Researching ATP and FAA


My name is Tim, I am 21 years old. I have about 25 hours with 5 of them being solo, half of my private pilot (EASA) exams passed and a BSc in Pilot Studies :flight_departure:. I am from Ireland :raising_hand_man: BUT WAIT! :stuck_out_tongue: I know ATP does not accept international students anymore (which is a bummer) but my partner (US Citizen) are debating on living in the US or EU for the future. I know their won’t be a lot of info or pros for the EASA/EU training here.

So if we pick the US :us: we will probably end up in Arizona. For me getting the Green Card it could take a few months :disappointed_relieved: but am wondering can I start training with ATP as I should get my green card before id be able to get the CFI job. (Estimated time to get a green card in my case is 4-7 months).

Just a question about the placements on the ATP website. When you click on one of the students that have got a job and it says ‘Fixed Cost’ is that what they paid for training? If so how did some of them get it for so cheap!? Also is the ‘initial airline placement’ how long it took them to get that job from the start of training?

Lastly, does anybody have any opinion if I should go FAA and live in the US or EASA and stay in Europe in the view of Exam/Training difficulty, Training cost, job opportunities ect!

Thanks in advance from across the pond! :raising_hand_man::ocean:


First you’d have to check with ATP admin but i don’t believe they will allow you to start without your Green Card (in case there’s an issue) but you’d have to ask. Also know you need to do a TSA background check before training as well.

The fixed cost can vary due to when they did the program (there have been s few increases over the last few years) also whether they came in with their Private license or not. Also the time to get hired can vary as well but the average seems to be 2.5yrs from start to Regional job.

As for your last question I literally just heard a presentation from the President of the I-Alpa (the Irish pilot union). He basically spent an hour telling us how fortunate we are to have the protection and laws we have in the US vs the UK and the rest of the EU. Really frightening stuff regarding pay, work rules, etc… Based on what he said I doubt I’d even become a pilot if I had to fly there.



Whichever continent you want to work on is the one I would train at.


Thanks for the reply Adam!

Guessing your talking about the Ryanair threats?

Also thanks to Chris for your reply too!

I find myself playing a game of pros and cons that seem to endlessly go on :stuck_out_tongue: :persevere:

I like that in the EU you can pretty much go straight into a major airline out of training but also I have heard that the EASA exams are very difficult and haven’t heard how difficult the FAA exams are.

I would also like a change of scenery and the US has always applied to me.

My point of view is that there is no point of doing the training in the first place if you don’t get a job after. Do you have the number of students who graduated ATP number and the about of ATP student graduates who got a job within a year or 2 after having sufficient hours?

Also is there an estimate how long would you be in a regional airline before a major airline offer?


Yes I’m talking about RyanAir but there are others. While the EASA provides an “umbrella” for certification, apparently each country has it own sanctioning body and duty, rest and labor laws vary considerably from country to country.

As for the exams, while I’ve never taken them I have seen them and frankly the 14 required EASA exams make ours look like a joke.

Not sure the actual percentage as some students chose to not instruct with ATP and we don’t know their fate. That said ATP has placed over 600 in the last year alone. More important, in case you hadn’t heard, there’s a HUGE pilot shortage at the Regionals and if you have the licenses, rating and time (and of course no major blemishes on your record) you will receive more job offers than you can handle. Getting to a Major however is a different story. The shortest I’ve heard is a year, the longest is never. Average seems to be 5-7yrs but again there are no guarantees. Flying for a Major airline is the pinnacle of our profession in the US. You will need a 4yr degree to be competitive and then it comes down to building time and experience, networking, how well you interview and yes some good fortune. While yes it may be easier to get to a Major in Europe, I don’t believe they’re paying their pilots $350k either.



I do not know specific numbers on graduates moving onto the airlines, but I can tell you that in today’s hiring environment, the vast majority are.

I am with Adam on the majors. 5-7 years seems to be a good average, but results vary greatly.