Advice for a 20 year old looking to become a pilot

I’m 20 years old and I would love to learn how to fly a plane and become a commercial pilot. My grades were not the best in highschool but besides that when I’m motivated I can achieve so much. I’m currently living in Allentown, Pennsylvania and I just want to take the next step towards achieving my goals. Pilots if you were 20 again what would be the first step you would take to pursue a career in flying? Also is college needed?


A 4-year degree is required by most major airlines. Those that don’t
require a 4-year degree recommend one. For you, I would consider these two

  1. Obtain a 4-year degree before flight training, or
  2. Obtain a 2-year degree, then enroll in flight training, then finish off
    your 4-year degree by enrolling in an online college while instructing or
    working for a regional.

Type the word “college” in the search bar. You’ll find lots of other
threads suggesting similar routes.



Before you do anything I have to ask have you ever flown an airplane? I’m not talking about riding in back on your way to Disney, I’m talking about sitting upfront in a small plane with your hands on the yolk. If the answer is no then before you do ANYTHING else I STRONGLY recommend you go for an intro flight. While many people dream of flying or believe that’s what they want to do until you actually do you won’t really know.