Real Answers from Real Pilots

No college degree

Hello everyone,
I’m 43 years old. I have my private and a little less than 200 hours. I also haven’t flown in 7 years. I’m looking to change professions and have always wanted to fly for a living. My question is this even a possibility without a college degree?

Thanks,
Don

Don,

Age and degree questions are the 2 most popular questions on this forum so I encourage you to do some browsing as there are many threads on the subject. The short answer is you need to be realistic about you goals. If you started TODAY at 43 ATP could have you at a Regional airline in 2yrs so now you’re 45. Let’s say 7yrs later you’re 52, and a Capt making around $85k, not bad. If you had your degree at that point you may want to take a shot at a Major to fly a larger airframe, see the world and make more money but at 52 without one your chances are slim and even if you did chances are you’d never make Capt. So the question becomes would you be happy spending 20yrs as a Regional pilot? I can tell you I started older and was never certain I’d make it to a Major. I did but if I hadn’t honestly that would’ve been fine as I really enjoyed being a Regional pilot and the money was fine. Your call?

Adam

Thanks for the quick response Adam. Honestly 20 years in the Regionals wouldn’t be bad in my mind. I mean, yes, flying a 777 for a major would be awesome but at my age I’m not an unrealistic person.

Don,

Without a degree, you can easily get hired on at a regional, but the bast majority of majors require one.

Chris