Real Answers from Real Pilots

ATP School Hours per Day

I know folks have said here that ATP school is full time and it is very difficult to have a job while going through training, but ‘full-time’ can mean different things to different people. For example, my schedule right now is typically a 10-12 hour day on M,T, and Th, 8 hour days on W and F, and 5 hour days on Saturday, with time scheduled in for my family on Wednesday nights, Friday nights, and all day Sunday. I know ATP appears to have varied times of day that you’re scheduled for, but on an average daily and weekly basis, how many hours would I expect the training to consume, including study time?

I know that’s a tough ask because everyone’s learning speed may be different, but I’m curious to get some hard numbers from those who have done it.

Jon,

You should expect to be at the training center from 8am until 5pm, Monday through Friday. Weekends are generally off, but if you need to make up a flight because of weather, or you are trying to get ahead you might need to fly on the weekend.

Keep in mind that there will occasionally be night flights and that your cross countries and CFI school can take you in the road for a few weeks at a time.

It is not possible to work while in the program, to try and do so is setting yourself up to do poorly and to spend a lot of money doing it.

Chris

I’m actually asking more from the perspective of what my family would need to expect. I assume that there will be a couple of hours of studying per day on top of that schedule?

Yes, there will be quite a bit of studying.

Jon,

You will have plenty of time to study. A typical day consists of 1-2 hours
of ground and a 2 hour flight or sim with a quick pre-brief and post-brief.
As you can see, that leaves the rest of the day to study. Though it is not
expected to be at the training center from 8a-5p, all students need to keep
their schedules wide open during those time to allow the instructors to
keep everyone on schedule.

I do not advise anyone to work while going through ATP’s program, but that
hasn’t stopped people from working. I would say less than 10% of the
students I knew worked during training. Those are just the ones that made
it through the program! Others that tried working during training didn’t
make it.

Just consider the consequences when making this decision. Work can NOT get
in the way of training. Things like showing up late to a scheduled lesson
or not showing up at all or failing an evaluation will lead to an extra
training program and ultimately termination if improvements are not made.

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Thanks guys - I mention my schedule merely as how much time my family is used to me working and to see if ATP school’s time commitment would be comparable. I do understand that I would not have time to go to ATP and hold a part-time job. Sound like it wouldn’t be a shock to my family time-wise, and in fact they may see me a tad bit more than they do now.

Or maybe a tad less. As you said EVERYONE learns at a different pace. It’s also not simply a matter of how quickly you learn vs how prepared and how knowledgeable a pilot you want to be. We’re talking about 0 time to being a flight instructor licensed to train other pilots with 0 time to a level of skill and safety. While most people look at this simply to the means to an end there is a HUGE responsibility you’re accepting. Now time with the family is important BUT while you’re participating in accelerated professional flight training that really shouldn’t be your first priority. There’s ALWAYS more to learn. ALWAYS.

Adam

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