Real Answers from Real Pilots

Can I start training to become an airline pilot after college?

If I decide I do want to become a pilot, I most likely won’t be able to make even the first step until I graduate from college, when I’m likely 22 years old. Is this too late? I’ve heard you can start training at younger ages, and that you can get your private pilot’s license at 16. Is this when most pilots start?

Damian,

Pilots start at all ages. I started around age 21. I actually think that your plan to finish college first, then go to flight school is fantastic and it is what all of the mentors on here generally recommend.

Chris

Read through the forum, there’s tons of threads on here on this topic. I’m 27, have a bachelor’s degree and plan to start my training in May '18.

There’s some people that don’t start until way later in life and still become successful pilots.

Damian,

While it’s true you CAN get your PPL at 16 few people do. The vast majority don’t start till their 20’s and 30’s. You’re fine.

Adam

I kind of lucked out in taking exactly that path myself. I finished college with a dual major BA and started flight training at age 23. By 25 I was at a regional airline and was still younger than most new hires. ATP is a great choice for someone who is coming from a college background as it will provide the fastest route through part 61 training.

It is highly recommended to have a 4 year degree as a pilot, and it seems like most people go one of two routes: they spend 4 years getting a degree and THEN begin their aviation career, or they immediately turn to aviation but are delayed in getting to the majors 4+ years because of their lack of degree.

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