Best options for airline pilot career?

Hey, my name is John. I’m currently a junior in high school and I’m really interested in pursuing the career as a airline pilot. I’m currently looking into ATP or a bigger college that majors in aviation. If i choose the ATP route, is it worth paying and trying to get my ppl now and some extra flight hours or should i just wait til or if i start ATP.
What is the better option ATP or college. I would love to hear so tips aswell for flying.


If you look closely at the top of this forum, you will see that this website is sponsored by ATP. That being said, all of the mentors that are on here because we went to ATP, it worked well for us and we believe in the program for future students. However, you will also note if you read through our posts that we do not just blindly endorse ATP, we always try to help the student find the path that is best for them.

All of that being said, I would recommend that from high school you go straight to college and obtain your four year degree in something other than aviation. The reason for this is that the majors want to see a degree, but they do not give any preference to aviation degrees, so you might as well find something that could serve as a backup or additional source of income for you, like a degree in business administration. After college, then I would recommend beginning a fast track training program. I would not recommend spending any time or money on flight training now as it really isn’t going to do much to help you accomplish your goal.

The one exception to that is an introductory flight. At some point, you should go to your local flight school and take a lesson or two to see if flying is really something that interests you. It is one thing to think about flying airplanes, it is quite another to do so.

Let us know what other questions you may have.



I second everything Chris said. Do to college, do well and then go to ATP.


Here’s an idea for you. There’s a college named Northwestern Michigan college. (this was described to me by a pilot who put his nephew recently in this program) For the first 2 years they get you all ratings that you need and basically everything to become a pilot. Then the next 2 years they get you a business degree as well but it counts as a 4 year degree. While you have the business stuff going on you also instruct. This was all over phone call so it might be a little off but that is the general idea.

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I had never heard of NWMC nor have I ever met a single pilot who ever went there (and I know ALOT of pilots) but honestly I took a quick look at there website and other than the fact they use some OLD C150s and Aztecs it looks like a legitimate program, particularly if you live in the area. Def not the fast route but might be worth investigating?


Yeah, I don’t know much about it. Was just talking to a guy who placed his nephew there and he gave me the general idea of it so i thought i would mention it.