Best Commercial Pilot Plan After Bachelors Degreee

My son just completed his Bachelor’s degree in Finance at a great school and now he wants to start working to be a commercial pilot. He already has his private pilot’s license. Would it be better for him to go to University program with a 141 program, where I understand he could finish in 2.5 years and then have the 1000 hour flight time requirement or go to an ATP program and finish in a year but have a 1 500 hour flight time requirement (apologies in advance if I do not have all the right facts on the programs)?


Your facts are pretty spot on. Now keep in mind that this is ATP’s forum and all of us mentors went to ATP, but we are also all successful airline pilots who got where we did rather quickly.

Regardless of which flight school your son ends up at, I would avoid going the university route. Generally that route is considerably more expensive and takes longer. Even with the reduction in the flight time requirement, it is generally still faster to go to a regular flight school and then just fly the extra hours. Not to mention that your son will be getting paid to fly that extra 500 hours.

Take a look at the FAQ section and please encourage your son to join the discussion as well.



If your son already has a BA why would he need another degree? While you’re correct he could potential do a university program in 2.5 years and grad with his licenses and ratings, AND be able to get a hour reduction for that degree, he would not finish with those 1,000hrs. It would be still take him another year to build the time putting him in an airline in 3.5yrs. While that’s not terrible, he could complete ATP in 6 month and then be at an airline in less than 2 years. That’s a year and a half of seniority.

The aviation industry can be volatile and one seniority number can make a huge difference in a career. If he didn’t have a degree I’d have a different answer but since he has the degree AND his PPL there’s no reason to not dive in and get started on his career.



I don’t see how your son would benefit from attending an aviation college. He already has a degree. He doesn’t need another one. Even with the RATP minimums, it would still take him longer than practically anyone else that is training full time elsewhere.


Thanks everyone for your input, transparency and advice. This has been great!