Work In Europe After Getting License in USA

Hi there,

I just had a quick question about life after completing the ATP program. So I currently live in the USA and plan on attending ATP. However, I have a lot of family located in Europe and believe that in the future I will eventually end up building my life there. Is it possible to get hired by a European Airline if you get your license in the US? Do you need to be fluent in the language of the country or does it just depend on the airline? Or would it be better to look for a school in Europe? If so are there any recommendations out there? Specifically Germany.

Thanks a lot,


The ONLY language requirement for ANY airline ANYWHERE in the world is English. You speak English you’re good. The problem however with working for European carriers is a) you must have a legal work permit for that country which is not something European countries give easily to non-citizens and b) you must obtain a license conversion from your FAA to EASA which requires a series of 14 exams. From what I’ve heard those 14 exams make the FAA writtens look like a child’s “see Spot run” book.


Thanks for the quick reply Adam,
With the first point I have a german passport so i can legally work and live there, but I quickly googled the conversion for the license and as you said it looks very complicated. Do you have any recommendations for flight schools in Europe or is this the wrong place to ask because it is an ATP forum?


As this is ATPs forum and more important we’re all US pilots I/we really don’t. I do know the Europeans are suffering from the shortage as much as we are and therefore the airlines are often more than willing to help. Since you have a German passport I would contact a few German airlines directly. Some even have cadet programs you could possibly get involved with? That or maybe check They seem to have a large European participation.


Yeah thats kinda what i was expecting. Thanks for the help and i will check out the forum.

Hi Jonas,

If you already know you’re going to be moving to Europe at some point, you could get a head start and study for the EASA ATPL theory. Bristol Groundshool offers an online program that you might be interested in. It is very popular among people who go the modular route.
Keep in mind that the EASA version is nothing like the FAA ATP. It generally takes about a year to study for it and take all the 14 exams.