How does flying with the air force affect getting hired

Hello I am currently a jr in highschool and I am trying to become a pilot in the air force and eventually a pilot for a commercial airline. I was just wondering how the air force academy and flying with the air force affects hiring and if it increases my chances. I would also like to know what you guys think is the best route for becoming a pilot ?


Military service is of course admirable and if you want to serve your country and fly for the Airforce then by all means you should explore that route. However if your goal is to simply fly for the airlines there are most definitely more direct routes.

Flying slots are not easy to come and once (and if) you earn one the Airforce requires a fairly long commitment and that’s after earning your degree. Further being an Airforce pilot will not make you any more hireable than the civilian route.


Hey Adam

   Thank you for your response, I do want to serve and I am not just doing it to get to the airlines. Out of curiosity what are the best routes that are civilian? I have herd civilian routes are long and general very expensive to get to a airline.

Hi Charlie, please also keep in mind that other branches fly (Go Navy). As you consider your career just keep that in mind.
The Navy and Air Force may fly different types of air craft that the other doesn’t. Just food for thought, all the best and good luck!!!

  • Joe


There’s no question that flight training is expensive but the civilian route is much shorter than the military route and you’d end up literally making considerably more in the long run.

If you started both after college you could be at an airline in about 2.5yrs. The military will take you at least 6.


Isn’t the military commitment ten years for flight training now? I believe it used to be six, but was increased a few years ago.

Ya I forgot about other branches I will look into that

Even though I do want to fly for a airline eventually my main point is to serve and I definitely want to fly for the military first. Just out of curiosity would you still be able to make a good amount with that late of a start?

I will have to look into it more but I think I herd about them increasing the time. I don’t remember by how much though.


You certainly could but the thing to remember is pilots have a finite amount of years they can fly. The longer you wait the less years you have at the top making the top wages. This can equate to $3-400k a year.


With this being said, it shouldn’t quite matter what time or income you could lose out on. If you’re first goal is to serve, then that’s the route for you. Once you’ve satisfied that goal, you can look forward to the next one, becoming an airline pilot in the most efficient path.

Keep in mind, flying in the armed forces is incredibly competitive and you may not make the cut to fly. Make sure your desire to serve is not just in an airplane. Depending on the outcome, you’ll have a different path to the airlines. Best case scenario, you get selected for flying and your training is done in the military. You would qualify for R-ATP mins and it would look great on a resume. However, if you don’t fly, you can enroll in a fast track program like ATP upon completion of your service.