The way to go for a Degree in Commercial Aviation

What I would suggest is to start with learning about small aircraft and make your way up. Where I live I can take my single engine and start my career there. What I would do is look for the requirements of the airline you want to work for. Each airline has there own requirements and from those requirements look up which schools allow those classes. And call flight schools and start getting brochures and figure out prices. The one I’m looking at is Aims CC in Colorado which has an annual average price for tuition of 11,387.

You guys are talking about going from college straight into a major which isn’t how it really works. Because major airlines such as SWA, AAL, UAL, etc. require hours in the 1500-3000hr range there’s no way that you’ll come out of college with these kind of numbers. You’ll graduate from a college/university with a 4 year degree and your pilot certificates with between 200-300hrs. (Depends how quick of a learner you are.)

Generally people will pursue to become a CFI (Certified Flight Instuctor) to build time to get a gig with a regional airline. If you do your research, you’ll find that you can get into a regional airline with 1000hrs operating under an R-ATP. (See attached link) 👇🏼You’ll fly right away in a puddle jumper for some time and eventually upgrade to captain for that same regional airline.

If you further do your research and find the right regional airline, you’ll find that some regionals have a flow through program to a major. Which means no other interviews would necessarily be required.

If you think this is how much it’ll cost, you’ve been deceived. Double these numbers and you’ll be close to the average cost. 😉 Take it from someone with the experience.

This is the issue with topics like this. And I don’t mean to be rude but I’m stating what I see and calling it as I see it. There are many wannabe pilots who think they know how the system works when in reality they don’t. If some folks can’t handle the truth; I’m sorry and I wish you the best of luck.


There’s a relatively new university in my home state called California Aeronautical University. I’ve heard that it’s much cheaper than Embry Riddle. Since it’s in Bakersfield, it has great flying conditions, which means you can fly most of the year. Also, it’s a three year college instead of 4, (you still get your Bachelors degree) because they do not have summer breaks.

Riddle would be way more expensive then what LGA wants.

Also, I don’t see the point of being a flight attendant for x years and then going through training again to become a pilot. You will just be put back down to the bottom of the barrel on the seniority list.

To be straight up though, there are too many hypotheticals in your post, you need to choose what you really want to do.

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I know what I want to do. I am helping him…

Just added quotes, my bad.

Yah. If had a SWA pilot that graduated from my flight school come talk to us. He’s a captain and there requirements are a lot

While its true that if you want to be a pilot in any branch of the military you have to be a commissioned officer. What is one of the eligibility requirements to becoming a commissioned officer? A degree. You have to have a degree in order to be eligible for enlisting as a commissioned officer.

Go get a cheap degree. It can literally be anything. After that, being a pilot in any branch of the military becomes an option. Don’t want to pay for school? Enlist as normal into active duty. Use tuition assistance to take classes in your spare time to work towards a degree.

@Ben while you are correct about the process, it’s not as simple as you make it sound.

The chances are probably slimmer than that. But that’s also correct. Most deaths among soldiers are non-combat related. Examples include suicide, sheer stupidity, victim of circumstance, natural disasters, training accidents, etc.

I’m fine with expensive, If i get what im looking for then the cost will be worth it.

Also being a flight attendant will give me time adjust to the life in the sky, as well as let me get to know some pilots for the company and they could tell the Pro’s and Cons about the company.

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Why do you need to become a flight attendant to learn about a certain company? Literally just look up some aviation forums.


Very true, however, you can get your degree at the same time. Actually, I think you may have to. ROTC success during college, and that is when you get your degree. Going to AFA, you’ll get your degree for free. And most ROTC programs are the same, so it doesn’t really matter where you go, from an career standpoint. It’s up to college life then. Go instate to get the cheapest fare.

And if you enlist, you cannot fly. To fly, you must become and officer. To become and officer (straight always) you must go to school. You can do it after enlisting, but that’s a whole other story. And I’m not even sure what the rules about flying after doing that is.

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My opinion? Save the money and join the airforce! They feed you well, they pay for your college, and they can recommend you to train immediately at the commercial airline company’s. Many pilots you see will graduate from the airforce and they don’t pay a single dime for flight school!

Once you get out of the airforce, they will pay for your college funds and they could help you get your way to commercial airlines.

My grandpa was a Brigadier General in the air force, in which he told me about how to make it up the branches. Think about it. If you were to join the airforce and apply for a airlines rather then someone who just came out of flight school, who do you think they would choose?

Airforce offers many programs but also it is the best of the best. If you really want to take up this career I recommend studying hard, applying for the airforce , finish college if the U.S I recommend this:

Anyways, I am always glad to help those in need of their aviation career. Goodluck to you and see you in the skies. (Also as @Ben said, if your in the process of high school and do want to join the airforce, join ROTC if you can (Senior’s might be to old already) but go ahead and check.

Good day - HawaiiPilot10


Actually in Canada, most airlines in Canada (Buffalo Airways), you have to work the ramp, and be a flight attendant before to even step foot in a cockpit!

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Thats what social media like LinkedIn and other mainstream media works. To connect with people.

Im not sure why you need to get use to life in the sky though. But its kinda a long way.

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Any University that offers an ROTC program

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lots of great advice here from people who know a lot…as well as frompeopel who think they know a lot! For my two cents, as I see that you live in the USA then if you want to every have the oppotunity to go’mainline’ for a US flagged airline then you WIll need a degree of some type. I am not sure if it needs to be an avaiation based degree, however as you are planning for a carrer in avaition then it would make sense to do so, perhaps with an engineering or business twist?

Secondly if you fly in the USA you will have to start out flying for regionals, unless you get experince flying with the millitary, as this is where the big boys do 90% of their recruitment.

Thirdly I would suggest doing some more research on one of the pilot forums such as PPRUNE (Proffesional Pilots RUmour NEtwork). Whilst that is mainly a European based forum there is plenty of information for you toresearch and get your teeth into.

If thinking of working in the European part of the world then consider one of the training schools that works with Easyjet or Ryanair. Again on PPRUNE offers some intresting words of wisdom on both with Pros & Cons however understand that both airlines have a very good reputation for training pilots. Some of their other reputations are not sogood, but that would be for you to reserach and think about. A friend of mine completed a MPL (Multi Pilot License) with Easy Jet, stayed with them for a number of years, got command on an Airbus before Joining British Airways.

good luck!

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Exactly, another way to build up your hours is to utilize the EAA Young Eagle’s program, not only do they ride you around in cool planes and let you fly them, but they give you an authentic logbook and allow you to rack up some hours when you fly with them. They also give you a free ‘Learn to Fly’ course, which upon completion will give you a discount for ground school costs.

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Impossible due to needing so many hours regional will get you to main within your life span


A degree isn’t required for most mainland US airlines and most large airlines in the world. But listed under hiring links mentions that a degree of some sort is preferred. However your chances of being hired will be higher if you have a degree.*52BB230F3D1BE63A