Hope everyone is doing well here. I’m almost done with my bachelor’s degree, and I’m looking forward to becoming a pilot one day for a major airline. I did some research, and see that ATP provide students with excellent opportunities. However, the cost for this program is extremely expensive. My question here is after graduating from ATP, am I guarantee to become a flight instructor with them? I’m really really afraid that after graduation, ATP does not hire me, and I’m left behind with a lot debt.
Flight training is expensive. ATP’s price is actually very competitive for what you get. There are more expensive programs out there. Unlike most other schools, ATP’s prices are fixed (unless you need extra training).
Due to the economic strain of the pandemic ATP has had to make some adjustments. As of now, the Instructor job is not guaranteed. Instructors are still being hired by ATP but now it is more competitive. While that may not be what you want to hear, but this is not abnormal. What professional vocational school can you think of offers guaranteed jobs after completion?
If you’re serious about becoming a pilot, I still encourage to pursue it. While the airlines figure out when they will resume hiring, other sectors of the industry are growing like cargo and corporate. Opportunities are out there. Just takes more effort to find them. It’s also important, as always, to focus on being the best pilot you can be to maximize your opportunities.
You don’t mention your flight experience. If you haven’t already schedule an intro flight. That’s the first test in determining if this is a good fit.
As Tory said ATPs pricing is actually quite competitive. They also have the largest and newest fleet of training aircraft, locations around the country and most important over 30 years of training and thousands of successful students who have gone on to airline careers.
While ATP no longer guarantees instructor positions, the guarantee was actually a fairly recent addition to the program. Successful students will still be offered jobs based on their performance and the need.
That said instructor job or not, anyone who completes flight training will do so with a fair amount of debt (unless you’re wealthy). Most people can’t or don’t payoff that debt untill they’re actually at an airline, which is of course the goal, and something ATP facilitates exceptionally well.
Most schools quote the FAA minimums on pricing, then the typical students far exceeds that amount of training and the price goes up dramatically. ATP quotes an out the door price, which is very competitive when compared to other flight schools.
There is always a risk when pursuing higher education of not getting hired. Med schools do not guarantee doctors positions, nor do law schools guarantee lawyer positions. But the students who do well and exceed are of course farmer likely to be offered a position.
Thank you for responding back, Tory. I’m very serious about becoming a pilot while very afraid of not being able to accumulate hours after graduation. You mentioned that due to the pandemic, the Instructor job is not guaranteed. Do you know if this is a temporary thing or permanent? Also, I haven’t schedule an intro flight. Can you please tell me where to go to get one schedule?
I do not know if the guaranteed Instructor position is coming back. That decision rests with the ATP.
What I do know is that ATP is offering a Flex Track Program. It allows students to work while in the program. At least this way you could earn an income to help pay towards your loan. More info is on ATP’s website.
I for one am glad that the guaranteed instructor job went away. This industry, like every other is competitive, people get hired based on their skills and how well they perform. When I come in as a student, I want my CFI to have been the best out there, to know that he/she worked hard for the position and know their stuff.
ATP is still hiring instructors, plenty of them. There us just some competition again and I think that is a good thing.
Thank you for responding back to me and letting me know. I’m learning a lot here. Can someone please let me know when the ATP program starts? I’m finishing my Bachelor’s degree this coming 06/2021 therefore I’m planning to join once I finish. When is the deadline for me to apply if I want to start the program around June of 2021 and is there an interview to go through?
This is like a side question. I can’t see 20/20 without glasses. Although I know majority of the airlines will still take someone who wears glasses, but am I at a disadvantage?
ATP’s program usually has two start dates per month. It is recommended to apply no less than three months months in advance. There is not an interview, but it is strongly recommended to do an introductory flight and tour with ATP prior to joining. You should also get a FAA first class medical prior to applying, just make sure that you do not have any unforeseen medical issues.
There will be no disadvantage at all from wearing glasses as far as the airlines are concerned. The military will not allow it, but we are not exactly flying F-18s here.