Becoming a pilot is a dream for many, but some may wonder if a college degree is necessary to achieve this goal. The short answer is no, a college degree is not required to become a pilot.
While certain airlines may require a degree for advancement within the company, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sets the requirements for becoming a pilot, and these requirements do not include a college degree.
In order to become a commercial or Air Transport Pilot (ATP), one must obtain a several licenses from the FAA, which requires a certain number of flight hours and passing several written and practical exams. Additionally, airlines may also have their own requirements for hiring pilots, which previously included a college degree. Due to the ongoing pilot shortage, all major airlines have dropped the college degree requirement.
It can often be better to delay getting a college degree until after you've been hired at an airline.
First, the cost of obtaining a college degree can be significant, and it may not be necessary to spend this money if the goal is to become a pilot. Additionally, obtaining a college degree may delay the start of a pilot's career, as they may need to wait until they finish their degree before they can begin flight training.
Secondly, Many airlines are more interested in hiring pilots who have experience and flight hours, rather than those who have a college degree. This is because flight experience is the most important factor in becoming a pilot, and obtaining a college degree may not provide the same level of experience as flight training.
In conclusion, a college degree is not required to become a pilot, but certain airlines may require a degree for advancement within the company. It's better not to get a college degree until after you've been hired at an airline because of the cost, time and flight experience. The most important factor in becoming a pilot is flight experience, which you can gain through flight training. If you are ready to pursue your dream of becoming a pilot, consider starting your flight training as soon as possible and then decide whether or not to pursue a college degree later.
The Flex Air Pilot Pathway can get you to your first airline job twice as fast as most college programs, and you can still use your VA Benefits. If you are interested in a college aviation program, Flex Air has partnered with with several schools to help you get one while you do your flight training.