Time Commitment

Hello y’all!

I had no idea what category to put this question in. I’ve been wondering, what is the average time commitment each day as a student? 9a.m -5p.m type thing with exceptions for night flights or what? I am a competitive swimmer, my practices are generally 5:45 a.m or 6 p.m, and I’m wondering if I’m still swimming when I start if that would be fine for the most part?

Thank you,


The answer to this question mostly depends on your study discipline, time management, and your priorities. ATP would like you to spend a typical 8-5 studying each day according to their program outline. But if your number one priority is your training and you put the time in each day to study, you’ll still have some free time. So you should try and find time each day for exercise and relaxation, but you won’t be able to stick to a routine time schedule. You can expect your daily schedule to vary each day and you could find yourself in the early sunrise time slot or the late sunset time slot (and it could even change several times during the day for weather, maintenance, etc…). This includes both weekdays and weekends. You just have to be open and flexible to the schedule that your instructor organizes. Not saying you can’t swim competitively, but understand that you might need to miss practices/competitions for flight training if you are set on this being your career. To give you my personal experience, I played competitive soccer throughout high school and college, but once I started flight training, and even now at an airline, I couldn’t commit to being on a team due to my constantly changing schedule! I still find time to play for fun/exercise though.

I hope this helps!



Are you competing in a collegiate program or just a competitive program in your free time? If it’s a collegiate program, you absolutely can’t do ATP while in college. If it’s a recreational program, I am a former collegiate athlete used to practice every day and sometimes twice a day as well as an ATP graduate. I don’t recommend you do both because one will suffer.

ATP runs from sunrise to sunset, 7 days a week with the exception of some required night flights throughout the program. It has to come first to everything else in your life because there will be last minute changes due to weather, aircraft availability, etc. If you repeatedly can’t make it to scheduled events or show up unprepared, you will get behind and potentially fall out of the program. It’s a huge financial commitment. Don’t risk your success trying to juggle two things at once.

Feel free to check out the student experiences section here to get a realistic expectation of what it takes to get through the program on a day to day basis:



ATP requires a 100% commitment to be successful, period. There will be days when you can swim but they’ll also be many when you can’t. They’ll be days you need to be at the airport at the crack of dawn and there are night requirements. You’ll also be away for CFI training and your x-country Crew phase. Either your swimming or your pilot training will suffer if you try and do both. If your flight training, bust more than a few checkrides and that can seriously derail your career. You’ll be left with a $100k student loan and a story of how you were almost an airline pilot.

The 7mos accelerates timeline is what attracts most people to the program but that timeline comes at a price, sacrifice. If you’re commited to swimming, ATP probably isn’t the program for you.


Roscoe, Hannah, Adam,

Thank you all for the info. I have some goal times in my head that will decide if I continue swimming once I turn 18 or not! I’m thinking those times will be the deciding factor on whether I go to ATP or a College route.



With all due respect, regardless of your times you should be going to college. Are you a pilot already? Do you know if you have any talent or aptitude for aviation? Bypassing college and going straight to flight school is kind of like me watching you swim and thinking “that’s cool, I can do that, I think I’ll quit my job and start training”. Maybe I can, maybe I can’t but at 17 you shouldn’t be putting all your eggs in one basket.

Just something to think about.


No no that’s not what that was, I’m sorry I didn’t clarify. By the time I’m 18 I will have an associates degree in Aviation Business Administration. If I have the times that I want at 18, I will continue on and hopefully swim for a collegiate team to continue to pursue swimming. If I do not I was thinking I’ll do ATP and work, then complete my education later. I understand why you would disagree with skipping college, but I assure you I very much intend to continue my education😁

Much respect,