Training and Working at DuPage?

Hi, Folks-

I’m in the planning stages for an April 2020 start at ATP from 0 time. I could go pretty much go anywhere, but for family reasons Chicago would be the best and Raleigh-Durham a close second.

A few questions about life at DuPage:

-Is the weather more restrictive or frustrating than at other ATP locations? Like most new students, I’m in a hurry to reach CFI (I hope to beat 9 months, anyways) and if weather typically slows people down at this location, I’ll avoid it.

-Current and former DuPage CFIs: any regrets? Are there enough students to go around? Is there seasonality, or do you have consistent work year round?

-One thing I like about Chicago is that real estate seems reasonable. I’ve got a family, so I’ll be renting a house near wherever I end up. Is the cost of living as decent as I think it is, or am I misinformed?

Is there anything else I should consider when looking at Chicago?

I appreciate your time.


Welcome to the forums.

Let’s be honest, weather in DuPage is certainly not what it is in Phoenix or Florida, but it isn’t that bad either. There will of course be the occasional snow storm, but the warmer areas get thunderstorms. It is a nice month program, the weather will average over the length of the program and you shouldn’t have any undue delays at any of the locations. If a location was prone to delays, ATP wouldn’t keep it open. I would not give this any second thought, just pick the location that is convenient for you and go from there.

I would not be in a hurry to complete the program in less than nine months. If you do, great, but remember that it is designed to be a nine month program. It isn’t just a race to complete your hours, there is serious studying that needs to be done along the way and that takes time.

If you do want to get ahead, I would recommend knocking out as many FAA written exams as possible before beginning the program. Read more about that here:


Hi, Chris-

That makes a lot of sense- they wouldn’t have a school there if the weather was training prohibitive. Duh… That eases my mind quite a bit.

And thank you especially for the link. I don’t know how I’ve managed to miss this page on the ATP site, but it’s exactly what I was hoping for. I’m going to get started right away.

Regarding an accelerated timeline: I only want to beat 9 months if it means I’ve achieved better-than-average mastery of the skills and the materials. I agree that it’s not a race and that rushing through just to arbitrarily shave off a month would be counterproductive. If I do it fast, I want it to be because I am ridiculously well prepared and have become a darn good pilot. Otherwise, I’ll keep working. It might just be that pilots, like infants, require a full nine months of gestation.



Once you place y9our deposit wit ATP, they will provide you with All the study material for the written exams.

Let us know how else we can help you :slight_smile: