Hey, Im going to be graduating this summer from high school, can i go to my local community college for an Aviation Maintenance degree program since they offer it, and then transfer to finish my other two years for a bachelors degree? Does that sound good? And will it get me to become an airline pilot?
If that’s something you think you’d enjoy and do well at then sure why not. Get 2 yrs worth of credit then apply those towards earning a 4yr degree is a solid and economical way to get check that box.
However fixing airplanes really doesn’t have much to do with flying airplanes and other than satisfying the degree preference for the Majors, it really won’t help you become a pilot. That said people get degrees in many fields of study which have nothing to do with flying so again if you think you’d enjoy turning wrenches why not?
Oh, so as long as i get a bachelors degree in any field of study in college i would be fine and move on after those four years to a flight school correct? Being a pilot has been my dream since I was little
From what I heard having 60+ college credits with good GPA looks good for the majors. Having a bachelors is great not only for making yourself more competitive but it benefits you because you can always get a job whether it be in aviation as a mechanic or whatever you choose to study. You don’t necessarily have to study something in the aviation area as Adam said. Currently I’m a junior studying Accounting, had an internship and was like “nope, not gonna do this forever”, always wanted to fly so I’ll be planning on going to ATP or a program similar to it. I’ll most likely finish my bachelors after the program as I build my flight Hrs. Please take what said with a grain of salt because well I’m not a professional pilot…yet
60 credits equates to an associates/2yr degree. On the application for every Major I know of they ask a very simple and straightforward yes or no question. Do you have a 4yr Bachelor’s degree. The answer is either yes or its not. You could have many other fine attributes but the reality is if the answer is no you go into a secondary pile and that’s not where you want your application to be.
Thanks alot for the help🙏🏼. What I’ll do is figure out what major i should go for to lean on if aviation doesn’t work out for me. Like i said, I’m going to do 2 years of community college then transfer to finish my bachelors degree to save up money. ( what would be an easy good backup major?). Where will I need to go after my bachelors to build hours for my pilot career that wouldn’t be that expensive?
Sorry for asking alot I just want to be well informed and prepared.
As far as a Major goes what one person finds easy another might not. Again choose something you’ll enjoy and might serve as a backup and you’ll be fine.
Another option is to do your flight training after your 2yrs at community college. Build your time, get hired away a Regional and then get an aviation degree online after. While this doesn’t really fulfill the “backup plan” at that point you’d already be flying for an airline so that would be less of a concern. Further between your 2yrs of CC, and credit for your licenses and ratings, you could earn a 4yr degree with minimum time and expense.
Building time shouldn’t cost you anything as after your training you should be getting paid to fly (instructing is the most common route) not paying. What is expensive is the training and there’s really no way around that. Flight instruction is never cheap, particularly if your looking for a solid education at a reputable school.
I also recommend you visit our FAQ section as we detail the process and answer many other questions in detail.
That actually sounds good. And when u said further between my 2yr CC and credit for my licenses and ratings, I could earn a 4yr degree Meaning I just have to finish the other 2 years for it to be a bachelors degree since I have already done The first 2yrs and earned an Associates correct?
I would point out here that a two year certification from a community college might not necessarily equate to two years of college credits. There is a difference between two years of basic education classes and an advanced certificate. I personally would not recommend getting an A&P certificate, it is a lot of money to get something that you will probably never use and is still in the same industry.
Not usually one to disagree with a professional when I’m a novice (148 hours PPL, still very much a novice pilot), but Adam is at least a bit off saying it won’t help you become a pilot. I say this as a pilot and an A&P. But in Adams defense, 10 years from now when you have thousands of hours of flight being an A&P probably won’t make a difference at all so in the long run he’s right, but in the short term if you’re a 0 time student pilot it will help your understanding of a lot of things you’ll need to understand and help you become a more proficient pilot a lot quicker. For example, you’ll understand mixture control better than your instructor does. You’ll be ready for a lot of questions from your instructor and on the writtens/orals about required lights, radios, ELTs, what instruments do and how… freeing you up to study something you’re struggling with. Being a mechanic will not however help you execute any maneuvers during any stage of flight but it will free up your thoughts about if you’ve got the mixture set correctly or changing the radio frequency… basically in flight, it will only be good to free up some distractions so you can focus on what you’re doing with your hands. You’ll also be able to troubleshoot some issues on the fly (pun intended) and you may catch other potential issues prior to them becoming an issue.
