Full Time Worker

Hello everyone! I have been into avitation almost all my life. I regret not following my gut and starting with aviation sooner. I am 24 years old, work full time, and take part time online college classes. I have looked into ATP and see that it is probably not my best option as I will basically have to quit my job to study at ATP. I cannot afford to lose my job to study, as it will just put me in more debt than I already am. What options can I take? I really want to pursue a pilot career but having a 9-5 job seems like its just making it impossible for me to get into this career. I would greatly appreciate any advice!


You are correct in that to attend ATP, you cannot have a full time job. Most people in your position do quit their jobs, but take out additional money on their loans for the cost of living while they are a student.

Your other option is to go to a small, local flight school and train as you can on evenings and weekends. I will warn you though that this is a very inefficient way to train and usually leads to training taking way longer than should and costing much more than it can when training in an accelerated program. The military and airlines all train by flying almost everyday, most successful flight students do the same.



Obviously you could go the local flight school route and train in weekends. Problem is that for rarely works. Flight training isn’t easy nor is it cheap and if you aspire to be a professional it’s not something to do casually.

While I understand you may need to wait till you’re in better shape financially, training full-time is really the only way to guarantee success.


Thank you @Chris , @Hannah, and Adam (couldnt tag you) for your answers and will surely look more into local flight schools and more into the ATP Flex-Track. As much as I would like to tackle this full time, at this current time its not an option for me. One question I did have on the Flex-Track for ATP that I havent heard back from is, is Flex-Track still only for day time training? Or this can also be done in the evening? I work Mon-Fri 9Am to 5PM and understand consitancy is key for successful training. I know I will dedicate all my free time after work or weekends to finish the training, as I take studies very seriously, especially with a high tuition.


I don’t think it’s wise to work full-time while also attempt flight training. If flight training is not more of a priority then work or life will always take precedence and flight training will take a backseat. I’ve seen this time and time again. I understand the need to make money, but if this is something that you really want then you need to find a way to train full-time. Whatever it takes, whether it be saving for a few years or including a living stipend in your student loan or make budget cuts or all of the above.

I know it’s a tough decision. I wish that aviation was more accessible, but the fact is that aviation is just very expensive and it is difficult to convince an airline, for example, to invest in someone before that person has proven that they actually have what it takes to complete all of their ratings successfully. Thus, the expenses are the responsibility of the student.



Thank you for your advice. It definetly looks like I will have to delay pursuing a pilot career until I can figure out how to afford it. I have thought about taking out a loan to cover some living expenses and the school but im afraid I wont get accepted. Thanks again.


You won’t know until you try