What happens after ATP?

Hi! New here. Just applied for the Sallie Mae and wanting to enroll at ATP. However, what happens after you graduate the program? What experiences did you all go through to gain your 1500hrs of flight experience?


Honestly I’m a little surprised you didn’t ask this (and get ALL your questions answered) BEFORE you applied for a substantial loan? But to each their own.

After you complete your training, if you aspire to fly for an airline, you’ll need to build the required 1500hrs of flight time. In most cases people flight instruct as this is the most common (and preferred) method of time building. Students that do well in the program will be offered the opportunity to instruct for ATP.

Please visit our FAQ section and the ATP website for the answers to many of the questions you may have.


Adam, thank you for your response! I see how I could have been a bit more specific in my first question— I’d like to know about personal experiences that people have had with gaining that 1500 hrs!

I am aware that one needs 1500 hrs to apply for airline work, but was curious about avenues for building the hours. Thanks again Adam!


No problem, as I said. Most people flight instruct. There may be other opportunities for low time pilots in your area but they are sometimes few and far between. Most important you want to be doing something (like instructing) that will make you a better pilot vs just checking the box. Quality not just quantity hours.



The vast majority of people flight instruct. Instructing is by far the best way to continue to build upon your knowledge and skills. Once you can learn how to explain something to somebody else, it means that you truly understand it.



All of the mentors, and most graduates, instruct for ATP. Some instruct elsewhere, but instructing is still the most common way to build experience.

I do have friends that chose not to instruct exclusively. Some instructed for a while and then they accepted other jobs like corporate, charter, or small cargo.

There are advantages and disadvantages to every option out there. If you are not aware, if you choose not to instruct for ATP for the full 1500 hours, you forfeit your eligibility to receive Tuition Reimbursement through ATP’s airline partnerships.