Real Answers from Real Pilots

Average Joe looking for information

Hi everyone! I have been trying to decide a career path for sometime, and becoming a pilot was always an entertaining thought. However I don’t know very much about what the requirements are to not only become a pilot but to be approved for flight schools such as ATP. I understand to fly for an airline you need to earn 2 licenses, private and commercial. You also need 5 ratings, Instrument, multiengine, cert flight instructor, multi instructor and instrument Instructor. All things that accompany the ATP school. With that said I am twenty four years old, having virtually no credit so getting approved for a loan is likely something I wont get approved for. I don’t have any college history, and I don’t know if there is a college degree requirement, for either school or a commercial position as a pilot. When I think about it becoming a pilot I am concerned it’s simply something I don’t have the prerequisites for. I would love to become a pilot! Any information or words of encouragement are greatly apprechiated.:relaxed:

Hi Dave and welcome,

You’ve obviously done some research and that’s good. So let’s see if we can’t clarify a few things. First and foremost I need to ask if you’ve ever flown a plane? (Not IN a plane going on vacation, been in the cockpit with a yolk in your hands). If not before you start worrying about everything else you need to go up. While many people think they’d like to be a pilot until you’ve actually been up you really don’t know for sure (kinda like buying a farm before you know if you’re allergic to cows and chickens). But let’s say you have or you go and you like it, moving ahead.

ATP requires EITHER a Private Pilot license, a 2yr degree OR “equivalent work experience”. Since you don’t have your Private or a degree I’m hoping you have the work experience? Basically ATP wants to see you’ve demonstrated an ability to buckle down and show some dedication to something. This is somewhat at their discretion and hopefully you’ve had some stable employment for the last couple of years. If you’ve been sitting on the couch playing X-Box, you could have a problem. Now the Regional airlines only require a HS diploma but the Majors want a 4yr degree. You’re a young man and while you could have a very nice long career as a Regional pilot but as you see your peers moving on I’m certain you’ll get the pang to fly something “heavy”. At some point you may want to consider an online university degree, just saying.

Now comes what’s often the biggest obstacle. You say you have no credit so that means either wealthy parents, the lotto or a good solid co-signer. Really no way around that.

Hopefully that helps a little?

Adam