School/work balance

I have a physical exam scheduled for the end of the month, and I’m hoping to be able to secure the financing to start my path to becoming a pilot, with the program will there be time to work to make any money, are there work study programs, or will the program be so busy that I won’t have any time to have a job?


If you look at our FAQ section, read the ATP website, searched this forum or even browse the recent posts you’ll see this question gets asked almost on a daily basis (which frankly boggles my mind).

Long short, working (even a part-time side hustle), going to school (even part-time online), playing video games, hanging with your friends, taking care of your kids, partying, basket weaving, etc etc etc, basically ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that is NOT related to studying, preparing or training (for the program), or is an essential bodily function like eating and sleeping is HIGH DISCOURAGED.

Now (as I’ve said literally hundreds, maybe thousands of times), this is America and you can do whatever you like. BUT, as soon as the reality sets in that you’ve fallen behind and bust your first checkride it’ll be too late. ATP will not be sympathetic and you most likely won’t be able to catch up. You’ll be asked to leave the program and then you can go on other forums and bad mouth ATP and talk about how you were “screwed”, they were helpful, bla bla bla like so many others who didn’t heed the warning and tell stories about how you were almost an airline pilot for the rest of your days.

OR, you can understand and appreciate the fact that the reason so many people choose ATP is because you have the opportunity to EARN your licenses and ratings in short order BUT that accelerated pace comes at a price. The price is the program requires 100% of your time, focus and dedication.

Your decision.


If you need any extra living expenses, save what you’ll need or add it to your loan or both. Whatever you do, don’t work. The program is more than a full-time commitment.



The ACPP is a full-time commitment. I have seen students (even at my own training center) enroll and try to do some sort of work on the side and ultimately come to me admitting and ask for advice. You will want to devote your fullest commitment to the program if you want to be successful.

There was this other thread I mentioned about how the difference between an Academy/University and ATP Flight School. I primarily focused on the amount of time for completion of programs. Could I still work while studying at ATP? - Student Experiences - Airline Pilot Life

As Tory mentioned you could do two things: 1) Save money as an emergency fund or source of living or 2) Factor into a loan for living expenses, ATP has a financial calculator online to help figure the amount of funds and our Finance department is great.


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