1,500 flight Hours

I’m currently 20, almost done with my associates degree in physics & will be starting Atp Flight School this August. I’ve planned and thought about most of my process to become an Airline Pilot but have no idea what to look for after I’m done with ATP. How did you get your 1,500? Was looking for something outside of CFI. Should I move cities/states for more opportunities? (Located in SoCal) Thank you!


Flight instructing is the most common route as there are lots of jobs and it also builds quality hours that will make you a better pilot.

There are of course other jobs to be found but it can be difficult with low time. Many places, while they would love to hire you, have insurance requirements that require their pilots to have more time. You also can’t assume just because you’re in or near a big city they’ll be flying jobs. I’m from NY and there are in fact no small airports anywhere in the city so there are no jobs. There are as you get out of the city but there’s also alot more competition. It’s really up to you to do your homework and see what kind of flying is in your area and if there might be any opportunities. Thing is you won’t be ready for them any time soon so a position that’s there today might not be tomorrow. That said where there’s a will there always a way and who knows, you may come to appreciate flight instructing and choose to do that.



Do not fear about not having a job when you complete your flight training. A lot of my fellow student peers that I went through the program with all found some sort of job - whether they had to travel or got the opportunity to stay local. Some went the sky diving route, aerial photography banner towing and pipeline. There are hundreds of opportunities out there and a lot of sources to find jobs: Facebook, LinkedIn, ClimbTo350, and Google Searches/etc.

What you need to focus on right now is finishing your Associate’s Degree strong with good grades and doing well through Flight School at ATP. The competition for jobs is high, having a good resume to take with you will help and favor in your meeting with an interview panel for a job.


I know alot of people want to train in FL or AZ with the goal of getting done SUPER FAST and not having weather as a consideration. When I was first hired at the Regionals a million years ago there was a very famous tale of a newhire who had done all their training and all their instructing in PHX and had no actual IMC. The story goes they were coming into EWR on IOE and the young pilot literally started freaking as they had never experienced being in the soup let alone shooting an approach down to mins, and started demanding they divert. After that the airline added Xhrs (I forget the number?) of actual as a requirement. While I don’t believe any airlines still have actual IMC as a req, getting some is never a bad idea.


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The vast majority of pilots work as flight instructors to build their flight time. The reason we all recommend that route is that it is the way that you will learn the most and really cement your skills. There is only so much that can be learned from during holes in the sky as a jump pilot. A CFI constantly needs to stay on top of their skills and is always learning.