Real Answers from Real Pilots

Trying to Figure out My Career


(Noelle Dooley) #1

Hello, My name is Noelle and I have a question for anyone who can help me out a little bit and answer some of my questions. I am a sophomore at a University and I play volleyball. I just recently change my major from biology to accounting. Becoming a pilot has always been a dream that I never thought to pursue. Now that I’m older i really think it might be something I want to do. Is there any recommendations on how i would find out if this is the right job for me? I’ve flown before and I absolutely loved it, but i honestly have no idea where to get started and does it matter what college you graduate from before you get your ATP?


#2

Hello Noelle and welcome,

First I’m going to assume when you say “you’ve flown” you mean you’ve sat upfront and maybe even handled the controls of a small general aviation airplane and don’t mean you sat in the back of a Boeing going to grandma’s for Thanksgiving? If that’s not the case the first recommendation is that you take an intro/flight lesson and see if it’s really worth the hype. If you have then it’s really simply a matter of getting trained and building time.

Obviously I’m a fan of ATPs which is why I participate on this forum. There really is no faster more efficient route to the airlines (end of commercial). Anyway while the training can and is very intensive again the route to the airlines (particularly these days) is pretty easy. Again you need to pick a school, get your licenses and ratings which can take as little as 6 mos at ATP to years elsewhere. Once you complete your training you’ll need to build time to reach the mandatory minimum of 1500hrs required to fly for a Regional, typically 1-1.5 yrs at ATP (where you’re guaranteed an instructor position after training there). Then get hired. Now in the past that “get hired” had a big question mark on it but (as you may have heard) there is a pilot shortage and barring anything unusual (criminal record, multiple failures, etc) you WILL get hired.

As got your degree you don’t even need one for the Regionals but you will if you want to move up to a Major (and you will want to). That said the degree can be in literally anything. Biology or accounting are just fine.

Hope that helps some.

Adam


#3

Noelle,

Welcome to the forums and thanks for your question. There are two really good ways to tell if this career is right for you and you are already doing the first one. The first is to explore this website and ask us questions. There is a large amount of information on this site, particularly under the “Flying The Line” section. Also, the mentors on this site are happy to answer any questions that you have.

The second thing that you should do is sign up for an introductory flight. An intro flight is a quick flight that introduces you to the basics of flying. You will get a short ground lesson, along with getting to practice some airborne maneuvers and try out a few landings. You can sign up for one of these flights at any ATP location or just about any other local flight school.

It really does not matter what college you graduate from or what your degree is in, as long as the school is a reputable school.

Good questions, keep asking new ones as you think of them.

Chris


(Noelle Dooley) #4

Adam, yes I have flown upfront before and handled the controls and it was the greatest thing of my life! We actually did a dive if that makes any sense and this whole idea to become a commercial has always been a dream of mine, but now I’m actually starting to think I can do this!

Thank you so much for all the information and taking the time to get back to me!


(Noelle Dooley) #5

Chris, I think I’m going to take your and Adams advice and take an intro flight and see if this is really for me! Thank you so much for all the information and advice you gave me!

Noelle


#6

It’s what we do :slight_smile:

Let us know how you make out?

Adam


#7

Noelle,

Good, I think that sounds like an excellent plan. Please let us know what you think of your flight.

Chris