Real Answers from Real Pilots

High School Airline Path

I am currently a sophomore in high school and my goal is to become an airline pilot. Because of all the different ways to do this I was wondering which way would be the best and what I could start doing right now to help get a head start. Would a college aviation degree be better than ATP flight school or going to a different flight school and if so which California colleges offer the best program. Thank you!


First and foremost we don’t recommend aviation colleges or degrees. The airlines neither desire or require aviation degrees. Further they offer no backup should flying not work.

Second we recommend college newhire flight school. The Major airlines want a 4yr degrees and it’s simply best to continue your education now while you’re young. After you graduate we then recommend an accelerated training program like ATPs.

This is ATPs forum and all the mentors are successful grads who now fly for the airlines, so yes, we recommend ATP.

I also recommend you visit our FAQ section where we answer this and many other common questions.


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I am with Adam on this, I am not a fan of university aviation programs. They tend to be very expensive, take a long time, and do not give you any backup plan in life.

Check out this link: College Credit for Airline Career Pilot Students / ATP Flight School


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