Real Answers from Real Pilots

Advice on Cadet Programs

Hello! Currently a student at ATP Long Beach location with my private pilot license. I was looking into United’s Aviate cadet program and the prerequisite for admission is your private license. I have researched it and it looks like a good pathway to follow, however, would I be moving too fast if I applied anytime soon? I know there’s a lot going on with the industry and more but I wasn’t sure if I should wait for more ratings/certificates and such. Any advice?

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Hi, ive applied to the Aviate program a few months ago. They sent me an email saying they put a pause in interviews but are still accepting applications.

Very recently they sent another email that said they may resume interviews on Q1 2021.

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Ryan,

If the prerequisite is only your PPL and you have yours I’d must definitely apply. If the program is currently on hold that’s fine. Companies always like when people express interest early and it’ll get you on their radar.

The only caveat is I’d make that’s all they require. While airlines appreciate interest as soon as you’re eligible, they don’t like applicants who don’t satisfy what they specify as that shows a lack of attention to detail.

Adam

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I am not sure how Aviate functions, but at least for the envoy one, each rating/cert gets you through multiple levels in the cadet program. I’m sure all of them function the same (including the republic one). Having just a PPL would get you the first interview and some mentorship.

Some of the instructors at my location are in the envoy cadet program, and they get travel benifets and already have a seniority number.

So it’s great to get these benifets very early on. Wouldn’t hurt to apply with just a PPL.

Good luck.

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Thanks so much!

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Ryan,

I would apply as soon as the program allows you to. It might not do you a whole lot of good, but it certainly would not hurt either. As Adam said, just make sure you actually have the qualifications they are asking for.

Also, remember to update your application as you progress through flight training.

Chris

Ryan,

To echo the others, always apply if you are eligible to show interest. That’s true when applying for an airline as well. Apply early and regularly update your application.

Tory

What is the typical timeline on the cadet program?

As a second career possibility, I’m in the homework stage of considering the program Through ATP’s flex path. If I complete ATP’s program in the proposed 18 months and am enrolled/apply for the cadet program to work for Envoy, is it likely to have a job after graduating the ATP program or would I expect a time period between graduating the ATP program and actually being hired in?

Amy,

After completing your training with ATP you still wild need the required 1500hrs needed to fly for the airline. That typically will take 1.5-2yrs on top of the program.

Adam

Thank you for that clarification. It’s not really the way it’s portrayed in the literature. So really someone needs to expect a 3-4 year plan to actually earn a living. I imagine that’s even longer when you’re working a full time career alongside this to pay the bills while you’re working to achieve this.

Amy,

In addition to what Adam said if you plan on doing the flex track program you won’t complete the program in 18 months. Students that are in the fast track program can complete the program in 18 months.

Tory

Amy,

I’m sorry if you felt the literature was unclear. It does state the program takes 18mos to complete after which you will be a professional pilot. By professional they mean getting paid to fly (as an instructor) vs paying as a student. After that the law requires all airline pilots have 1500hrs of flight time (the minimum required for an Airline Transport Pilot license). This is no different than Drs doing a residency or other types of entry level position required for experience for a profession with tremendous responsibility.

Adam

I understand, It comes across as though you’re ready to be hired after the 18 month program. It’s a little more challenging to consider knowing that it’s an additional 2 years prior to starting the career that will get you back to appropriate living salary within a couple of years. Just harder for someone changing paths at 42 :slight_smile:

ok thank you for the clarification, the literature sent to me said 9 months for the fast track and 18 months on the flex program.

Amy,

I totally understand. It definitely can be a big sacrifice in the beginning (depending on where you are in life) but it’s also a career where you can eventually earn in the mid-high $200ks and have a great time doing it.

It comes down to your priorities and what’s most important to you.

Adam

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Sorry I should clarify. The fast track does take 9 mo and 18-24mo total to reach 1500.

Tory

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Amy,

This is from ATP’s website: " After graduating from the Airline Career Pilot Program, you will be a certificated flight instructor (CFI), allowing you to immediately begin earning an income in your new career and flying as a CFI to gain the 1,500 hours of flight time required by airlines…"

from: Airline Career Pilot Program Flight Training Timeline / ATP Flight School

Thank you Tory!