So if you’re planning on spending 2 or 4 years in college before flying you might as well study something that can help. Becoming a pilot can be stressful, so do what you can to relieve some of the stress. A 2 or 4 year degree in aviation maintenance is going to cost the same as any other 2 or 4 year degree. You’ll just have some test and examiner fees, but a lot of other degrees have additional testing/certifications too. So if you’re set on being a commercial pilot I’d say go for the aviation maintenance degree, the major’s aren’t going to care what your major was, but if you’re torn between being a pilot or an accountant for example, and have no interest in turning wrenches for a living, get a degree in accounting so if you change your mind about flying you’ll be set up for a career you’re interested in. I also strongly agree with Adams suggestion of a possibility to do your flight training after community college, fly for a regional while finishing your bachelors so you can upgrade to a major when you’ve got the experience… If I were 18, that’s exactly what I’d do.
I got my private pilot license immediately before starting an A&P program. I then wanted to get with these fine folks at ATP for the rest of my flight ratings but couldn’t get the financing approved so had to look elsewhere but as an A&P I managed to score an amazing opportunity and I’m now a mechanic for the flight school I’m about to start instrument training at. A couple months of working and I’m intimately familiar with all the planes I’ll be training in which will be helpful.
I am going to disagree with you here. Yes, having an A&P helps you have a better understanding of aircraft symptoms, absolutely. I would argue though that it provides far deeper of an understanding than is required. As pilots we need to know how to use instruments, how to read them and apply the information. I am not terribly concerned with how they work, just the application of them.
One could make the same argument that it would be best to go to two years of ATC school. Certainly that knowledge would help, but at the end of the day, it is a different set of knowledge that is not as relatable to being a pilot as one might think.
Again, I would question how many transfer credits a full university would award to somebody with an associate’s degree in aircraft mechanics. It would seem to me that an A&P education would be lacking all of the fundamental basic classes that a traditional college education has, but I am certainly not a college admissions counselor.
Nothing wrong with knowledge but I stand by my answer. Not trying to pull rank but as a former CFI, airline instructor and current Capt I can say with certainty it doesn’t help. I’ve had students who were A&Ps and some who weren’t and there has never been any noticeable difference in progress, in fact the A&Ps often overthink the systems (ie, understanding what the mixture does doesn’t make you better at controlling it). If you feel it benefited you that’s great and as I said in my original post if Leonel finds it interesting and something he’d like to pursue that’s great too but career wise it will not help.
Btw, I implore you, if/when you get to an airline PLEASE don’t be the annoying A&P who drags the systems class out by asking tons of technical yet irrelevant questions. Hate that guy!
I think it’s great that you’re able to use your A&P as a mechanic for your flight school. I think you should have just said that and let the rest go. I stand with Chris and Adam.
I somewhat agree with your troubleshooting comment, but I mostly disagree. Sure flying GA aircraft requires a little more troubleshooting than flying an airliner, but being an A&P has nothing to do with the required amount of troubleshooting that a pilot is expected to do in flight. There’s no evidence that being an A&P is safer or makes a pilot more proficient. If that were true, airline pilots would be expected to troubleshoot like an A&P. In fact, airline pilots are expected to do anything but. The operation is driven by other things like memory items, standard operating procedures, and management skills; Threat and Error Management using Pilot Core Competencies essentially. Knowing more than what is necessary about a system could actually impede a pilot’s ability to effectively manage a problem because the pilot may overthink, dwell, or fixate. A proficient pilot just needs to be able to respond appropriately in the moment and pilots already receive the required level of training as they progress through their careers.
