Planning out my pilot career.. i need help!

First of all, i want to thank you for reading & i would appreciate everyones input as it’ll help me decide how i will start my career…

I’m 23years old and i want to start my career as pilot. After seeing my friend graduate from embry riddle and becoming an instructor, i was convinced that pilot is a pretty cool job and i wanted to give a hard shot at it.
So to explain my situation, i don’t have a 4year degree (did not graduate college), as i was busy working, making money as a waiter. I know someone already asked if bachelor’s degree was necessary so i will skip that question. ( i eventually want to be a captain anyway so i would like to obtain both.)

So what i really needed was some help on planning out how i’m going to finish flight school and obtain my licenses + bachelors degree most efficiently in terms of TIME.
i really don’t want to spend 4years in college and start flying when i’m 27… i really want to find a way around this because my friend told me the faster i get in, the better so i want to start flying right away.
but also don’t want to get stuck in the middle because having no college degree when I’m becoming an instructor -> regional, or regional -> first officers. Or going from First officers -> Captain later down the road.
I know to be competitive captains definitely need bachelors. But do First Officers require Bachelors degree also? or associates? or regional airline pilots need any degree at all??

I know i can obtain associates in about 0.5-1year. it’ll take me 3-4years for a bachelors.
I know there can be a lot of variables but i’m sure experienced pilot like you guys know someone who’s been in my situation. so PLEASE help :slight_smile: thank you so much

You can put your degree off until you get to a Regional, and work on your
degree online as an FO.



First off you’re mistaken. Not sure where you got your info but you do not need a degree to be a Capt. You need a 4yr degree to fly for a Major airline but the Regionals require none for any position. Nor is there any competition to become a Capt. When your seniority is high enough for you to hold a Capt slot you’ll bid it, be awarded it and them have to complete training. There’s no interview or competition to upgrade.

Now while I always recommend people complete their educations first you have to do what’s best for you. Problem is if you’re really interested in being expeditious that means an accelerated program like ATPs and ATP requires either a 2yr degree OR a Private Pilots license. They’ll actually consider “equivalent” work experience but I don’t believe being a waiter will qualify (you’d need to call and ask?). So in your case that means earning your Private on your own, completing flight school for the rest of your licenses and ratings, then building the required 1500hrs as an Instructor and finally getting hired at a Regional. While at the Regional you can earn your 4yr degree online but you do need to know that takes a tremendous amount of discipline and commitment. Not everyone is successful.


Thank you Mr.Tory !