Question About Work

Hi All, nice to e-meet you all here on the forum. My name is Michael, I’m 36, I live in Phoenix, AZ, I’m currently working in Hotel Finance. I’m looking to change my high rise office view for an even higher office view! My intro flight is scheduled for this Sunday and I am totally amped up for it!

I’m definitely quitting my day job so I can commit to the career pilot program as it’s intended. Now for the “But” because we all have one, right?

I teach an accounting class at a local community college about 15 min from the Scottsdale ATP location. It’s for eight weeks in the spring and fall semesters, Wednesday nights from 6:30pm to 9pm. Hardly anything to grade since all the homework is online. So this is all just in-person lecture time.

So the question is, do you think I’d be able to teach this one class while in the program? I’ve already committed to teaching for the next year, but don’t want to delay starting the program with ATP. I’m pretty sure class would be over when the three week cross country phase would commence.



I’m going to start this off with an apology as you really don’t deserve to be the recipient of my frustration. That said there literally must be at least a thousand posts from people asking if they can work during the program and our answer is and shall always be this: the AIRLINE CAREER PILOT PROGRAM is a highly accelerated program that takes years worth of learning and compresses it into months. It requires 100% commitment and many struggle with the pace. While no one can stop you from working (that includes full-time, part-time, online, only on full moons in Leap Years, etc etc etc etc etc etc), WORKING DURING THE PROGRAM IS HIGHLY DISCOURAGED AND NONE OF THE MENTORS ARE EVER GOING TO GIVE YOU OUR BLESSING TO DO SO EVER! SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO WORK YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN PERIL.

I know there are people out there that have worked and been successful but I promise you there are far more who have failed miserably costing themselves money and more importantly their careers. If you’ve got a checkride scheduled for Thurs and Weds night you still need help but you’ve got work that’s a problem and it’s on YOU.

Again I apologize but you’re right, everybody has a “BUT” and as always this is America and you can do as like. The most critical skill every pilot must possess is the ability to make good decisions. If/when you’re out flying the line there will be countless opportunities to make decisions and most will have a “but” factor. Trust me when things go south and you’re standing in front of the Chief Pilot or FAA, but is the last thing they want to here.


I appreciate your frankness. Sorry to frustrate you. I recall seeing on another thread that the CFIs were able to make some accommodations to student’s schedules when booking the week. That’s why I asked.


Please don’t apologize and it def wasn’t you that frustrated me. It’s a valid question. Thing is (as I said) everyone seems to be looking for an exception, a but, or a “my situation is different” dispensation. There’s no way we’re going to, in good conscience, give anyone the green light to do anything other than eat, sleep, go to the bathroom or study during the program.

ATP is hard, like Jeopardy hard. Now maybe you’re Ken Jennings but maybe you’re the guy that doesn’t get to play in Final Jeopardy because your in the negative :slight_smile:


1 Like


Those situations are the exception, not the norm, and all did so knowingly that it was against ATP’s strong recommendation not to.

Just for comparison I wish we had a record of every person that tried to work during the program and failed, but we don’t. It’s not hard to imagine why people don’t want to disclose that.

I thought I could work as a server on the weekends. I think I was able to manage the workload for about a month, two max. I quickly realized that it was impossible. I missed one lesson because I couldn’t get my shift covered. It wasn’t even an eval or a checkride, just a lesson. Then I received a phone call from the Training Center Supervisor, warning me of all the things that we warn students about on this forum. I quit my job that same day.

I shouldn’t have even tried in the first place, but I did.

The point I’m trying to make is that while working during the program may be possible on some days, it isn’t sustainable which is why we don’t recommend it. Everyone reaches a point where they must choose between training or their job or sleep because they are too tired from trying to juggle both.

It really is best to avoid it altogether.


1 Like

Unless you have “generational wealth”, most people have huge reservations about quitting their job and tacking on a hefty loan. The idea of working while in the program is just a false sense of security. It’s more to make yourself feel better about the financial risk but you’re trading that for your success in the program. You can’t have both. From great risk comes great reward. You have to believe in your dream and commit yourself to doing whatever it takes to achieve it.