Hi my name is Thomas, I am new to this forum but I have been reading a lot of questions and answer’s on it for a while. Im 24 years old looking into possibly going to flight school and making my start in becoming a commercial pilot. Ive seen a lot of different opinions on this but Ill ask it anyway. I dont have a college degree, I have about 2 1/2 years into my bachelors degree but I left college about 7 months ago to move back to my home state. I have always wanted to become a pilot ever since I was a little kid, but I always believed that was sort of a pipe dream. If I go to flight school, become a flight instructor after I finish, my next step I would want to go after i get the 1500 hrs is take my career International, go fly in south america, or africa or the middle east or asia. So now to my question, without a bachelors degree is this a realistic proposition, or is this a pipe dream? I am not sensitive so please be brutally honest. Thanks.
If as you say “you’ve been on it (this forum) for a while” and have “seen a lot of different opinions” I’m not sure what different answer you’re looking for? That said I’ll give you my take.
First I’m not sure why you want to work seemingly every where but here? There’s a reason why pilots from everywhere else in the world all want to come here to fly but hey it’s your choice. First you should know that the US is currently the only country that has the 1500hr Rule so if you want to fly in Africa or South America you don’t necessarily need that. What you do need to do is narrow down which country you desire to fly in and find out their requirements. You should know that both the Mid East and Asia generally look for current airline Capts with a considerable amount of experience.
It’s not a pipe dream but definitely not the easiest route. If I were you I’d do my flight training, build my time, get hired HERE in the US flying for a Regional, while at the Regional I’d see if I couldn’t get credit for my licenses and ratings PLUS whatever college credits you already have and finish your degree online in min time, then try and get hired but a Major airline here in the US, make lots of money and live happily ever after. But if you’d rather get a bunch of shots for diseases we cured 100yrs ago, or fly for an airline with no seniority system or union protections where you could get fired for the slightest deviation then by all means. Again it’s your choice.
Btw, I have a friend who flies in China. He bought himself a lead vest for when he gets is medical. You see in China you get your flight physical at military hospitals that have 50+ year old X-ray machines. The first time he went they told him a vest was not necessary and he actually got burns on his chest. Good times.
Hey thanks for your response. Ive seen different opinions on flying for an international airline on weather they look for a college degree or not. Like I said I just wanted to get an opinion, and you have answered that. So thank you. So for me going international with whatever I do is one of my biggest goals in life, I’ve lived internationally as a kid and I’ve traveled through a lot of different “third world countries” and I want to become an ex-pat. And yes I know union protection is basically non-existence in those places I described. So basically what you’re saying is, get jet experience and then go international, or get jet experience, finish my degree and stay here and get a job at the majors here. Ok thank’s for answering! I appreciate it.
Wow, well that sucks for your friend. I guess china isnt about to out-do the US anytime soon.
I think you will find that not having a degree will hold you back, no matter what country you are in. As Adam said, I think you will find that jobs in developing countries are not all that they are cracked up to be. Every single pilot I know that has gone to a country like that to fly has very eagerly returned to the US.
I would focus on getting y9our licenses and hours, then continuing your education once you get hired at an airline.
Myself and the other mentors are all airline pilots. So, we’re going to be bias towards that.
I don’t know anyone personally that has flown for a foreign company. I’ve only heard, from my peers and from Chris and Adam, that’s it’s not what it’s cracked up to be, but to each their own.
It sounds like your main concern is about not having a degree and whether or not that is going to reduce your chances of fulfilling your ambitions to fly internationally. The first thing that comes to mind, like in most unfamiliar situations, is do some research on some companies that you are interested in. Most flying positions post the hiring minimums. I’d start there to get an idea and then start contacting these companies directly to get some confirmation. Keep in mind that the requirements could change by the time you’re ready to take a position. Having a degree to fall back on would be to your advantage.
Ok I appreciate the feedback everyone. I know for me Ive loved flying since the first time ive been in an airplane, and when I was 14 I got my dad’s friend who’s a captain for Air Canada to get into a flight simulator in toronto I fell in love with it. I put it on the backburner for years. I think getting my degree is something I will finish eventually, Im looking at ATP in Raleigh/Durham cause its pretty close to me and it looks like a pretty good option. What are yall’s opinion on ATP?
If you look up to the left of this webpage you will clearly see the ATP logo. This is ATP’s forum and all the mentors are successful alumni and former instructors. Suffice to say we’re somewhat biased and our “all’s” opinion is pretty high. We all did our research and concluded that ATP was the best route for us. We encourage you to do your own research and make your decision.
I went to ATP and was very happy with the school and my training there. That being said, not every school is right for every person. I suggest you do your research and ask lots of questions. If you check out the FAQ section, you will see that there is a list of questions that you can use there.