Career Pilot Program


New Member
I have some questions regarding the the career pilot program. I called the offices today an talked to a lady down in JAX. She mentioned you have to take a two page test? Is this basically like the written for the private? Also is their a simulator evaluation? And how is the phone interview? Easy? what do they ask?

Anyways, I am currently in high school actually just finishing my junior year. I will have my private license here shortly as I am also finishing that up. But when do you guys think I should go in for the tour/interview process? I know I wont start ATP for a year now but I figured I could start getting my required writtens out of the way. On that note, I heard if you already made a deposit with ATP an have been accepted they cover the costs of your written tests once you make it to your location. So thats basically my question. Would it be smart to go tour JAX this summer an get the tour/interview process out of the way an put down a deposit so ATP will cover my written test costs?

Any info would be nice. Thanks for your time guys.

Preface: this post is not related to your question at all, just a bewildered response.

Woooah....slow down. I thought seriously about going straight into flight training out of high school, and then about a million times in college when I just wanted to drop out and get all of my ratings but I stuck with it, and even though (hopefully) this degree will not be my career, I'm still damn glad I got through it and finished it off since I've now got a pretty well paying job even in this economy. Financial security may not matter to you now...but one day *soon* it will. The charm of drinking pi$$ for beer cause you cant afford Erdinger wears off real quick.

Also, I'm assuming youre did know that many if not all commuters/majors wont hire a pilot unless you are at least 21. Since you've got four years to go anyway, wouldnt you rather be using the time to enhance your qualifications with a college degree?

I know it sounds like I'm preaching here, but believe me, from someone 6-7 years older than you who was where you were not too long ago, its something to think about. Just my 2 cents...
I don't think im rushing at all. Why not get ahead? I've looked into a bunch of colleges an they seem to belike 5 year programs. Thats a long time! Why not go to a school like ATP do the 90 day course then enroll with ERAU an do the online degree? To me that will save me a ton of time and even some money. Plus I'll be instructing even building hours if you say regionals dont hire till your 21. I have two friends that are with airlines. The one just was picked up by Pinnacle on his 19th b-day. The other flies for Comair an was hired when he was 20. So even if I dont get picked up by a regional till I'm 21 I will be way ahead an have a load of mult-time by then.

My thoughts....
Well, you certainly have a much better idea of what you want to do with your life and how to get there then most people your age, so you are definately to be commended there!

I like your enthusiasm about hitting the ground running with your flight training, that's for sure. Tenacity and hunger stand for alot when you're fighting an army of people for one job, but take it from one who's been in that position a bunch of times, your attitude will make all the difference in the world. And contrary to what some will tell you, it IS possible to have a good, can-do attitude without being a "yes-man" or "brownnoser".

Anyway, enough of that. My point was, don't lose your perspective when you go for these ratings and try to land that first job. DEFINATELY don't sell yourself short by not getting that degree, though I get the impression you know that already... Just make sure that, when you land that first aviation job (and you will, if you come to the table with the right attitude), you don't stop with the schooling. By the time you're marketable from an experience standpoint to a major airline, you'll be done with your degree and there'll be nothing to stop you.

I just wish I was you. This is alot harder to do at 30, believe me.

To emphasize the others, make sure you get your degree. I would highly suggest going to a real college your first year to give it a try. If you don't like it, finish online. The college experience will be the best experience of you life. The friends you will make and the fun you will have will be far worth the time spent there.

On a side note, it is good to see that you have your head on straight at such a young age. Keep that attitude and work ethic and you will go far in life.
If you want to do your training straight out of highschool. I say go for it. That is what I did. It seems to be working out for me so far. Just remember it is a ton of work and there are times where you will wish you were at college with your friends, you just gotta keep your goal in mind. IM instructing now, but still plan on attending college within the next year. At 18, i do not feel like I am behind by doing it this way.

Are you currently at ATP? Another academy? FBO? An you said your instructing so my next question is are you enrolled in an online degree program? If so, how do you like instructing an doing some college on the side? I can understand at times its going to be stressful but to me it seems like away to get ahead in this industry at a young age whiling building some time. Let me know...

<font color="white"> </font> I have two friends that are with airlines. The one just was picked up by Pinnacle on his 19th b-day. The other flies for Comair an was hired when he was 20.

[/ QUOTE ] <font color="white"> </font>

Awesome! Care to share on how your two friends got to the airlnes so fast?
Yeeks nobody commented on be being ambitious for my age, I feel so left out

I'm planning on doing what hunter did (I think).. Hopefully go to ATP this fall and start college next year (when I'd plan to be going to college anyways).

Do you know how many hours each of them had when they got hired(total and multi) and if the they had a degree?


I am not enrolled in any online degree program. I am currently instructing for ATP but i am going to Auburn to finish my degree next year....I will still stay with flying one way or another, whether its with an FBO or someone else. This way I will have enough time when i graduate to be competitive for a regional. I think it is a good way to get ahead. And Auburn is giving me credit for my flying, so that is saving time and money with college.

