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4michaelclark
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Colleges to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Fri Jul 01, 2022 6:07 pm

Can anyone share the current top colleges to become a commercial pilot at a major airline?

My son is interested in going to college and becoming a commercial pilot. We have only hear that Purdue and Embry-Riddle have quality programs. Any updated information woudl be appreciated.

Also, does anyone know if the commercial airlines hire out of the Baylor University or Texas A&M programs, or if those programs end with the needed certifications?
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: Colleges to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Fri Jul 01, 2022 9:38 pm

In addition to ERAU (which is extremely expensive) and Purdue, there are a number of options around the country with quality programs. I went to ASU (although as an ATC major), and they have a large program. My former classmates went on to flight instructing, then regionals, and are now flying with UPS, Delta, United, American, Southwest, Allegiant, etc. Great weather there means plenty of flight time and plenty of opportunities to be an instructor afterwards to build time. Everyone I was friends with in the Pro Flight program got jobs quickly, and all moved on to mainline carriers within 6-8 years.

UND and Auburn also have large and well-respected programs. Here is a more complete list https://pilotcareercenter.com/tsr2-Flig ... ersity-USA

Frankly, you don't need a "top college", you just need one that will offer affordable tuition and rates, because getting hired after obtaining certificates and building time won't be an issue. The only difference between an Embry-Riddle grad and an ASU grad is about $100k in extra debt.
 
Snuffaluffagus
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Re: Colleges to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Fri Jul 01, 2022 10:00 pm

Fellow Sun Devil here too. Absolutely no one cares where you went for college. There is no 'harvard of the skies'. Go wherever is the cheapest for you.

Just to add on...I graduated from ASU with the exact same certificates/ratings as an Embry-Riddle graduate and probably paid $100-120k less than them. I was at my first airline flying ERJ-145s seven months after graduation (pre-1500 hour rule).
 
Woodreau
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Re: Colleges to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Fri Jul 01, 2022 10:38 pm

Since you’re looking at central Texas, TSTC also has a flight training program that leads to the same qualifications as Baylor or Texas A&M.

While I haven’t checked pricing I’m pretty sure that TSTC is probably less expensive than Baylor or Texas a&m.

What you’re looking for is a 4 year degree and a Restricted ATP with instructor certificates.

The instructor certificates allow the prospective pilot get from the 200hrs to 1000hrs. The Restricted ATP allows the pilot to get hired at a 121 air carrier.

Many regional airlines hire directly out of the flight training programs

ATP is also another expensive way to go if you already have a 4 year degree. Regional Airlines and ULCCs have all sorts of bridge agreements with ATP as well.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Colleges to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Fri Jul 01, 2022 11:58 pm

Snuffaluffagus wrote:
Fellow Sun Devil here too. Absolutely no one cares where you went for college. There is no 'harvard of the skies'. Go wherever is the cheapest for you.

Just to add on...I graduated from ASU with the exact same certificates/ratings as an Embry-Riddle graduate and probably paid $100-120k less than them. I was at my first airline flying ERJ-145s seven months after graduation (pre-1500 hour rule).


:checkmark: :checkmark: :checkmark:

Most of the professional pilots I know, including myself, didn't go to an aviation university at all. Many don't even have degrees.

Embry-Riddle and so on are by all accounts great schools. But they're not a silver bullet that will get you the first job and a career in aviation. There are several paths to become a professional pilot.

My suggestion would be to go to a university that suits, ignoring aviation, and get your licenses at a flight school separately. There are many quality "mom and pop" schools that provide great training for far less than "name" schools.

By the way, if you are American, ROTC provides many opportunities in the aviation field.
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: Colleges to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Sat Jul 02, 2022 12:16 am

Starlionblue wrote:
Snuffaluffagus wrote:
Fellow Sun Devil here too. Absolutely no one cares where you went for college. There is no 'harvard of the skies'. Go wherever is the cheapest for you.

Just to add on...I graduated from ASU with the exact same certificates/ratings as an Embry-Riddle graduate and probably paid $100-120k less than them. I was at my first airline flying ERJ-145s seven months after graduation (pre-1500 hour rule).


:checkmark: :checkmark: :checkmark:

Most of the professional pilots I know, including myself, didn't go to an aviation university at all. Many don't even have degrees.

