Real Answers from Real Pilots

Aviation industry

Hello!! am currently high school student (senior) and boutta attempt atp in about 6 months so just having some questions:)

Is it possible to take online college classes while working for the regional airlines after completing your ATP flight training ? And also it’s a possible to choose how far you wanna travel while working for the regionals or the majors? For example I only wanna fly between the us states. And it’s a possible to get hired at major airline without much of experience but with bachelor degree? And what do most regional airlines pay for new pilots? Thanks in advance again!


ATP requires students to have two years of college, two years of work experience, or already have a PPL, so you will not be able to enter ATP directly after high school.

Yes, one can take online classes while working at the regionals and in fact many pilots do.

You will have some control over your schedule, but even the regionals fly to Candad and Mexico. If you plan on being a pilot, you should also plan on flying outside of the country.

Take a look in my “Flying the Line” section for an article on what airline pilots earn, it will help explain pilot pay to you.



Just to add to what Chris has said. Major airlines hire pilots WITH experience which is why pilots need to start at the Regional level and gain some. The question for you would be why would a Major hire a pilot without much experience when there are thousands with? If you don’t desire to fly outside of the US then you should (when the time comes) apply to airlines that don’t do any or much (or limited) International flying. Airlines like SouthWest, JetBlue and Allegiant (while doing some) really focus on the US.


Ohh okey, thank you both so much for being very helpful. So I might just go college for my bachelors like two or three years and join ATP and finish it when I start working for the regionals since many pilots mentioned that new pilots will have plenty of times off

Sounds like a good plan to me. Although, personally I would recommend just finishing all four years of college and then going to flight school. I know that you want to get up in the air, but I see the best success rates with students that finish college, then train. Tackling one project at a time seems to be the best approach.


Lol that works well too to be honest! but I guess it’s different when your really passionate about doing something and u just can’t wait. But am just finish working on my bachelor first, because later am have to pay for college and the loan which can be very hard even though the regional don’t pay that much. I also have couple more questions:)

  1. do the majors care where you get the bachelors from? Community college or university
  2. Do you think it’s okey if the person is five feet and sixes inches ?
  3. How hard it’s the math during the ATP program from the scale 1 to 10?


  1. Not really, as long as it’s a legitimate college or university you’re fine. Keep in mind you can’t get a Bachelor’s from a Community college as all are only 2yr schools. You can do your first 2yrs at Community then transfer to a 4yr school.

  2. While you probably won’t get drafted for Delta Airlines basketball team 5’6" is plenty tall enough to fly.

  3. Not sure I can put it on a 1-10 scale (as my scale could be very different than yours) but it’s not particularly hard. As long as you can add, subtract, multiply and divide WITHOUT a calculator you’ll be fine. If not you’ve got 4yrs of college to get better.


Understood! Thank you both Adam, and Chris. For you guys it’s time & being very helpful! Thanks !!