Work / Flight balancing, Jobs?

I am wanting to join ATP flight school. I have been interested but very hesitant because of not understanding the monetary situation of the school. Now here are my questions.

I would love to be a full time student, I aspire to be. I will be starting a new job soon which will be before applying or attending ATP. I am wanting a job with the TSA. I am unsure if they will be super flexible with me being in school.

If I go ahead and receive the almost $100k loan to attend, will I be able to balance ATP with work? (He say she say) I work over night and fly before work or just fly on my off days, is this an acceptable practice with the school?

Question number 2 that I have is in regards to the nearly $100k loan. Roughly what would be the percentage of guarantee that an airline picks me up within a 6 month time frame… or at all? There is absolutely no way I could possibly handle paying off that amount of money without making the funds of a pilot. Currently i’ve only been limited in the $20 per hour range and i’ve been at an on off struggle with that. I don’t believe I could financially live and support myself or a family if I go forward with that amount of debt to my name, and I surely wouldn’t want to hurt my cosigner. Advice on this?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I’ve seen it mentioned a number of times in this forum from people that have taken the program that it’s not advisable to have a job and try to do the 7 month accelerated program. Also after the program you have to build your hours before you can even go to a regional and I believe most try to become a CFI for ATP which doesn’t pay all that much. 2500-3000 a month for about 1.5 years as you build time.

So I’m also currently working full time but planning to go study at ATP full time hopefully within the next 3months. I’m just waiting for my loan to get approved so we have almost the same situation.

ATP have both the full time and the flexible program however the gap in terms of the time of completion is significant. If you go study full time and everything goes according to plan, you’ll finish the program in 7months, while it will take you up to 18months for the part time.

After completing the program, you still need to have a minimum of 1500 hours to be able to qualify and apply on regional airlines. Most people complete those hours by working as flight instructors. You won’t have to start paying the loans until you finish and I believe ATP will hire you as an instructor upon completion.

Once I have my start date, I’m gonna try to work part time and go full time student at ATP. Full time in ATP means attending the classes/flying at least 5 days per week which could include weekends. But you need to be available for almost everyday. Then I’m gonna work at my part time job 2x week which means ZERO days off for the duration of the program. I also work the night shift. The question is if I can actually do it, but I guess I’ll cross the bridge when I get there. But if I have to sacrifice, I might let go of my current job. In airlines, seniority plays a huge part so I’ll try my best to finish the program as per scheduled, that way I can figure out ways to complete my 1500 hours sooner and apply on airlines.

It will be a lot of hardwork but I’m really going all in with this one because it’s what I want to do. If by any chance it doesn’t work out, I can always go back to my current profession which is something I recognize as a solid back up plan. But as of now, I’m preparing my self to have almost zero rest days for the duration of the program.

Charles and Dakota,

You must definitely cannot work full-time and train with ATP full-time. It is without question a recipe for failure. Even working part-time is highly discouraged. You both need to understand ATP condenses what normally takes years to complete into months to prepare you for the pace of airline training. Most people find the program very challenging and that’s with dedicating all their time to it. When you’re not training you need to be studying or resting. But more that a couple of checkrides and you just wasted $100k. There is no “I thought it would be ok, can I try again”.

Ultimately no one can stop you but you have been cautioned and again WHEN (not if) you wash out you’ll have no one to blame but yourself. You can of course then go bad mouth ATP on other forums and say that the program doesn’t work :slight_smile:


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Thanks Adam!

I figured. I already have my bachelors and currently working as an RN so I think I can stop working for the duration of the program and might just pick up some per diem shifts if schedule allows. But yeah, my initial plan is see if I can handle full time ATP and part time job in which I have to complete a minimum of 7 shifts per month. And like I said, if I think I can’t focus enough, I’m letting go of my job and give everything on the ATP program.

I really appreciate your insight! Thank you so much!

A few things to touch on…

  1. ATP offers a fast track program and limited availability flex track. You absolutely can not work during the fast track and only part time with the flex track.
  2. The loan is unsecured and often difficult to be approved. Most people need a co-signer.
  3. After completion of the program, you have all the ratings you need but still only about 300 hrs. That’s where the time building phase starts. You’ll need 1500 hrs before advancing to a regional. So plan on a minimum of two years from starting to a regional doing the fast track program. Anticipate longer if doing the flex track.
  4. As a CFI with ATP you have a number of options towards paying off the loan. First, you can defer payments for 6 months after program completion. Then you can pay interest only until reaching the regional. You can also apply for tuition reimbursement programs with the regional of your choice.

Check this out:


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