Real Answers from Real Pilots

ATP Admission Requirements


I have read on these forums that for you to attend ATP you have to either have a PPL or a degree. On the website, it doesn’t state either of these things as a requirement. Can someone please advise?



The requirement is two years of college, equivalent work experience, or a PPL. See this link and scroll down to “Admissions Requirements” for details:


Thanks for the speedy reply! I spoke to ATP to get more information on the requirements and they said they might be able to work around the A.A. degree requirement since I’m 4 classes away from earning it. Thanks for your help! Sorry to ask another question that would be a slightly off topic, but I figured it’d be a bit easier this way. I was really considering the 40 multi. eng. program instead of the 100 multi. eng. because since I would be an MEI and would be able to earn multi. eng. time through instructing. Any real advantage dropping an extra 10K to going through the 100 hour multi. eng. program versus the other 40 hr. program?


I am glad that you might be able to work around the two years of college requirement. I would caution you to make sure that you finish a four year degree at some point as the major airlines will absolutely require one (the regionals do not). Also, never apologize for asking a question, that is what we are here for :slight_smile:

I would absolutely do the 40 hour multi engine program, especially if you plan on being a CFI for ATP because as you stated, you will get your multi hours during your CFI time and you will have plenty of them.

The 100 hour program is appropriate for people that might not flight instruct with ATP. Multi time can be hard to get at other flight schools or in banner towing, sky diver flying, etc, so the 100 hour program is designed for people that are intending to go that route. If you plan on sticking with ATP to instruct I recommend the 40 hour program.

Good question, keep them coming.


Thank you again for a speedy reply! I will definitely do that. I would like to make a decent amount of money while living the dream! I figured I could work towards that while I instruct at a school. Any idea if that’s easier than studying while at the regionals?

I would say that it would be much easier to study for a degree than while flight instructing. Being a CFI can be very demanding, plus you will be studying for the airline interviews. My vote would be to put off any additional college until you get on at the airlines, you will have more time then.

Of course you could always finish your degree now and then go to flight school. Either one is a viable option.

Thanks for the advice, Chris! I’ve been weighing my options with schools down in Miami. ATP is about $30K-$35K more for training, but you graduate with more hours in your log book (even with the 40 hour multi, eng. track). Some schools do have a Part 141 program where you finish in 16 months and have you instruct around 2 years to build up the time. This is definitely a tough choice since ATP gets you there faster, but it’s all self-study. As opposed to a flying academy that takes a bit longer, but has classroom styled instruction and is a bit cheaper. Not sure what to do to be honest.


Just to chime in AND not trying to be a salesman (which I’m not), but I really think you need to look at the time saved getting to an airline as future earning potential. While I completely understand and appreciate the fact $30k is a lot of money you could finish ALL your training and be working for an airline within 2 yrs vs 1.5yrs of training and then 2 yrs to build the time. Down the road, after you’ve left the Regionals for a Major and eventually making Capt you’ll be making over $200k a year (possibly $300k). That’s ALOT more than $30k. Make sense?

Oh and btw, while ATP does require a fair amount of self-study, it isn’t all.


I really don’t consider ATP to be self study. There are class room portions and a lot of one on one time with your instructors. True, it is not a sit down in a classroom for two years type environment, but I don’t think that is a good use of your time or anywhere near necessary.

We emphasize on this forum that ATP requires a lot of self study, but any program will if you want to do well in it.



Thank you for your words of advice! You make a very good point. Numbers with that many zeros (flight training costs) can be scary when it’s not coming into your bank account haha I’ll probably take a tour of the ATP facility and some other schools just to keep my options opened.

One more thing, I have always wanted to fly for Hawaiian Airlines. Any advice for someone looking to eventually end up where you are? I live in Florida, but my dream and my wife’s dream to end up on one of the Islands!

Thanks again, Adam!


That’s comforting to hear. I have a friend that just got picked up by Express Jet and went through ATP in Ft. Lauderdale. He said that he would spend 12-16 hours a day at the school studying (with and without instructors). You also make a good point about self-study in any program. Thank you again for your input!


That’s one more reason to get busy. Next July we begin deliveries of our new fleet of 321 Neos and we’re estimated to hire 4-500 pilots in the next few years. While compared to most Majors that’s a small number, at Hawaiian that literally means doubling the size of our pilot group. Best advice is get trained, build your time and apply, Since we’re smaller and don’t require as many bodies Hawaiian can be a little more “picky”. That means you may have to apply a couple of times before you get a call. Also if you run into any HA employees say hi. It’s a small company so you never know?



That’s really great news actually! Thank you for all your information and advice! Hopefully, I won’t be too late to get hired by HA!