Real Answers from Real Pilots

What to do first?

My name is Demarcus and I am about to graduate from High school next year and am an aspiring pilot but i don’t know if I should go to college first or get some flight training before earning my Bachelor’s Degree. I’ve also heard that going to the Air Force would be a good choice but I’d like to hear from Pilot before going any further with my decision.

Marcus,

I personally feel that the best path is to go to college, obtain a non aviation degree and then go to a school that offers accelerated flight training. The major airlines are going to want to see a degree, so it is best to knock it out while you are still in the school mode.

The Air Force is a great way to go, but unless you go to the academy you will need to graduate from college first if you want to fly in the service. Contrary to what recruiters will tell you, there is very little chance of you ever flying as a pilot if you enter as an enlisted and not as an officer.

I would strongly recommend that you take an introductory flight. You can do this at your local flight school or at an ATP location. It is one thing to ride in the back of an airplane, it is another to actually fly it. Only an introductory lesson can help you see if you really want to fly for a living.

Chris

Is there any cost efficient options out there?

I feel that the path I recommended to you is the most cost efficient approach.

Demarcus,

You might want to look into the Army if you’re considering the military AND cost is your #1 consideration. The Army is the only branch that will let you fly without a degree. They have a Warrant Officer program and you’d start out in helicopters. It’s a major commitment but you would be flying and could actually get the military to pay for your degree while you’re serving.

Adam