Real Answers from Real Pilots

How to become a Pilot?

Hi guys, Where should I start to be a pilot? I’m 15 years old and I’m curious of becoming a Pilot. I want to learn more in advance to be a professional one. I know that I’m too young to ask this question but I want to prepare myself. I really need to learn more and I have a lot of questions to ask.

Joseph,

Best thing you can do at your age is work/study hard, do well in high school and then go to a good college and earn a degree. THEN you can start your pilot training. That said the attached link (written by me) should give you an idea:
https://airlinepilot.life/t/how-do-i-become-an-airline-pilot/10891

Adam

1 Like

Thank you sir! How I wish I could be a successful one

Joseph,

Work hard, keep focused and don’t fall into any foolish teen behavior and you’ll be successful in all your endeavors. YOUR future is in YOUR hands young man :slight_smile:

Adam

1 Like

Will do sir! :slightly_smiling_face: I appreciated it.

Joseph,

The best thing that you could do now is to do well in school and then get yourself into a reputable college. There really isn’t much that you can specifically do right now at your age.

After college, I recommend that you go to a school that offers accelerated flight training.

Chris

1 Like

Hello! I’m currently getting ready to start college and I chose Aviation as my program to study, is this the right start or do I need to take a different course? Thank you!

David,

Please take a look at the FAQ section as your questions are addressed there.

I am a freshman at IU Bloomington, do you recommend I finish my college degree first and then go to flight school? Or better start flight school early, I am 18 now, and finish my college degree online? Thanks

Julia,

We ALWAYS recommend people finish their educations first. You’re already in “school mode” and it’s infinitely easier to stay there than to get back after you’ve left. Second while you may believe you want to be a pilot until you’re actually doing the training and see whether you have an aptitude and find it enjoyable, you won’t really know. It’s always a good idea to have a Plan B as a backup in case things to work out either by choice or circumstance. You’re 18, you’ve got plenty of time.

Adam

Thank you Adam.

Julia,

I am with Adam on this one. Finish your degree, then go to flight training. It wouldn’t hurt to take a few flying lessons along the way though to see if this is something that you really want to do.

Chris

Hi! I am currently 17 years old and have found a passion for aviation. My goal of course is to become a commercial pilot. I have been looking at my options for achieving this goal. Right now I am leaning toward finishing high school first. I am a straight A student and will have my associates degree by the end of high school. I come from a lower middle class family so college and flight school is on me. I am able to manage work fairly well and am concidering ATP flight school after I graduate high school. My plan is to instruct to reach my 1500 hours and then begin working at a regional airline. During my instructing and regional airline time I plan on continuing my degree by getting my bachelors in business online. (This way I have a back up plan if things go south) By doing this I will be gaining experience in large aircrafts and will be acquiring my bachelors so I am able to eventually work for a major airline. I know seniority is a huge deal in the industry so I want to get to the airlines as quick as possible and am willing to work a little extra to do so. Also this way I feel like I will be able to pay off my ATP loan faster and won’t be spending much on college because of how cheap online college can be. Now this may be my plan but I know you guys are the ones that have succeeded in achieving my goal. I am wondering if this plan is worth pursuing or could work? Thank you for your time! Any advice will help!
Ben

Benjamin,

While yes seniority is important, finishing your education is more so. I’m glad you’re “leaning towards finishing high school” since no one will hire you (Regional or Major) without a HS diploma. We always encourage people to finish their education first. While online study is can be less expensive, many find it challenging while working. Also even with you’re training completed and 1500hrs you cannot be hired before 21. I’d consider finishing your 4yr degree first.

Adam

1 Like

Ben,

Sounds like you’ve been doing your research. Only feedback I have for you is that I think you will find it to be very difficult to be a CFI and be enrolled in college at the same time. I would either earn your degree before flight school or after you’ve made it to a regional.

Tory

1 Like

Thanks for the quick response Tory. Is finishing a bachelors degree while flying for a regional an uncommon approach? Also, when applying for a major would having an online college degree put me at a disadvantage?

Adam, thank you for your input. I have a few more questions if you don’t mind answering them. When you attended ATP did you have to take out a loan? I read you were an instructor as well so did this help pay back your loan? What was your life like as an instructor for ATP?
Thanks

Benjamin,

Yes I took out a loan (most people have to). I didn’t start paying back the loan until I was hired at a Regional. I was allowed to defer the payments but you continue to accrue interest so that’s not the best idea fiscally. Fortunately now many of the Regionals are offering Tuition Reimbursement which helps tremendously.

For the most part life was good as an instructor. It definitely made me a better pilot and when I had enthusiastic students it was good fun. Only thing I didn’t enjoy were the few students who would show up, usually unprepared, and say I paid my money, make me a pilot". Doesn’t work that way.

Adam

Obtaining a degree while at a regional is actually more common than you’d think. Not easy, but doable with enough self discipline.

Majors airlines view 4 year degrees as 4 year degrees. Where the degree was obtained from doesn’t matter. Just make sure the online college is accredited.

Tory

Dear pilots question here …

I didn’t go to any school here in us, all I did was getting my AA backing where I come from which is IRAN. So base on Adam’s statement no regional or other airline will hire without HD or any degree what it will be in my case if I go through ATP and then what Are the chances for me in this business should I have to be worried about getting hired or not???

Thanks for any response