Real Answers from Real Pilots

Best way to go

hello im 18 right now going in to my senior year and i was wondering the best way of doing it first way should i go to university with a flight program and get my licence and degree or should i go the atp way with a likly chance of getting at instrucer job and likly a interview with a regional job or should i apply for cadet program out of the us with magor airlines(like ba or turkish airways) FYI i already have my ppl licence


I would recommend that you go to college, get a four year degree and then attend a flight school. While the regional airlines do not require a degree, the majors all do, so you might as well knock that out now while you are still in a school orientated mindset.

I recommend that you keep your interest in flying alive by flying from time to time or keeping up with industry related magazines and books. While college might not be top on your list of things to do, remember that it is a necessary step in getting to a major airline.


Hi, i have kind of the same question, i live in Brazil and my life dream is to reach the major airlines, i am doing Aeronautical science college on my first year, i always think to my self if im going the following the right path to reach my dream.All i want is to get out of the country and work for a international airline.At the momment i have the theoretical part done aplyed by the aviation agency of my country.So my question is am i following the right path to reach what i want , is this college im doing recognized in other countries?

Thank you for your attention, and by the way this is a very good resourse that ATP availeble for us .


Jônatad Borges

Hello Jonatas and Welcome,

I have to say I have no idea if you’re following the right path because you really haven’t told us what that path is? What I’m gathering is you’ve taken care of the written/knowledge portion(theoretical) but you haven’t said if your university offers flight training? if that’s something you’re hoping to do on your own? We need more info.

Chances are if the university you’re attending is accredited in Brazil it will be recognized in the US.



Do you want to fly out of the US? To you have any ties to other countries? From what I understand the cadet programs are excellent but they’re generally for residents/citizens of those countries. I also believe most of those programs require secondary educations as well. I guess what I’m asking is are you just looking to fly anywhere or do you have specific goals?



yes i would like to fly out of the US but i know it hard to but ill try.And i do have ties to kenya africa but i dont know if there’s a cadet program there but i would like to fly in europe or long hals to the us and the world.But for sure first thing is im going to get my bachlor degree but i need to know shoukd i do the college avation couse or the atp cource after my degree becouse i can do my degree with the college and avation school,LAStly i would to fly anywhere but shorthale flights in the usa

Mohamed that’s entirely up to you. There are advantages to both. If you did your flight training at school you’d be done by the time you graduate. ATP however will guarantee you a flight instructor job. Many university flight training programs can be very expensive. ASU actually works with ATP for their flight training so you might want to take a look at them.

As for the short HAUL US flying know that if you do fly in the US first it will be for a Regional and that’s what you’ll be doing.


I am so interested in pursuing a career as a pilot. I am currently a paramedic and looking for a change. I am 26 and have some college education but not a degree yet. I am just trying to figure out the best way to go about obtaining a pilot’s license in order to have a solid career. It sounds like there are so many different paths to get there, which do you think is best?


Welcome to the forums. You are right in that there are so many options. You can try the military route, attend a four years aviation college, go to a local flight school, or go to an academy like ATP.

Let’s be clear on something right off the bat, if your desire is to work for a major airline you will need a for year degree. The regionals do not require a degree, but the majors do.

Now at 26 you are certainly not old in the aviation sense, but I wouldn’t describe you as an early entrant either. You have time on your side, but why waste it if you don’t have to? I would suggest you find a school that offers a fast paced academy type program that can help you get your licenses in a matter of months, not years. Once you have your licenses you can start flight instructing to build the 1,500 hours of flight time that the FAA requires of all airline pilots, from there your next stop would be a regional airline.

Now, remember that degree? Once you are established at a regional airline you can start working on a degree online. There are many schools that will even give you credits for your flight training.

Take a look around and start interviewing various flight school. There is a list of questions on my “Flying the Line” forum that I recommend you ask any flight school that you talk to.

Of course, feel free to post any and all questions that you have here. I look forward to helping you explore this career field.


Hi Sarah and Welcome,

As you said (and have heard) there are many routes and I usually say they best route is the one that’s best for YOU.

The big question here is your education and you don’t say how close you are to your degree? If you’re pretty close (say a year or less) I’d say finish that and get it out of the way. But if you’re not then it gets a little more complicated. ATP has been really stressing having a degree prior to training, although they will accept “comparable work experience” and if you’ve been a paramedic for a few years that should(?) suffice. The reason for the degree is two fold. First if you have any aspirations to fly for a Major airline (and you should) then you’ll need a degree. Second is frankly to demonstration that an individual can buckle down and work hard to complete something. In the past I would usually recommend someone in your position (assuming you’ve been working a few years) should dive in and get trained, build your time, get hired at a Regional. After that you can finish up school while you’re getting paid and building time and experience. The only caveat is it really requires some discipline to go back to school after you’re already flying. I’ve seen many people who do it successfully and many who haven’t. If you believe you can then that’s what I’d recommend.


Aloha, does it matter what kind of degree you have, when applying to the majors?


The major really doesn’t matter, what does is that you have a four year degree from a decent school. It doesn’t have to be Notre Dame, but I would stay away from some of the obviously sketchy online universities.


Chris do you happen to know any of the online universities that will give you credit for the flight training?


I believe that Utah Valley University and Embry Riddle both give credit for pilot licenses. There are many, many more out there as well. A google search would be most helpful.


Thanks Chris, I really appreciate you taking the time you do to answer these questions. Adam you as well.

Anytime, let us know how else we can help you.