Embry-Riddle and so on are by all accounts great schools. But they're not a silver bullet that will get you the first job and a career in aviation. There are several paths to become a professional pilot.

My suggestion would be to go to a university that suits, ignoring aviation, and get your licenses at a flight school separately. There are many quality "mom and pop" schools that provide great training for far less than "name" schools.

By the way, if you are American, ROTC provides many opportunities in the aviation field.


Unfortunately, with the way the R-ATP programs work, without doing an aviation college program, he's throwing away 6 months or more of seniority wherever he ends up.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Colleges to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Sat Jul 02, 2022 12:29 am

DiamondFlyer wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
Snuffaluffagus wrote:
Fellow Sun Devil here too. Absolutely no one cares where you went for college. There is no 'harvard of the skies'. Go wherever is the cheapest for you.

Just to add on...I graduated from ASU with the exact same certificates/ratings as an Embry-Riddle graduate and probably paid $100-120k less than them. I was at my first airline flying ERJ-145s seven months after graduation (pre-1500 hour rule).


:checkmark: :checkmark: :checkmark:

Most of the professional pilots I know, including myself, didn't go to an aviation university at all. Many don't even have degrees.

Embry-Riddle and so on are by all accounts great schools. But they're not a silver bullet that will get you the first job and a career in aviation. There are several paths to become a professional pilot.

My suggestion would be to go to a university that suits, ignoring aviation, and get your licenses at a flight school separately. There are many quality "mom and pop" schools that provide great training for far less than "name" schools.

By the way, if you are American, ROTC provides many opportunities in the aviation field.


Unfortunately, with the way the R-ATP programs work, without doing an aviation college program, he's throwing away 6 months or more of seniority wherever he ends up.


Fair. But you have to weigh that against a difference of tens of thousands of US dollars upfront. Six months isn't a lot in a forty-year career...
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: Colleges to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Sat Jul 02, 2022 12:15 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:

:checkmark: :checkmark: :checkmark:

Most of the professional pilots I know, including myself, didn't go to an aviation university at all. Many don't even have degrees.

Embry-Riddle and so on are by all accounts great schools. But they're not a silver bullet that will get you the first job and a career in aviation. There are several paths to become a professional pilot.

My suggestion would be to go to a university that suits, ignoring aviation, and get your licenses at a flight school separately. There are many quality "mom and pop" schools that provide great training for far less than "name" schools.

By the way, if you are American, ROTC provides many opportunities in the aviation field.


Unfortunately, with the way the R-ATP programs work, without doing an aviation college program, he's throwing away 6 months or more of seniority wherever he ends up.


Fair. But you have to weigh that against a difference of tens of thousands of US dollars upfront. Six months isn't a lot in a forty-year career...


6 months could be the difference between being a widebody captain versus not for a significant period of your career, when places like Delta are hiring 200+ per month
 
N1120A
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Re: Colleges to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:34 pm

UND's program is well known and much less expensive than Riddle. Tons of pilots coming from the Part 61 world right now - you don't need to spend an absolute fortune. 6 months is absolutely not going to be a deal breaker, especially since the majors still arent street hiring R-ATP eligible pilots, or even 1500 hour pilots. Also, if you hustle as a CFI, you can get those hours faster than you can finish a 141 program.
 
bomber996
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Re: Colleges to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:37 pm

Just going to throw out some tuition numbers. Obviously flying will add significant cost, but take this for what it is from this UND Alum...

UND out of state - $14546
Purdue out of state - $28794
ERAU - $40714

Going to one of these Part 141 schools is going to be a great way to build time. At least at UND there is a significant pool of contract students so CFI time building is very easy to obtain. Everyone's situation is different, but UND is definitely worth the look.

