Real Answers from Real Pilots

Is a 4-year degree required for the major airlines?

Hi there! I currently hold a 2-year college degree and wanted to know if there are other paths toward getting hired by the major airlines without having to go back to school? Thank you!

Adam,

Short answer is no. If you browse this forum you’ll see this question gets asked daily by people hoping for a shortcut to a career that pays over $350k. There isn’t. The Majors want a 4yr degree and there is no lack of qualified pilots with 4yr degrees so why should they lower their standard?

Adam

Thanks Adam. I searched the site but unfortunately did not find the answer, so thank you for taking the time to respond. I’m not exactly looking for a shortcut, just trying to avoid an additional expense if unnecessary. Thanks for letting me know that it is, in fact, necessary. Have a great day!

Adam,
Obviously we recommend getting your degree. But we understand everyone’s situation is different. If you get on with an American regional carrier with a flow, theoretically you could make it there without a degree. With the flow programs, you get accepted and don’t have a second interview with American, you simply flow through when your number is called. Now with that being said, it would be incredibly risky to base your whole career making it to a major by that one technicality. Or you could set your sights on the LCC. I would check with their recruiters but typically their eligibility requirements are lower than the legacies and don’t necessarily require a degree.
-Hannah

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Thank you Hannah, I really appreciate you taking the time to provide me with that information. Have a great night!