Hours or Degree?

From what I read, your choices are to get an associate’s degree and fly for small airlines or get a bachelor’s and fly for a Big airline.
Question 1) Will ATP give me an associate’s degree or only flight certifications.
2) Will big airlines hire me if I have flight experience instead of a Bachelor’s if so How many years of small airlines experience will I need


Then you need to do some more reading. Its not a matter of big vs small, it’s about Regional vs Major (there are some very large Regionals and small Majors). Regional airlines basically fly smaller jets domestically and salary tops out at around $100k. Majors fly large and small aircraft both domestically and worldwide and salaries go up to $400k (yes 4 times as much. To answer your questions:

  1. No. ATP is a flight school not a college or university and therefore cannot offer you a degree.

  2. No. Major airlines want 4yr degrees period. There is no substitute for that requirement.

I recommend you visit our FAQ section. You’ll find the answer to these and many other common questions.



The regional airlines generally do not require a four year degree while the majors do.

ATP is a flight school, they will help you earn your pilot certificated. The legacy major airlines almost exclusively hire pilots with four year degrees, although there some exceptions for smaller majors like Spirit or Frontier.

I would strongly encourage you to consider getting a degree as it will really enhance your career aspects down the line.


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Please visit our FAQ section as it has a ton of information on the topics you’ve brought up. To answer your question in short, ATP is a flight school that provides you the ability to earn all your pilot certificates, not any form of degree. The degree you must complete on your own. You need a bachelors degree by the time you’re applying to the majors. We recommend you finish out your degree while at the regionals if you don’t have it yet and want to get going with flight training. If you’re young, you can go ahead and finish it first and then start your training but either way you need it or you will be severely limited in your career options.