Choosing to switch into an Airline Pilot Career from an unrelated career

Hello, I wanted to ask about the logistics and viability of switching careers from working in pharmaceuticals as a scientist to becoming an airline pilot with zero experience and training in the latter.
I am 21 years old, a newly graduated student who majored in Biology and Psychology, and I am currently working and saving up money to potentially make this decision. I have been considering switching careers near the end of my senior year and being a pilot really peaked my interest. I have always loved traveling and one of my own personal goals since I was a child was to have my own piloting license.
So with that, what is the path I would have to take to get to become a commercial airline pilot? What flight schools would you recommend? I am currently looking at ATP flight school and would like some input on whether that would be the best choice. And what are loans/financial aspects of supporting this plan like? And any other advice would be great! Thank you!


First of all you just graduated so you really aren’t switching careers. You’re 21 and haven’t started any career as of yet.

As for the process it’s outlined very well on the ATP website and in our FAQ question. Full disclosure, if you look up to the left you’ll clearly see the ATP logo. This is ATPs forum and all the mentors are successful grads who have gone on to become airline pilots. We’re not salesmen but we were all with in the same position you’re in and after doing our research we decided that ATP was the best route (and still do). You should do your own research but if you’re asking there simply is no better more efficient route to a career in the airlines. ATP has been training pilots for the airlines for almost 40yrs and has had almost 1200 students hired in the last 12mos alone.



As Adam said, we are all graduates of ATP and thus our experience is with them. However, we all are huge fans of their program and recommend it not just because of our own success, but what we have seen in others as well.

Loans are absolutely part of the process, check out the information that is available here: Flight Training Loans / ATP Flight School

As for advice, this forum is full of it. I recommend you spend some time reading the FAQ section as there ia a ton of good information there.