The way to go for a Degree in Commercial Aviation

You can focus on a degree in aeronautical sciences but in this pilot shortage environment you will not really get the leg up you would want. Flight school is expensive whether it be through a university or just a trade school. Most airlines are looking for their pilots to hold a bachelors degree but they are not looking for a specific one. That means you can save your self some money by going to a cheap 4 year school, getting a bachelors degree in an area you are interested in also then head to flight school. With a lot of pilots being recalled by the armed forces too, you can easily find someone willing to pay for half your flight training with just a reserve conscript. That can easily leave you at least with $30,000 of loans for flight training, school, and living expenses. That is the ideal low cost route if you dont want to shell out the $80,000-100,000 for flight training only and not be obligated to serve in the military for 15 years before moving to commercial.

Trust me, I’ve done that research and Im starting this process in 3 weeks. Air National Guard is probably your best bet to get cost covered without being full time military


Not entirely possible. You need the flight hours.


I have talked to spirit airlines flight attendants they have not said you cant do that, Spirit is a mainline airline.
I mean like I don’t want to start with envoy and then go to American, I want to go straight to AA

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Spirit is considered an ULCC, meaning they take anyone willing to accept their low pay. It’s just not possible to go straight from flight school to Emirates. Sorry dude.


There’s a pretty big difference between American Airlines and Spirit.
And also what @JRRaviation said.


Get used to flying the E170s and CRJ900s, you will be at them for a few years. (But it’s all worth it)


Is that why most UA, AA, And DL mainline pilots are kinda older?

I am pretty sure you can cheat your way into southwest if you are certified for the 737. Not 100% sure though.


Most have served in the Armed forces…You just don’t see 22 year olds at a 787 flight deck. You will see younger pilots at regional.


1500 flight hours is required for SouthWest.


There are airline cadet programs. If you don’t know what it is, it is basically a program where airlines train people (doesn’t have to have flying experience) to become an airline pilot right away. To get into the programs, you don’t need to have a degree but just like any job, your chances will be higher.

As I am looking into these programs myself, I found out that this is the fastest way in becoming an airline pilot. The downside is that these programs are only mainly offered in other countries other than the US. Mainly Australia, Asia, and Europe.

Here is the link to airlines that offer this program:

This video will also explain.


There’s many flight schools and opportunities too be able to fly for a cheap or reduce cost. In order to fly for the airlines, you will need to start out with a basic PPL and than move on to your insturment, commercial, multi-engine and maybe a CFI. The only legacy carriers that will hire you for there big planes is the low cost carriers like SWA, Allegiant, Frontier, Spirit. You will need between 1000 hours and 150 hours depending on what type of training you do. But YOU will not go straight to American. Most likely you will start at there regional carrier to gain experience


So what city would you guys recommend University?

Im not an expert but most commonly known is Embry Riddle in Presscot Arizona and Daytona Beach.

Myself, I am interested in some universities in China such as Civil Aviation University of China in Tianjin,

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Depends on what you want. There are many great university’s that have flight schools. And how far your willing to travel

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Hey, from what I know, studying in any aeronautical university may give you a slight advantage.

I call it a slight advantage because it really doesn’t guarantee anything. An airforce pilot with thousands of hrs and years of service may get priority for hire over a university grad. No matter how prestigious, well known or branded the school is, it is not a free pass to the job.

I currently study in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University asia campus. If you live in the states, I heard on their preston campus there are flight programs for PPL which may be an advantage.

It really depends on your financial status as well. Going to abroad to study in an aeronautical university may not give you the freedom to access flight schools. Can you bare the cost and, if your answer is yes, sure go ahead.

You can prepare a list of universities, weigh the pros and cons, which university has much more relevant subjects to your dream job, do they offer flight programs, can you afford the fee, can you justify studying there is worth the debt on student loan.

If you want the opportunity to get trained without paying with cash, military is one way to go. Military life is very different if you are not used to it so thats about the only obstacle. Though keep in mind it is as difficult to get in without the right character. But if you succeed, you basically get work experience and knowledge minus the debt. But you lose your civilian status.

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somewhere out of the US, So anywhere. I’m ready to explore

A lot harder to get hired by SWA than by American. Trust me. SWA has more stringent hiring criteria. American you get a more clear path up to their mainline from the regionals. SWA you really dont.

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Military is one of the most recommended ways to pursue your aviation career. If military is what you wanna start out at, it is best to go to the Military Academies, however they are very hard to get into. Navy and Air Force are probably the best out of all the branches, however there has been a major pilot shortage, so currently it is probably just as swell to go to a flight school or ROTC program as it is to go to the military; maybe even better. That leaves us with flight school options. For some reason, University of North Dakota has been recommended many times by airline pilots on my flights. Another good one that is quite popular is Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. Here is some useful info about those two schools:

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

With 2 locations - Prescott, Arizona and Daytona Beach, Florida, Embry-Riddle provides aviation-focused programs and courses. Recently added into the NCAA division II league, they have a decent athletics program also. Definitely something to look at!

University of North Dakota

Not as good as ERAU but something to look at. They have courses in airport management, commercial aviation, Air Traffic Management, etc. Their ROTC program is not that big but definitely rigorous. Check it out!

I wish you the best of luck in whatever you choose whether it be military or ROTC or just a regular flight school. I hoped this helped you and I hope this opens up your mind to universities recommended by airline pilots.


I know this may sound like pushing the military on you, but, if you want to get into the right seat of an international jet like 787 or 777 right away, military may be the fastest. I have a few family friends that did the minimum and now fly MD80s for Delta or 787 for United.

There is the step ladder way too, but that takes longer. Talk to @DeerCrusher about that route, as that is what he is currently doing.

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