Working in the maritime industry. Can I eventually switch to becoming an airline pilot?

My 2 loves are ships and aviation. I got my private pilots license the summer I graduated High School but because of school and work I haven’t really flown that much since I got it. I’m going to a Maritime college and I plan on graduating next spring. My question is this. If in 10-15 years I accumulate enough flight hours could I eventually switch to becoming an airline pilot? I’m 22 now and this would probably be when I am in my middle and early 30’s. Basically how it works on the ships is that you are gone for about 4-6 months and you are home for about 2 months and I would like to spend a lot of the time when I am home flying.


It is impossible to predict how the industry will look in ten years, so it is really difficult to say. In theory, it is possible.

The issue I see is how are you going to build 1500 hours of flight time? That is a lot of flight time to pay for by yourself and you will most likely not be able to find somebody to hire a pilot for two month stints.



The short answer is yes. However the are 2 things you really should consider. First EVERYTHING at the Regionals (from schedules to pay to travel bennies to equipment, etc.) is based on seniority. I’m not sure what you’ll be making with ships, but you’d literally be sacrificing millions in earnings and career potential.

Second right now the nation is experiencing what’s probably the worst pilot shortage in history. Demand is high and it’s forecast to continue for a while. 15yrs is a long way away and the environment could be very different.

Totally your call but if you want to fly then you should fly.



Sure. Eventually you could accumulate enough flight time, but as the others have said no one knows what the industry will look like 10-15 years from now. Plus, if you have aspirations of becoming an airline pilot, then I would suggest that you train like one. Accumulating flight time with 4-6 months off at a time is not what I would recommend to anyone.