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Do You Need a Degree to be a Pilot?

By Blue Line Aviation on Dec 6, 2021 4:00:00 AM

The question of a college degree often arises as people contemplate becoming professional airline pilots. Do you need a degree to be a pilot? The answer is both yes and no. Here’s what you need to know.

Do You Need a Degree for Flight School Training?

The answer is a simple, “No.” You do not need a degree to attend flight school training. A degree never hurts and may open doors for you that would otherwise be closed for your career. However, pilots can have successful careers, outside of major airlines, without college degrees. In fact, Blue Line Aviation successfully graduates many students from all walks of life who find opportunities in the industry even if they do not currently hold a college degree. Your odds of a successful career as a pilot are even better if you have a solid work, personal, or military history under your belt as well.

Learn more about the Career Pilot Program at Blue Line Aviation today and see how quickly your career can take off!

Do You Need a Degree to Become a Career Pilot?

Becoming a career pilot doesn’t require a college degree. Recruiters for regional airlines are seeking other qualifications from their pilots, such as:

  • Pilots with 1,500 hours.
  • Pilots with good FAA track records.
  • Good driving records.
  • No criminal history.
  • Good person to work with.

College degrees do not factor into the hiring equations for these positions.

Corporate pilot positions are a mixed bag. Some positions require a college degree and others do not. 

Major Airlines (American, United, Delta, etc.) have been known to be strict about requiring a college degree, but because of the current pilot shortage they are hiring pilots without a degree on occasion. A college degree is still a major competitive advantage when being hired at the majors.

Do You Need an Aviation Degree?

The answer to this question is a resounding, “No!” Even major airlines will accept any bachelor’s degree. They aren’t concerned about your field of study in college, only that you have completed it. A degree indicates certain characteristics major airlines seek in their pilots, such as:

  • Ability to stay the course.
  • Discipline to achieve your goals.
  • Commitment to a specific cause.

With this in mind, you should choose a degree program that reflects your interests. Even if your goal is to become a pilot, a degree in a field that excites you gives you something to fall back on and broadens your perspective, making you an even better candidate as a pilot.

Benefits of Having a Degree for Pilots

Pilots who have degrees are more competitive candidates for in-demand positions with coveted airlines. Pilots who work with major airlines enjoy greater benefits, higher pay, and more. However, most major airlines won’t even return calls from pilots who do not have at least a four-year degree.

The truth is that while regional airlines have a shortage of pilots, major airlines have an abundance of applicants, perhaps even thousands, for open positions. A degree offers a competitive advantage over other applicants and can be the difference between getting the job or being passed over.

Blue Line Aviation, established in 2012, is one of only a few flight schools in the world to provide quality flight training programs at an accelerated pace. In as few as five and a half months, students can go from no experience to fully confident and certified pilots, fully prepared for a career in aviation. Schedule a tour of our new state-of-the-art facility (located at 3149B Swift Creek Road, Smithfield, North Carolina) and let your new career take flight. For more inquiries and additional information, please visit our website, find us on social media, or contact Ashley Tucker, our Vice President of Sales and Marketing, at (919) 578-3713 ext. 305.