying all day, everyday. There is little time for much else while in the program, but that is the goal, to get you to the airlines as soon as possible.

Let me know what other questions you have.


(Luis palencia) #3

thank you very much for your advice, but I have heard that ATP is the best in terms of aviation, you do not believe that would be at a disadvantage if compared to other academy atp pilots when getting a job?



I do believe that ATP is the best when it comes to aviation, if I didn’t I wouldn’t be on this board :slight_smile:

No, when applying to the regionals I do not think that you will be at any measurable disadvantage by not having a degree. The market is such right now that a degree is really not required at all on the regional level. When it comes time to apply to the majors you will absolutely need a degree. That is why I recommend getting into flight training now and then getting your degree while you are at the regionals. You might also find that many colleges give you some credit for your flight training.



(Luis palencia) #5

Thank you so much. I have an other question. Because i don have a degree i cant go to atp and that put me an a situation of enroll my self in a diferent academy, know because atp is the best compared to the others, at the time that a i apply to the regionals airlines do they consider that i am not from atp or i still have the same opportunities as atp polots?
Hoppe you undertand my english, i am pacticing alot to be better




You do not necessarily have to have a degree to go to ATP, you can also qualify under the “equivalent work experience” criteria. I would recommend that you call the admissions department and talk to them about it.

The airlines do look very highly at ATP graduates, they know that ATP prepares students well and trains them in an airline type environment. Of course airlines hire people from other flight schools as well, but many of them prefer to hire ATP graduates.

If I were you I would really focus on improving my English skills (both written and spoken) before beginning any flight training. It is a requirement of every US airline and even the FAA that a lot be “English proficient”. You will find that your training will be a lot easier if your ability to communicate with your instructors is better. Don’t feel badly about this, I can’t imagine trying to learn another language. I took French for five years when I was in school and barely learned a word of it.


(Blake Barclay) #7


I appreciate your candor surrounding this issue. I, too, am in my early 30’s with a family and have been researching this topic to death. I understand Embry-Riddle will give up to 90 credit hours, according to their website and depending on your major, for all the certifications one receives during the course of training at ATP. It would appear a fair amount of graduates begin addressing their degrees through this medium. Have you had any first hand experience, or second hand anecdotal evidence to support that case?



I’ve never heard Riddle giving anywhere near 90 hrs (more like 36-40) unless they’ve changed a few things? While I didn’t do it myself, yes I know a few people who have gotten their 4yr Aviation degrees online with ER and received credits for their licenses and ratings. There’s nothing “anecdotal” about it.


(Blake Barclay) #9

Perfect. Appreciate it, Adam. I also thought those numbers seemed a little too good to be true. This is the link to which I found those numbers ( In truth, I am probably misunderstanding the credit transfer information, but that’s why we have these forums, right? Questions and speculation bumping up against facts and statistics always offers clarity and informed decision making. Thanks again for the info.



I think you and Adam are talking about different things. ERAU is saying that you can transfer in up to 90 credits, this would mean 30 or so from your flight experience and 60 or so from classes that you had completed at another university. As always though, check with ERAU for the official answer.