Real Answers from Real Pilots

The process of getting my ATP

So rather than go back to school I’m strongly considering becoming a pilot instead. I have my Associates Degree finished. Without a Bachelors degree how much will I be limited as far as job placement goes?

Also, once I get to CFI I think I might go back to school and get a bachelors degree in aviation to open my options up for commercial flying. Is that a good order to do those things in?

I guess my question ultimately is, what is the most practical way for me to get all the way to a well paying job as an ATP?

Timothy,

Without a bachelor’s degree you will not have any problems getting hired on at the regionals, but you will not be able to be hired by the majors. If being an airline pilot is your goal, I would recommend that you go to flight school, complete your 1,500 hours, get hired on at a regional airline, and then go back to school to complete your bachelor’s degree. You will have a fair amount of time as a pilot that you can devote to online classes and many schools will give you credit for your flight training.

Chris

Timothy,

In addition to Chris’s recommendation, I would recommend looking into an aviation degree. Your Associates degree along with the ratings you will get at ATP might add up to almost a full Bachelors degree (credit wise), and all you’ll need to do is finish up a few classes.

Yarden

Good call, Yarden! I never thought of that. I definitely would plan to start finishing up online as soon as I started flying for a regional. I wonder if, like many corporate employers, any regionals offer some kind of tuition reimbursement for employees seeking degrees? (This may be way off, just wonder if you guys have ever heard of that)

Spencer,

I have never heard of any airlines offering that, but it would certainly be worth looking into once you get to the airline. Needless to say though, a regional is not really going to want to help put you in a position to move on…

Chris