Considering Career Choices

Hi there, I’m looking into changing careers and becoming a pilot. I’m still waiting on having a discovery flight, but in the meantime I’m hoping to get some more information.

First of all, I’m Canadian, and I do have flight school options here - would there be an advantage to getting training and certification in the United States as opposed to Canada? I know the vast majority of major airlines are US owned, and that Canadian and American licensing is different, but from what I’ve read from previous questions, it doesn’t much matter where you live when it comes to being hired.

I’ve also seen on here that major airlines much prefer to see a full degree. I have a diploma in accounting, but never completed my bachelor’s degree - does this hold any merit? Honestly, I realized accounting wasn’t what I wanted to do in my third year, and don’t have much interest in completing my degree in that particular field. I ended up getting college training in welding. This led me to my current job of 4 years, which first involved installing, then fabricating, and now measuring and doing shop drawings in AutoCAD. It was mentioned that a degree was seen as a sign of being able to commit - could my variety of skills and training be a disadvantage? Or could four years of college be seen positively, even if in multiple fields? Obviously I have career-hopped a little already, and should settle into something; I realize at 27, I’m not old, but not young enough to do too much more of it. I’m hoping aviation can be the exciting and interesting career I’m looking for!

Sorry for the novella, any insight or information would be greatly appreciated!


All the mentors on this forum are US pilots and I’m afraid our knowledge of training, hiring etc is very limited when it comes to Canada. What I can tell you is you want to work as a pilot in the US you MUST either be a citizen or gain permanent resident status and of course have US FAA licenses and ratings. In addition just to train you need to go through a very thorough background check.

While most Majors don’t implicitly “require” 4yr degrees, they are absolutely desired. While getting hired at Regionals is fairly easy these days the Majors are still very competitive hence the 4yr degree (not simply 4yrs of college) is really something you’d want to have.



You will need to be either a full US citizen or permanent US resident to work in the United States as a pilot. With that in mind, I would decide which country you want to work in, then train there.

You will need to complete your bachelor’s degree if you want to work for a US major.

Let us know what other questions you have.