Real Answers from Real Pilots

School advice/questions

So I’m young and very into aviation. I’m ready to do my next step towards doing what I love. I have been reading up on these forums about some real questions people have. Most of the airline pilots on here are talking about ATP and the accelerated program. So if I chose to do that what would be my options after? I believe you have to have a Ba degree to become an airline pilot and so that would mean I would have to do school after ATP which in term would be even more debt. I’m also debating on embry riddle and that’s going to be quite a bit of money. I’m stuck in the middle and need some advice. The military is the same way. They hire officers for flight slots which in term to be an officer you need a ba at a university with ROTC. I know the regionals arrant so picky on ba degrees but I’d like to make it to the big airlines one day. Thanks for reading this and I’m curious on what I’ll hear from y’all.


First off we always recommend the degree first. As you said your young and much can happen between now and you getting hired by an airline. Having a degree will not only help you in your airline career, but in other careers and the military as well. Once you complete your education, then is the time to start your flight training.



To begin with, your first step should be to take an introductory flight. It is one thing to think that you like the idea of being a pilot, it is quite another to climb into a little airplane and actually fly it. You can sign up for an intro flight at ATP or just about any other flight school out there.

As for the degrees, being an airline pilot is a job that can potentially pay $300k or more per year, the major airlines want to see a college degree before they agree to pay those kinds of wages and hand that level of responsibility to somebody.

After completing ATP’s program, or any other program, you need to build 1,500 hours of flight time. The vast majority of people do this by flight instructing.

Please take a look at our FAQ section as there is a lot of information there that you will probably find helpful.