Real Answers from Real Pilots

Can an average person complete this program?

Hi my names michael, one of my biggest concerns with going threw atp is how quickly everything moves. I wish atp had a year long program instead of craning everything into six months. Can an average guy actually complete this program? I’ve always had a general interest in avaiation and am currently reading rod machado private pilot handbook and other books as I get closer to beginning. Can you actually get hired on to a reginal without a degree? I know atp requires you to have a degree but I have aviation experience from a local flight school. Let’s say I was to complete the program what are my odds of actually being hired by a reginal if the guy next to me just did the same thing but has a degree? Sorry for the unorganized mess of questions. Thanks for help.

Hello Michael and welcome,

Yes the average person can successfully complete ATP’s program PROVIDED you’re willing to put in an above average amount of work. If your plan is to show up, pay your $64K and say ok now make me a pilot you’ve definitely come to the wrong place. BUT if you see that money as an investment in your future and you’re willing to work very hard to make that a reality then yes you’ll be fine. I know the short time seems daunting but there’s a very specific reason for the accelerated time frame. If you don’t believe you can finish the ATP program in 100 days what makes you believe you’ll be able to get through an airlines accelerated program? Do you think an airline will let you say “hey 2 mos is really short to make me an FO I’m gonna need 6”? I can assure you they will not and that’s the point. ATP’s program is structured to get you ready for that type of training so you’ll continue to be successful throughout your career. Make sense?

Yes you can absolutely get hired at a Regional without a degree. The Regionals are desperately short on pilots right now but even when they weren’t it wasn’t an issue. I’ll tell you one better, if you were standing next to a guy with a degree (all else being equal) I’d hire you before the other guy. Know why? Because the guy with the degree is going to jump ship with the first Major that’ll hire him. BUT you my friend, chances are until you get your degree you’re not going anywhere and I may get a few more years out of my investment :slight_smile:

Adam

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thanks for your reply Adam.
I’m currently 19 and am deciding whether I want to go directly to ATP or get my bachelors done first. I’m not really sure what to do to be honest.

Michael,

Probably not what you want to hear but at 19 you’d really be better served getting your degree now. Not that you can’t in the future but it’s incredibly difficult and takes a tremendous amount of discipline. You’re young and your head is still in “school mode”. Finish it up. You’ll be glad you did.

Adam

Michael,

I think I am pretty average and I completed the program exactly on time. The course takes a lot of studying and hard work, but it is certainly doable and in fact the vast majority of ATP’s students complete the course on time. Bear in mind that ATP was founded and is currently run by airline pilots, they know how the industry trains pilots and modeled ATP’s program after the airlines. The airlines certainly do not offer self paced training, so it is best to get into the mode of accelerated training now.

As to the degree, in today’s environment you will have no problem at all getting hired on at a regional airline without a degree, but you will most certainly want to get one at some point as the major airlines all expect them.

FYI, ATP does not actually require a degree. They require a Private Pilot’s license, two years of college, or two years of work experience. I recommend discussing your particular situation with the admissions department as they will help you determine if you meet ATP’s requirements.

Chris

Michael,

I want to jump in here and second Adam’s thoughts that you should finish college first, then attend flight school. You are at the age where it is easiest to finish school while you are in college mode already, then go to flight school. Sure, some people do return to finish college later in life, but is always seems hard for them to do and the completion rate does not appear to be very good.

The major airlines are all going to want to see a college degree, so finish one now and then begin your flight training. Your path will be more linear and easier in the end.

Chris

Hi chris, thanks for the extra feedback. Ill take everything I can get. Dose it have to be a four year degree or can I make due with a two year degree?

Michael,

For ATP you need a 2 yr degree but for the Majors you’ll need a 4 yr degree so you might as well just bang that out. Again you’re young, get some edumacation! :slight_smile:

Adam