Pilot Training Advice. What I Know

Hello IFC, I have noticed that a lot of users are asking about flight schools and what it takes to become a pilot. Well here is a simple breakdown of that. Any airline pilot can add on to this as well this is from what I know.

Flight School:
There are many flight schools around the country that are independently ran. I suggest choosing the one that best suits your needs and mission. You can google a list of flight schools in your state.

College/University Programs:
There are some colleges and universities that offer flight training. Some notable ones are: Embry Riddle University, University of North Dakota, Kansas State University, Purdue University, and Middle Tennessee State. These are all four year schools and you will get a bachelor’s degree in aviation. There are also some two year schools but the list is shorter. The school I currently attend Ozarka College is a two year school that one can get there associates degree in aviation. Choose the school that’s the best fit for you. These schools usually are for pursuing an airline job.

Flying Choses:
There are many flying jobs out there. In the US, flying is broken down into Part 91 which is GA/Business flying, Part 135 which is scheduled charter/freight operations and Part 121 which is all scheduled airline flights including regionals.

Ratings and Certificates:
In order to become a professional pilot a pilot will have to complete the following ratings:
Private Pilot
Commercial-Single Engine
Commercial Multi-engine
CFI- Optional
CFII- Optional
ATP-Type Rating

Types of Training:
There are many types of training one can do. These types of training are Part 61 and Part 141.
Part 61: Usually slower paced. No big hurry to finish your ratings. 1,500 hours to get to the airlines
Part 141: Usually college and university programs are this. Have to be FAA approved. Usually between 1,000 and 1250 hours to the airlines.
Four year school: R-ATP 1000 hours and a bachelors degree
Two year school: ATP and 1250 hours and an associates degree.
Both are approved Part 141 schools

Airline Pilots fill free to add on


So how long do you think all your training and studying would take before you join an airline?

If you go to a 61 flight school and get it done fly everyday realistically a six months to a year.

It depends on how much you really want it and how hard you study. If you really put the time and commitment to it than you can have a PPL in 6 months to a year

If you get all of your ratings (PPL, instrument, commercial) you only need to do 2 years of college if you major in aviation.

Not really. In order to fly for the mainline airlines, you need to have a 4 year degree in anything. Having a degree in aviation does help alot though. You DONT need a degree to fly regionals or part 135.

You misinterpreted what I meant. Although you only spend two years at college, you still get a bachelors degree. The big airlines don’t require specifically four years; they require you to have a bachelors degree - in anything, as you said.

2 years of school will be equal to an associates degree which the regionals and part 135 will like. After your associates, you can finish your remaining 2 years and get a bachelors degree in aviation which you must have to fly mainline

Hmm… is it required to go to college for airlines?

Having your pilot licenses/certifications will make it a bachelors.

Not all, most do though.

Here’s the current situation. I am 14, I am an EAA young eagle, and it will pay for me to have training all the way to my PPL. At that I will be age 17, then I will graduate high school. I will have already acquired my PPL and a certain amount of hours from the time I would’ve been in EAA. Where can I go from there?

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No it will not. I can get a associates degree at my college which is a two year school in aviation and have all my ratings and I will have a Associates of aviation.

Got to a college/University and finish your ratings! That will be the quickest way to get through them and fast track to the airlines


Say what you want, but I’m not going to take your opinion over several others who have actually gone through the process.


Listen… I’m literally going to school for this! I’m going to a two year school and a 4 year school, I KNOW how this stuff works. Unless you have a pilot certificate, let’s let someone who has actually been through the process tell facts!

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Unless we continue in PM, this is getting a little off topic. We can continue there.

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Life gets in the way of things sometimes

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It will not. You can get all of your ratings but it doesn’t mean you have a degree. To get a degree and your pilot certificates you need to go to college/university, study, do your time of 4 years for a bachelors, pass all of your checkrides and then bank on finding a low time pilot job.

But just because you have pilot certificates does not mean you have a degree. Think of it like driving a car. Just because you have your drivers license does not mean you automatically graduate high school and get a diploma.


It may be different for you, but I know several people who own and work for a flight school and they got their certifications before college, went to college for 2 years and majored in aviation, and managed to get a bachelors degree.

Now, it may be a different story if you decide to get your ratings during college. My point is is that you must get your ratings before college.

There are different ways to get the same result as you’ve said but I’m going to trust the word of the people who have gone through it successfully.