New Student Query

Hi! As I have 0 experience, I wanted to get thoughts on if a Cadet Program would be more beneficial or just applying with ATP in general. Are there any guaranteed positions after the CFI Phase?


Cadet programs can have benefits but since it’ll be a few years until you’re ready for an airline, I’d be reluctant to commit to any one program as things can and always do change. The airline offering the best deal today may very well not be tomorrow. That’s one of the many benefits of ATP. ATP has partnerships with virtually every airline in the US AND is also a partner school for most. By training with ATP you’ll have the opportunity to train but not be locked into any one program until you’re ready and can better weigh your options.

As for guarantees there are none in aviation. The reality is not everyone can or should be a pilot and frankly you might not be good at it. On a positive note, do well and behave as a professional and you will receive an offer for an instructor position.


Thanks Adam! I agree as not everyone should be a pilot nor will everyone be good at it. I have been doing some research on which flight school to attend and ATP is by far the number 1 on my list.


First and foremost, you’re looking at Cadet Programs when most of them require at least a PPL. It’s good to start looking, but don’t spend all your time looking when you could prepare for other things or build a quality resume to apply for a school like ATP.

As Adam mentioned, there are pros/cons to each Cadet Program, only you will be able to tell which Cadet Program (if any), is best for you. The majority of programs do offer financial incentives which might seem attractive; however, if money drives you, and you decide to leave after X months or prematurely than what’s written in the contract, you owe the money back (and if you don’t pay within the terms, there’s an extra fee). The industry changes rapidly and so do Cadet Programs, so it’s important you do your research, fairly regularly and see what has changed.

ATP does not promise you any positions after CFI Academy for numerous reasons, most of which aren’t in their control. If they offered everyone a position and wanted their instructors to fly an average of 80 hours a month, you can’t overload a location with instructors if the sample size of students isn’t large enough. There isn’t a guarantee that you will even be offered your first or second location right aways, but that’s why we say relocating is a possibility and should be considered. I know friends who relocated to locations rather than take the first opportunity with ATP that built their hours elsewhere much slower than I had, when I was instructing at ATP. Everyone’s situation is different.


Thanks Brady! I am aware of that and appreciate the feedback. I have been in contact with ATP today and I am looking to proceed with the program. Just was curious as there are soo many programs out there.