United Airlines Career Path Program

Kinda cool…


We haven’t heard much about this around United, but I have been told that there are people in the pipeline for this.

I’m a bit confused on this program. I was reading through this and towards the bottom, it said…

“A pilot will be ineligible for hire at United until he/she has obtained a Bachelor‘s degree from an accredited institution, or otherwise has credentials established by United at its sole discretion and applicable to United new hires.”

It’s always been preached that we should get our BA/BS first or while at the regionals.

Can someone please clarify?


I’m also a bit curious…do this mean that United is direct hiring new pilots (little to no experience) without them needing to work for a regional airline if they go thru this program?



Nothing has changed with the college advice, in fact this reaffirms our advice to get the degree first as United is saying that they will not hire a pilot who does not have one.


Yes, it means that United is hiring pilots with low flight time and no regional experience if they go through this program. Keep in mind though that this is a very small program which is very selective about which flight instructors they hire.



That’s what I figured, but that statement from the site was a bit confusing.

Thanks again, Chris!

As Chris said, yes this is a direct to United program for a SELECT few bypassing the Regionals. As far as the degree part goes United has NEVER listed a degree as a requirement but it is preferred and again you’d be hard pressed to find a UA pilot without one. I had asked a pilot in their hiring dept years ago about this and he explained it’s not there simply because if the CEO’s grandson didn’t go to college (for example) they could hire him without breaking any rules. I would not use this as a pass for not getting a degree.

Also while the program is somewhat limited it wouldn’t stop me from applying if I met the requirements.



Very good point. Though I’m sure this program is a good one, I’m still going to play it safe and get a degree. It’s the safest thing to do nowadays. Thanks for your input!


Reviving an old thread here… is there any data yet on what percent of ATCA CPP participants have actually gotten a position at United? Or to ask the question another way: if you meet or exceed all requirements of the program after 18 months of service at ATCA, do you just “flow” into United? Or can they arbitrarily decide not to hire you at United?


As far as I know this is a relatively new program (approx. 6mos old) so I suspect no one has actually completed it yet? (You’d have to contact ATCA to be sure). As for the “flow-thru” right on the opening page it says very clearly:

  • Be approved by United‘s Pilot Selection Board. That’s a really BROAD statement which means they can absolutely reject anyone for any reason. Now obviously this program was created to help UA recruit and if you complete the program successfully and meet their criteria I can see no reason why they would just say no? BUT, as with most things (particularly in this industry) there are few guarantees.



Think of this program more as a guarantee that they will look at your resume closely, by no means is it a guarantee of a job. I would still plan on applying the old fashioned way, soliciting letters of recommendation, interviewing, etc.


Is there any word whether anyone has completed this program, and if so, how many have been hired at UAL? Seems to me it’d be highly competitive.


I don’t believe so? The program is only about 9mos old (as far as I know) and takes at least 18mos to complete. Definitely very competitive.



I haven’t yet heard of a single person going through this program. As Adam said, it is incredibly competitive, I would not count on getting into that program.