Real Answers from Real Pilots

After College?

Hey yall I have a quick question, I am about to graduate from college here soon but I’m not sure if I should try to find work in my chosen field to get some experience, or should I start flight training at ATP, and get into the airlines as soon as possible?

Thanks
Gabe

Gabriel,
What’s your end goal? Do you want to be an airline pilot or do you want to work in the field you studied in college? If you want to be an airline pilot, you’ve got the degree, now start working on your flight training!
-Hannah

Gabriel,

Honestly I’m not really sure I understand your question? I have no idea what you’re chosen field is but if you want to do that then your should. If you want to be a pilot you need to go to flight school. These are life choices only you can make for yourself.

Adam

Welcome back, Gabriel!

According to your bio it seems to me your goal is to become an airline pilot. So, my question for you is what would you have to gain from gaining work experience in your field of study and how would that help you reach your goal of becoming an airline pilot?

Tory

Thanks, everyone for responding,
I absolutely want to be an airline pilot, I was just worried that without any major work experience I may not be quite as eligible to be hired at an airline. All of your answers were what I was hoping to hear, I most definitely want to work as a Pilot a lot more than work in Geospatial Technology!

Gabe

Airlines hire experienced, well-trained pilots. Work experience outside of flying has very little to do with who gets selected.

Tory

Thanks Tory, I think for now I’m just going to finish school and start at ATP ASAP. I may try to get my PPL this coming summer, as I have a decent chance at getting a 10k scholarship through EAA.
Gabe

Gabriel,

I’m curious? If you’ve decided ATP is the right school for you to lead you towards your goal is being an airline pilot, why would you want to get your PPL (and start what will be the foundation of your training) elsewhere?

Adam

Adam,
The thing is I won’t be able to start training at ATP for about another 4 years ( at the very least 2 years) and I am really anxious to start training and to get into the air. I am not 100% sure if I want to get my PPL now or when I start at ATP in a few years. I thought if I could the majority of my PPL paid for through a scholarship it might be worth it.

Gabe

Gabe,

Fair enough but now I’m really confused. IF you want to be a pilot and you’re not going to go start working in your chosen field, what are you going to do for the next 2-4yrs?

Adam

Yeah so the problem is I’m 17 and I can’t even get a restricted ATP for another 3ish year, I could start training once I’m done with college and work as a flight instructor until I’m 21.

Gabe

Gabriel,

I think you’re doing just fine. Focus on doing well in school. I would only caution you on trying to get ahead too soon. Your only focus right now needs to be on college. Some majors still care about college GPA. I wouldn’t want your grades to suffer because you’re distracted by trying to finish your PPL between semesters.

Tory

Gabriel,

At your age, I would recommend going to at least two years of college, then going to a flight school. You are so young that you have time to work on both and still be ready for the airlines at a very young age.

Chris

Thanks Tory and Chris, I really appreciate the advise
I am extremely thankful to have a steady and high GPA but I definitely see where adding PPL flight training might cause a little too much strain as of right now. For now, I’ll just keep working and dreaming and use that as motivation to be an airline pilot.
Thanks, everyone,
Gabe

Gabriel,
I’m a bit confused as well. Didn’t you say you’re graduating from college soon? Would you mind clarifying your timeline a bit so we can better advise you?
-Hannah

Sorry, I forgot to put this into my timeline,
So as of right now, I can graduate from high school and college with an associate’s degree, in the end, my bachelor’s degree contains two associate degrees. Once I graduate this coming spring I will have a high school diploma and an associate degree in geospatial technology, while I still have another two or so years until I get my full bachelor’s degree I am qualified to work either as a drone pilot or in anything that my associate’s degree qualifies me for. So I guess my question was if once I get my 2-year degree and while I’m working on my bachelor should I attempt to get a job in Geospatial tech/drone pilot, or should I start training and become a CFI and finish my bachelors degree while a CFI considering that I will likely have more than 1500 hrs by the time i am able to apply at an airline.

I apologize if my earlier questions didn’t make a lot of sense, reading back through them I see what you mean, my bad.

Gabe

Gabriel,

My advice is the same as before. Working as a drone pilot will not increase your chances of becoming an airline pilot. If you will be ready to begin flight training after you graduate then you should start right away.

Tory

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Tory,
Would starting training after getting just my associate’s degree be a good idea, then during CFI finishing my degree?

Gabe

Not as a CFI. You’d be too busy, or at least you should be. I would finish the degree online while at a regional.

Tory