Real Answers from Real Pilots

Making a change

Hi there,

I have always been interested in a career as a pilot. I applied to Embry Riddle when I graduated from high school, but chose not to go at the time since it was extremely expensive. Since then, I have graduated from a four year university with a degree in business marketing. I am truly passionate about flying, and it has always been my dream job. I am not sure what the best path is for obtaining training/certifications as I already have a four year degree. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Happy to answer any questions!

Thank you,
Kristina

Kristina,

I went down the same path as you, except I had my private license when I graduated college. I chose to find a school that offered fast track training as I already had a degree and didn’t need to spend two years (or more) getting all of my ratings. I went to ATP based on the advice of a cousin and was very pleased with my experience there.

I hate to sound like a salesman, and if you spend some time looking around this forum you will notice that we never act in that manner, but I would check out what ATP has to offer if I were you.

Also, check out my “Questions For Any Prospective Flight School” in my “Flying the Line” section. It will help you know what questions to ask.

Of course, feel free to ask us whatever questions you can think of.

Chris

Kristina,

It’s a really good thing you completed your education and you also saved yourself a ton of debt. Riddle is a fine school but I can’t tell you how many pilots I know who kick themselves because they went that route. I always recommend you do you homework and shop around for schools and programs. I did the same thing and at the end of the day I came to 2 conclusions. One is EVERTHING at the airlines is based on SENIORITY, EVERYTHING. So the sooner you start building some (ie, get hired by an airline) the better off you’ll be. People really don’t understand this concept but I know pilots who were separated by week and had dramatically different careers. Second you’ll need multi-time. If you check any of the airline recruiting pages they ALL have multiengine requirements. With those 2 things in mind my choice became fairly simple. There’s no faster (more efficient) route to the airlines than ATP AND the program includes all the multitime you’ll need. As Chris said, none of us like to sound like salesmen (especially because we aren’t AND again I recommend you do all the research you can) but ATP has been training pilots for the airlines for decades. They have a fantastic reputation and relationships with virtually ever Regional in the country. Do well and you’re guaranteed an instructor position and even be eligible for Tuition Reimbursement.

As I said, look around but at the end of the day ATP really has an amazing program.

Adam