Career Change - Too Late?

I attended Embry-Riddle for two years from 86-88. My Dad’s business went under at the time so I wasn’t able to finish it off.
But I did get my private/instrument single engine and did take commercial pilot written exam and passed. I have about 300 hours. But since the internet came out I have been involved with the IT industry, I like it, but I want to do something that I love for a career. I am 49.
I have been told I’m still worth a good 16 years of flight time. I hear of doctors and lawyers in my age range switching careers as well…but will an airline hire me when I’m 50 after going through ATP?
Do airlines require a degree?
Where I am at with experience, will ATP be able to integrate me and get me current again while still being equal to everyone else in the class?

I am looking at flight schools, but ATP seems to keep popping up as the defacto standard in the industry for training.

Thanks for your time.



Check out the FAQ section for answers to your age and college questions.

ATP will start you either from scratch, or beginning with your instrument rating. Now, you obviously already have the rating, but it is so old that a refresher would be much needed. Heck, I haven’t flown for three months (due to surgery) and I feel like I need to go back to flight school.

Call and talk to the admissions department and ask how they would integrate you and get you up to speed. Don’t be surprised if they recommend a few lessons at a local flight to get you back to being current.



As Chris said, take a look at the FAQ section. But, just to be clear, you need to get current AND you need to build your flight time. What that means is if you’re 49 and you started TODAY, you’re looking at 2-2.5yrs before you’d be at a Regional. We’re not talking 50, we’re talking 51-52 which mean your career will be13-14yrs, not 16. Is it worth it? If you’d be happy at a Regional for that time then sure but if you aspire to fly a heavy around the world, with the possible exception of Atlas Air cargo, it’s probably not going to happen. It’s about being realistic about your goals.


Thank you Chris and Adam!