Real Answers from Real Pilots

Cost of ATP over the years?

Hello,

I’m (25M) currently a School Bus driver and, after much consideration, have decided to attend ATP.

Therefore, in order to pay for ATP, I’m moving back in with my folks and starting a new job as a truck driver. I’ll work as a trucker for the next 2 years and save up $90k to pay for ATP.

Like flying planes, I want to have the experience/skill of driving large trucks. Therefore, my plan is simple; Get experience/qualified to drive tractor trailers, save up money to avoid debt, give the airline industry a couple more years to recover from COVID, and all the while making sure this is something I really want to do. Worst case scenario I’ll decide not to attend, have 2 years of trucking experience, $90k in the bank, and be 28 years old.

Once I start ATP, I’ll be able to use my trucking qualifications/experience to work part-time on weekends, which will earn me more than enough to live comfortably during the 2 years of ATP.

The current cost of the program is $84k, but I’m curious of how much the cost has risen over the last decade or two. If the cost rises while im trucking, I’ll just extend my plans, but I am curious of its historical pricing so that I can anticipate changes.

Leon,

I believe when I was enrolled in 2014 the price was about $65k.

Don’t forget about other costs that are not included like headset, iPad, kneeboard, checkride fees…these are all listed on ATP’s website.

If you haven’t already, you need to take an intro flight to make sure that this is something that you really want to do, no matter how sure you are. Without real experience it’s just a fascination with an idea.

Tory

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Tory,

Wow, nearlly $20k in 7 years, that’s just shy of over $2800/year increase! I’ll plan for the program costing about $90k 2 years from now, so I’ll save about $95k.

I knew there would be more expenses, which is why I rounded $84k to $90k. I’ll look into more precisely how much those additional expenses will be and adjust for it. Thanks for the heads up!

Also, yes I did attend a discovery flight earlier this month. It was great, first time jitters for sure, but the trainer was awesome and we had some fun going weightless and doing various maneuvers. More than anything, I enjoy teaching, so im excited to be in the position of CFI.

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Leon,

I just want to point out that if you choose the FastTrack program (which is what I assume you’re talking about when you say 2yrs, 9mos training plus time building) you would not be able to drive part-time on weekends. ATP is a full time commitment and IF you have any downtime on weekends it’s for studying and resting. While ATP can’t prevent you from working experience has shown that many who do struggle and are often unsuccessful. Busting more than a couple of checkrides can seriously derail your career.

Further if you choose to instruct for ATP they do not permit any outside employment as the students who invested their hard earned money into the program (as you will) deserve your full attention and availability.

Adam

Adam,

This is great info, definitely a big change to my plans. Thanks a bunch! If this is the case, I already have a years worth of living expenses saved, so I’ll use them during my training.

Any idea what the pay would be for CFI at ATP? The site gives broad ranges, but I’m curious of some real-life numbers. I’ll probably save up some extra living expenses before I stop trucking, but want to get some numbers to play with ahead of time while im still early in my plan.

Leon,

I made $20k/yr, not including Tuition Reimbursement. I averaged 60 flight hours per month. The average flight time is about 75.

Tory

Leon,

The site shows a range because obviously it can vary with enrollment, season etc. I believe the average is in the mid $20ks.

Adam

The cost has also gone down over the years. When I attended in 2013 it was $5k more than Tory’s price a year later.

There’s a good chance I may be off by $5k too

I think you were correct. Shortly after my time there, program cost dropped quite significantly and they allowed for a lower multi time program. We didn’t have the choice when I went through - it was only the 100 hr multi option. Mine was $69,995 and I believe it dropped as low as $59,995 at one point (I could be wrong here though, but I know it was much lower than mine).

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I didn’t have the option either but now that you mention it I do remember when that change was made.

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$60k, that’d speed up my 2-3 year plan to just over 1 year!

Fingers crossed that COVID shorted the student count for long enough that they’ll lower tuition in response. For now, I’ll continue planning for the worst but hoping for the best!

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