In some ways I wish i could just get the degree online and go straight to the regionals.....but i dont think anyone should miss out on college, ive got to go:) !

I am heading to florida this june to check out a couple flight academies. I wasnt sure if I should check out ATP yet or not. Because it sounds from other posts when you goto ATP to tour you get the interview also. And I won't actually be enrolling into ATP this time next year. But on that note it will give me a year to get all my writtens done. An if I were to go an interview an put down a deposit ATP will take care of the written costs. So what do you think? Go there this june tour an do the interview? Let me know man.


While your mind is on flying and choosing a flight school, why not take a trip to ATP? You do not have to take the interview now if you dont want to. I suggest you call the office at (800)-255-2877, let them know you want to come to the jax location (im assuming that is what u want to look at, it is our main location) and just take a look at the planes at the airport, talk to some of the instructors and students.

This will help you make up your mind if ATP is the right school for you. If you are willing to work hard for only 90 days, then I think it is the school for you....being straight out of highschool, it is good to get the training out of the way and start building that flight time.
Hunter, are you at the JAX facility? Still gonna be there in the fall? I'm hoping to attend ATP in the fall, JAX looking like it will probably be my location.. Haven't visited yet, maybe I can save some cash and take a trip to florida over the summer.
Nope, not at the jax location. Wont be there I dont think.

You will like it there though, it is a good location.
I would definitely recommend coming out to Florida to look at potential schools. whether it be ATP, DCA, Pan Am or whoever. It might cost you like 300 bucks be remember these schools start at like 30,000 and go up to 60K not including housing. So think if the 300 as an investment.

BTW, I am at the JAX location. its fun and the housing is very nice too. best of luck.

I believe ATP has a prerequisite of at least 2 years of college or comparable experience.

If you are in High School now I am not sure that you qualify to go to ATP for a little while.

Also, if you have a few friends that are under 21 and flying for airlines then that is REALLY suprising especially since on COMAIRs website it states. "MINIMUM AGE OF 21". I'm afraid I don't believe you about the ages of your friends since I have never known and Airline to "waiver" the age requirement. In fact, some airlines won't hire you before the age of 23, sometimes older.

I don't want to burst your bubble, but without at LEAST 2 years of college I seriosly doubt you will be hired by a Regional and without a 4 yr degree your chances of being hired by a Major or nill to none. You have to take into account that there are a ton of people out there who have been furloughed or who have a lot of experience looking for flying jobs. You have to have the best possible resume ready for when you start applying, and without a college degree (2 yrs for regional...4 is better though) your resume will more then likely be put on the "bottom of the stack".

A close friend of mine is a very successful corporate pilot and he told me the same thing when I was in your position only I am more interested in corporate aviation. He simply stated, "no degree, no corporate flying, not at least here", and trust me, if you knew who he flew around and how much he makes you'd be running to college right now. LOL. What I stated above (the previous paragraph) was taken from what I was told by a United CRJ pilot I spoke to about 4 days ago on a return flight from Michigan.

You are young, don't be in a hurry to get everything done. Concentrate on school (and college) and complete the flying you have started. If you try to bypass college with the hopes that "tons of ratings and hours" are going to get you hired then you will be in for a rude awakening. Why? Because somebody out there applying for the same job at the same time will have a degree...and if it comes down to a choice between you or them, well, you know how that will go.

Hey Arky.

Some regionals WILL hire under the age of 21, a lot won't, some will. That said, I doubt in today's economy many under the age of 21 would even have near the required hours, so it's moot.

I've spoken to people at ATP and with ATP on several occasions and the required college experiance/work experiance is on a case by case basis, they really only want to make sure you aren't wasting their time, and are going to be able to handle an intense program. I'm in highschool now (well, for about another two weeks!) and I was told it probably wouldn't be a problem unless there was some competition to get in. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to take some college courses first either though.

Other than that, you're probably right about the degree, though I'm not sure if he meant he was planning not to get one. While most regionals don't officially require a two year degree, you'll be in a lot better chance with one.

All this being said, I plan to go to ATP in the fall, and start college next year after building some time up, see if I can maybe part time a CFI job to build and keep recurrent.

Anyways good advice Arky, just wanted to make the ATP part clear

As you stated a college degree now a days is VERY important.. And yes, i know that. Thats another reason ATP seems to be the right choice for me. If I go through ATP it only takes90 days to complete everything compared to 7 months at another academy. This will allow me to enroll sooner (ERAU online) while I build time instructing.

As far as the guys I told you about being hired at 19 and 20. Its all true. I could even give you contact to these two guys. lol even though I don't understand why you think I come on here to make up some stories. who knows...

FYI- The one friend that was hired at Comair was the 20 yr. old.
Guess its just all about timing..