Real Answers from Real Pilots

Step by step pilot career

hey guys. i’m still confused about how the system works. so basically if i don’t get my bachelor degree, after finishing my pilot school, what jobs can i take and how far can it be? can i still operate a jet plane and don’t have a bachelor degree but have 1500 hours of flight. can you guys explain it step by step after finishing pilot school? thank you


You don’t need a bachelor degree to fly a jet, you can fly for the regionals or corporate without a BS, but you will need it if you want to fly for the legacy carriers(United, American, UPS, etc.)

can u explain by the term regionals?


Regional airlines like Envoy, Piedmont, Mesa, Republic, generally fly aircraft between 50 and 76 seats, while most mainline airlines fly aircraft with 100 seats or more. Because the aircraft have so few seats, the cost for mainline (network) airlines to operate them could make them uneconomical. Regional airlines instead operate these planes at costs that are more economical to fly. They generally don’t have some of the expenses that mainline carriers incur by virtue of flying larger aircraft. For example, ExpressJet doesn’t own any hangars that can house a 747, nor do they have the tools to work on massive 777 engines. Pilots and flight attendants generally start their careers at regional carriers and move up to mainline as openings become available. Regional airline flight crews and mechanics go through all of the same rigorous training as the mainline carriers. Some regional airlines are actually wholly-owned subsidiaries of the mainline carrier.

There are nearly 30 regional airlines in the United States. Smaller airplanes don’t necessarily mean smaller businesses. Some, like SkyWest and ExpressJet, are actually larger and have more aircraft than many airlines that fly larger planes. There are many ways their contracts to fly are negotiated, but in a nutshell, the mainline airlines like Delta pay regional airlines like ExpressJet to operate flights on their behalf. The way the regional airline gets paid by the mainline carrier is subject to the contract between the two airlines, which is often broken down into groups of aircraft. A regional carrier with 30 planes can have 3 sets of 10 planes, with each set operating under a different contract for the same mainline carrier.

The most noticeable difference to the passenger between a regional airline and a mainline airline is the size of the aircraft. In most cases, everything else will be the same: The aircraft will be painted in the mainline airline’s colors and will fly routes for that airline as if it were one of their own. The mainline carriers want passengers to experience the same product benefits on their regionals as they do on their mainline flights. There are now more regional jets with features like first class and Wi-Fi than there have ever been and the number continues to grow.

Without regional airlines, there would be hundreds (yes, hundreds) of cities that simply wouldn’t have air service. Smaller aircraft allow the airlines to fly to smaller cities and to have added schedule flexibility. Regional airlines have been an integral part of the air transportation network for decades and will continue to serve smaller cities well into the future.

ok thank you


I STRONGLY recommend you visit our FAQ section as well as just browsing the forum for posts that sound interesting.

While you can fly a jet without a degree, I can promise you when all your friends are getting hired and making 3X what you are you’re going to wish you had one.


1 Like

is it possible getting my bachelor after pilot school and get a job while doing my bachelor?

Absolutely! And many people do.


so which one of these path you rather choose, graduate high school-bachelor-pilot school, or graduate high school-pilot school-get a job as a regional pilot and get a bachelor.


IF you visited our FAQ as recommended you’d see we always recommend college first as you’re still in school mode and going back after you’re working can be a challenge.