I have tremendous respect for all the mentors on this site. You’ve all put in a lot of time and significant effort to get to where you are. So don’t take this as disrespect in anyway. But I think you all missed the point, I said it’s going to help short term. Specifically with some of the knowledge portion and not with actual flying… As my ex’s would say, I’m not the best communicator so maybe I should have been clearer about that. So short term, more helpful than any other degree, but long term it’s only worth a single checkmark on an application.
You’re saying I’m wrong because it’ll give him too much information but he’s still going to have to pass a knowledge test and he’s going to need a bachelors if he wants to get to the majors, why not help a little with the knowledge test? I agree it’s only useful for a portion of the test but still, why not combine them because a degree in anything non-aviation will be useless for anything other than checking a box on an application years away whereas aviation maintenance will have some use now? And I agree, studying ATC would also be about as helpful, provide some knowledge helpful for the knowledge test and yes, a lot of other not useful for a pilot knowledge… but a little help is still more help than an accounting, political science, or basket weaving degree…
And I never disagreed with you on how much of a 2 year degree will transfer to a 4 year program. Actually have experience with that, Associates before the army and a different bachelors after. But there actually are bachelors programs for aviation maintenance which would accept most if not all the credits from a 2 year aviation maintenance degree… we’d probably agree though, aviation maintenance does not need 4 years of studying… because it doesn’t but that’s irrelevant because the majors just want that check mark on the application.
Oh man, 10 years in the Army here, well aware that absolutely everyone hates the person that asks questions/makes comments during presentations. I can guarantee you I will be silent.
I said long term wouldn’t be helpful, just short term. So I also would say somewhat agree and wish you let the rest go… Yes there are checklists telling pilots precisely what to do for emergencies and they shouldn’t deviate from them but there are other benefits to be an A&P (short term in GA), for example (going back to my mixture comment), last week we had a flight canceled due to an excessive mag drop. If spark plugs are failing it is a safety issue but 5ish minutes of running it leaned and the mag drop was fine, the spark plugs were just fouled… by students and (not including any of you in your previous positions) CFI’s that didn’t lean the mixture properly. That would not be the required amount of troubleshooting the student pilot or CFI would be expected to do but the student could have had a lesson that day and the instructor could have gotten that hour towards time building. I will agree with you that I should let things go and I could have stopped after the first paragraph of clarification but I don’t like being told I’m wrong so I like to explain my view…
Want to again say I respect all of you and your experience. And that I hope you’re all doing well with the airline industry currently limping along. You’re all great for helping out the future aviators on here get more accurate information and I wish you all the best.
I can tell you’re very passionate. Let’s agree to disagree. The pilots that don’t know how to lean or clean fouled sparked plugs should have been trained on that. It is something a pilot is expected to troubleshoot. Spark plug fouling is discussed in the POH and most schools have a checklist for it.
I am glad you find value in your A&P certificate. We recommend against students getting one for all of the reasons we stated and will continue with that stance, fouled mags or not.
I will say this, if you are going to make it in aviation (as a pilot), you are going to need to learn to be told that you are wrong. Pilots should strive on feedback, accept when they are wrong, learn from it, and apply it moving forward. In this case you have three airline pilots (all Captains) with a combined almost 40 years of airline experience telling you that being an A&P is no value to an airline career, or even to flight training, and you are still arguing the point. Just think on that for a bit.
Safe to say that pretty much sums up this conversation.
The original post (which you’ve hijacked because of the above statement) asks “Can an Aviation Mx Degree program help me become an AIRLINE pilot?”. Not a student pilot, not a Private pilot. With all due respect you’re not an airline pilot and frankly you’ve got quite a bit to do before you get even close to an interview yet you’re recommending your route?
I was graduating from 147 school for aviation maintenance school, now I am on 141 flights school
I already get the A&P License in 147 school spending 30k because I am an international students, now I am transferred to 141 school 4 years university the flight cost and tuitions fees need 130K