Real Answers from Real Pilots

4 year degree or certifications?

For a bit of background information, I am currently a freshman in university and plan to finish my degree online, however I’d like to explore my options a bit. I know major airlines heavily prefer a 4 year degree but is there any other type of experience they would accept? I have a family friend who thinks I should get aircraft technician certification. Would the major airlines look at that as equivalent to a degree? If possible should I do both? (assuming I have all necessary ATP certifications as well of course)

Thank you

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That sentence says it all right there. Only problem is you continued with a “but” because they’re is no but. It’s kinda like saying my favorite food in the world is pizza. I love pizza and given the choice of anything else I want some pizza! Now if there’s no pizza around will I eat something else? Sure, but that doesn’t change the fact that’s what I want. Now if the Major airlines ran out of qualified applicants without degrees might they consider someone without? Sure but that’s not happening. There’s plenty and as long as they have a choice of with and without, those without will always be looked upon less favorably.

As for an aircraft tech cert if you want to turn wrenches for the airlines sure but if you want to fly it will not help you in the least.


I see, thank you!


Becoming an aircraft technician will do absolutely nothing to help advance your career as a pilot. Airlines hire pilots to be pilots and as such, they want to see flight time and education. I would finish your degree, then attend a n accelerated flight training program.