Jack asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 1 month ago

Why do most major Airline pilots need a degree?

I am in a interesting situation. I'm getting out of the Marine Corps after 4 years. so I am 23 years old. my goal is to become a airline pilot or a commercial pilot. I was looking into the process of reaching that goal. I found the ATP schools 2 years+ to get the necessary licenses to work for the air lines. so I thought cool I will just use my GI bill to go to this school. but then I find out to work for most major Airlines like delta and American airlines you need a bachelor's degree in literally anything. Even if it has nothing to do with flying or planes. So now I'm thinking about using my GI bill to get a criminal justice degree. but that's 4 year of college then 2 years at the ATP school I will be 29 before I even enter the work force. Is there any program or schools where I can get a bachelor and become a certified commercial pilot in less then 6 years? I could just do the 2 years+ and work at regional airlines but I hear they don't make good money. so i guess my second question is if i worked as a regional pilot for long enough would major airline look over the fact I wouldn't have a degree?     

7 Answers

  • Joseph
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Best Answer

    While a four year degree is not an absolute requirement, airlines prefer it.  A couple of years ago SkyWest Airlines, a large regional flying for Delta, American Alaska and United, hired 37 pilots.  Only one did not have a four year college degree.  Like those chances?

    Even if you get your ATP and all the other ratings, by law you still need a minimum of 1500 flying hours to fly for the airlines.  How you get those hours is up to you:  you can qualify as a flight instructor and keep your student from crashing, you can rent a plane and fly circles around the airport, or you can tow banners.    

    There is hope for you, however.  Some universities, such as University of North Dakota and Ohio University, offer flight training as part of their degree programs. You get your four-year degree AND all the ratings the airlines are looking for at the same time.



    • Anon1 month agoReport

      It IS an absolute requirement. For 95% of major comnercial airlines. Not bush pilots in Alaska, no.

  • rick
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    I worked for United at the time they started requiring a four year degree for pilot applicants. When questioned by union reps, the reply was "it verifies that the applicant is 'teachable.' ".

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    All major airlines require a 4 year degree, as well as previous commercial experience/comm. license. I guess it is traditional; an officer in the military requires one, too. It doesn't matter what it is in, it shows ability to learn.

  • JetDoc
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    There is NOTHING in the law that REQUIRES you to have a college degree to become an airline pilot... BUT! About 95% of all people who apply for the job DO have a college degree. If you DON'T have one, you are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to hiring. The airline companies are naturally going to look for the best qualified people first, and THEY believe that you are more qualified IF you have a college degree.

    Oh, BTW... Your GI Bill won't pay for you to earn a PRIVATE pilot's license. You'll have to get that on your own first before they will pay anything towards your training for a Commercial pilot's license.

    Source(s): I used my GI bill to get certified as an A&P Mechanic instead of a commercial pilot.
    • Anon1 month agoReport

      Just like, I am going for Strictures and Avionics as well as my A & P. Not that I "want" to do these, but, another feather in my cap. More hireable with the 2 more certs.

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  • 1 month ago

    Why didn't you enlist in the Air Force? Degrees are needed so that we don't end up with a high school drop out pushing buttons and pulling levers in the cockpit of an airliner with 300 people aboard it.

    • Anon1 month agoReport

      DUMMY: ANY US armed service will tale just about anyone over 16. except USAF, 18. You need NO degree to ENLIST. Only to be Officer.Pilots in any service must be officers and require a 4 year degree.

  • 1 month ago

    It's called competition. Military pilots are all degree holders (well, practically all). To compete against them in the job market, employers have raised the bar. "If you have the intelligence to graduate college, you have the intelligence to fly our planes."

  • 1 month ago

    You may be able to steer a boat, or pilot a ship but flying a plane is harder you should have joined the USAF and they would have trained you to fly a plane.

    The airlines don't want young people to join because they are unstable, they want intelligent and mature people as pilots, ones with level heads.

    Maybe you should go to Europe. They allow schoolboys to fly the planes after 1 year's training.

    19 year old Luke Ellsworth flies Airbus A319 and A320's and does't have a degree at all.

    Attachment image
    Source(s): af.mil
    • Quentin
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Lots of commercial pilots started out in the military. They don't 'skip', they complete their service.

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