What are my chances

Hi all

Im 29, soon to be 30 and still am itching to go after becoming an airline pilot. Ive tried to push it out of my mind but I know deep down that’s my calling. My biggest concern is I would not be starting the program for another yr or so for the sake of i need to save more money to cover the program. Is 31 a little late to get going on this for a career if I want to one day join the majors. My thoughts are if I started at 31 it’d be another 6ish yrs before I break into the majors…with all the pilots retiring in the coming years in the majors am I going to miss that mark trying to get into the majors say in 6ish yrs or so? In other words will there still be a boat load of pilots retiring to where Ill have a good chance getting in.


We discuss age in our FAQ section and the question gets asked daily. Short answer is no it’s not to late as the shortage is forecast to continue (but there are of course no guarantees).

That said I would not plan on being at a Major in 6yrs. It’s going to take at least 2 yrs to make it to a Regional and it takes most pilots more than 4 years to get to a Major. 5-7 is more the norm but others take much longer.



Please check out the FAQ section for a detailed response to your question. But the short answer is no, it is not at all too late. By the way though, six years to a major is highly optimistic, I would probably plan on closer to ten years.



Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Focus on the now. Get some flight experience under your belt and then we can start talking about “callings” and major airline employment probabilities.

No. You’re not too old. The shortage is projected (key word) to continue into 2040. I know you’re looking for reassurance, but frankly, that won’t make a difference. No one will be able to guarantee your chances of becoming a pilot. You can weigh in the shortage and age in your decision making all you want. Everyone takes a risk when they decide to become an airline pilot. If you want it that badly then start taking your first steps to making your dream come true. Instructions on where to start are all over this forum and ATP’s website.