Real Answers from Real Pilots

College and Job Placement


I am currently a student at the University of Kansas studying French, Italian, and Spanish. I have always had an interest in becoming a pilot but have been scared away by the cost. I have thought about going to ATP after I graduate and do their Airline Career Pilot Program but I have a few questions in regards to the program and what happens after you finish it:

  • Can you describe the process in order to get one of the job placement agreements (particularly envoy)? Is it selective or do the majority of ATP students get an agreement?

  • Is it a good idea to complete my flight training after I graduate college?

  • Is there better opportunity at certain ATP centers? If so, which ones?

Overall I am worried about the cost and job placement opportunities. I want to make sure that I have a good understanding of the realities of doing the program and trying to obtain one of the job placement agreements.

Thank you,


Hi Anthony and welcome,

The initial outlay can be a little daunting, but the returns can far out weigh the investment. Ok lets answer your questions:

  1. Fairly simple. Once you have between 300-500hrs built as an ATP Flight Instructor ATP will arrange for an interview with the Regional(s) of your choice. While ATP students do get preferential interviews and ATP maintains agreements for those with the airline, understand that these are interviews and it’s ultimately up to you to secure a position. Right now the Regionals are very short on pilots and demand is very high. Provided you have no blemishes on your record (multiple checkride failures, DUIs or other criminal offenses) you should have no problem securing a position.

  2. I believe it is. While some people chose to get their 2yr degree, do their flight training and move on to a Regional and THEN complete their 4yr degree online, I personally believe if you’re currently in school you should just power through and complete your education. While going back later is an option, it can be challenging and some people fail to do so or delay their progress in the industry because of it.

  3. ALL ATP locations maintain the same standard of training and offer the same opportunities to all students.


Hey Anthony,

You are asking all of the right questions. I was in your position three
years ago. I went through ATP’s program and now I am a first officer for
Horizon Air.

I’ll ask you the same question someone asked me when I was thinking about
becoming a pilot. If it wasn’t about the money, what’s holding you back?
If your answer is nothing, then I think you know what to do.

To answer your questions, I suggest finishing college first. Having
college experience helps develop good study habits. You are going to need
those for flight training. Plus most major airlines require a four-year
degree. You’ll be ahead of the game.

The nice thing about ATP is that the entire program is standardized. There
will always be slight variances in teaching styles from one instructor to
the next, but every instructor at every location teaches the same
material. So I would put less emphasis on which location is “the best” and
more emphasis on where you want to live. Most training centers offer
housing if you need it. As far as opportunity is concerned, ATP is one
entity. Opportunity is not based on the location of the training center,
it’s based on the needs of the airline industry. And right now they need
pilots badly. Which leads me to your next question.

How easy is it to get a job with envoy? Let’s assume you have all of your
ratings and you meet all of the minimum requirements. If you’ve gotten that
far and you can show that you’re a good person with good critical thinking
skills any regional airline would hire you.

I know it all sounds too good to be true and maybe too easy, but everything
I’ve shared with you is reality. And I can tell you from personal
experience flight training is not easy, and we can only control so much.
Life can get in the way at any moment. I understand your skepticism. I’ll
leave you with that. I would love to answer any other questions you have.


Hello , im 15 and I’m doing my 11th grade. Is it necessary for me to complete my four year degree or can I finish my 12th and enroll into a piloting school?Thank you.


To enroll in ATP you will need two years of college or two years of work experience. Some flight schools will not require this, but ATP feels that the maturity that is gained from a few years of college is a good thing that helps the students succeed. You will absolutely need a four year degree to work for the major airlines, you will not need one to work for the regionals.