Aspiring Pilot with Student Debt

I am 29 years old and interested in becoming a pilot. However, I have an average amount of student loan debt after having earned a Bachelor’s degree in college. With that said, and given the costs of flight school, is this career path possible for me, or will I be too burdened with debt to ever pay it off? Do airlines or the ATP assist those with student loan debt? Thank you.


You’re not unique as many, many people have debt. How you manage that debt is something you’ll need to address. Unlike many vocations, flying has both academic AND physical requirements which frankly not everyone possesses. Because of this any aid or assistance will come AFTER you’ve successfully completed your training in the form of Tuition Reimbursement and bonuses.



I too had ‘student loan debt’ when entering ATP back in 2020, I still do. It is normal in all aspects to meet fellow colleagues still making payments on loans, flight training is not cheap either. I can safely say in the current market and how payrolls are looking, being in debt for a period of time is not permanent, nor a huge stress unless there’s other external factors (even in my situation). Adam mentioned Tuition Reimbursement, there are sign-on bonuses, upgrade bonuses, retention bonuses that many are seeing throughout their career. My goal right now is debt free by 30, I got a few years.