Real Answers from Real Pilots

To go where there are no highways

Hello all,
My name is Robert Brown, and for my entire life airplanes, aviation, and flight have fascinated me. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah, and have completed one semester at LDS Business College. My major was in Systems Analyst, IT, and the subjects I studied have little application to a career in the airline industry. What are ATP’s basic qualifications to be accepted into a training course?

Can anyone make any recommendations on literature and/or computer programs I can purchase to have a basic understanding of principles airline pilots must have in the sky and on the runway?
On average, how much does it cost to meet ATP’s basic qualifications?
What are ways I can pay for ATP school, and how long does it take to get out of the debt accrued?

R. Brown

Hello Robert,

First I suggest you visit ATPs website ( where you’ll find the answer to many of your questions and then some but here are a few quick answers:

ATP requires either a Private Pilot license, 2yr college degree (or 60credits) or “equivalent work experience”. As to what it costs to meet those qualifications a Private license can cost $8-12k (though I don’t recommend that route), a degree obviously can vary considerably depending on what and where you get it, and if you go with the work experience than they pay you. Most students take out student loans for training and again the amount of time it takes to repay can vary based on you. That said many pilots can qualify for Tuition reimbursement which can help considerably.

There are tons of info available online but honestly you best served by doing well in school, getting your degree and then doing your flight training at a professional academy like ATP. They will provide you with all the tools you’ll need to be successful.