I am starting at a young age, 13

I am 13 and and aspiring pilot. There are just a few things that I am still not fully clear about. (I have not been enrolled into ATP flight school or any other yet, I am just researching)

  1. Am I able to start at this age? What are the pros and cons?
  2. Do I need a degree in college?
  3. At which point do I finish with ATP? Meaning what point will I be at in my career when I am done with ATP flight school? What is after ATP?

(Off-topic)4. Will I be able to choose which plane I want to fly?

Thank you in advance!


While I appreciate your eagerness to start, you’re really too young as you can’t even get a student pilots license till you’re 16. Really the best thing you can do is study hard and do well in school. Grades matter. You could also look into the Civil Air Patrol. They’re actually like the scouts accept with aviation and have some great opportunities for young people interested in aviation (https://www.gocivilairpatrol.com). Now to your questions:

  1. As I said above not much. Further success in flight training is dependant on consistency which is why the airlines and military train daily. Until you can do that it’s really counterproductive.

  2. Yes. The Major airlines all want a 4yr degree so you will need to get one.

  3. Ideally you’ll go to ATP after you graduate college. After you’re done training with ATP you’ll need to build the required 1500hrs minimum to get hired at an airline. The most common method is to flight instruct.

  4. I’m assuming you mean after you’re hired at an airline? If that’s correct, kind of. If there’s a plane you want to fly first you need to get hired at an airline that flies that plane. Then you’ll need to bid for and once you’ve been at the airline long enough you’ll eventually get to the plane you want. Also know as you mature you’ll realize that’s becomes less and less important.


Thank you Adam.
What exactly do the scouts do?

Does it matter what I study in college?


They’re not scouts, they’re cadets. I included a link. Take a look and do a little reading.

While the airlines want a degree, they really don’t care what you major in. Study something you like and might want to do if flying doesn’t work out.


Thank you so much for your help adam, safe flights!