Peace :box:
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Colleges to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:57 pm

I was paired, at C-5 training, with a kid who had went to ERAU on full flight school program. Then, selected to UPT by Dover Reserves. Our IP, the DO, asked about tuition, about $100,000, about 30 years ago. He was astounded, “you could have been a doctor, instead of a crew dog”. For an American, local college, get a decent degree, it’s an education not trade school; then get picked up by a reserve unit for UPT.
 
phugoid1982
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Re: Colleges to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Sat Jul 02, 2022 6:36 pm

ERAU is fantastic for aviation and engineering but like others have pointed out ridiculously expensive. My dad attended Purdue for Aero/Astro Engineering and their aviation dept and vocational degrees were extremely well regarded even then. If I remember correctly, Purdue has a "Design your own degree" type thing. Even if your son is not that interested in engineering he could take a few engineering classes in aircraft performance and maybe aerodynamics and combine that with professional pilot training. He'll stand out. Unfortunately, my alma matter Illinois sold off their aviation program to the local community college. They had a wonderful degree in Aviation Human Factors which also included full pilot training. Even in engineering, where you went to school is pretty much just something you can brag about at cocktail parties. I went to a top 5 school and I still had the put in a lot of work to get my 1st job.
 
DualQual
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Re: Colleges to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Sun Jul 03, 2022 1:51 am

I’ll echo Galaxy. Get a degree in something not at all aviation related. This is important given you can medical out or be one MBA’s stupidity away from the unemployment line. Also given that this board is weirdly excited about pilots being automated out of a job I’d have a backup plan. Apply to Guard and Reserve units. Get paid a living wage to fly airplanes, have a career lifeboat, and make contacts with airline people in said Guard/Reserve squadron to get the airline job.
 
Dalmd88
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Re: Colleges to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Sun Jul 03, 2022 12:27 pm

I'm an ERAU grad with an AMT degree from a long time ago. Back then it was expensive compared to a CC, but was on par with most out of state 4 yr schools. The flight program has some astronomical costs now.

I have a lot of friends that were in the flight program, One thing I have noticed through their careers is the importance of a personal network. Where you got the degree is less important than the connections you made while you were doing it. That network you create may not land you a job at a major, but it can really help finding all the jobs that lead up to the major. Out of 6-10 friends one gets a flight instructor job. Another slot opens up at the school. "Hey I know a CFI looking for a job", Next thing you know 2-3 of that group are working there. Another lands a cargo job, same story. A good network can make life better.
 
N1120A
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Re: Colleges to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Sun Jul 03, 2022 4:49 pm

bomber996 wrote:
Just going to throw out some tuition numbers. Obviously flying will add significant cost, but take this for what it is from this UND Alum...

UND out of state - $14546
Purdue out of state - $28794
ERAU - $40714

Going to one of these Part 141 schools is going to be a great way to build time. At least at UND there is a significant pool of contract students so CFI time building is very easy to obtain. Everyone's situation is different, but UND is definitely worth the look.

Peace :box:


And my understanding from Swayne Martin's description of his UND experience is that qualifying for in state after your first year there is quite easy.
 
bomber996
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Re: Colleges to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Sun Jul 03, 2022 4:55 pm

N1120A wrote:
bomber996 wrote:
Just going to throw out some tuition numbers. Obviously flying will add significant cost, but take this for what it is from this UND Alum...

UND out of state - $14546
Purdue out of state - $28794
ERAU - $40714

Going to one of these Part 141 schools is going to be a great way to build time. At least at UND there is a significant pool of contract students so CFI time building is very easy to obtain. Everyone's situation is different, but UND is definitely worth the look.

Peace :box:


And my understanding from Swayne Martin's description of his UND experience is that qualifying for in state after your first year there is quite easy.


It might have changed since my day, but I spent a full year there to continue classes, registered my car there, and got a drivers license there and I had North Dakota residency. In state tuition now is showing $10276. UND is right up there in industry prominence, but is by far the least expensive option.

Peace :box:
 
VMCA787
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Re: Colleges to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Sun Jul 03, 2022 6:44 pm

My advice would be just like others have given on this forum. In my case, I did go to ERAU, a very long time ago. I did go on an AFROTC scholarship for the entire time. I already had my PPL and figured I would learn to fly the way the USAF wanted, so I pursued an Aeronautical Engineering degree, just to hedge my bets should something happen.

Lucky for me, I had to wait a year before I went to UPT, this was early to mid-70s and the USAF had more pilots than they knew what to do with. But, I did secure a job at Electric Boat, in Groton CT. I worked on the 688 Class Attack subs and the 726 Class SSBN. Spent a year doing that and had a blast doing it.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Colleges to Become a Commercial Pilot?

Mon Jul 04, 2022 1:04 am

Dalmd88 wrote:
I'm an ERAU grad with an AMT degree from a long time ago. Back then it was expensive compared to a CC, but was on par with most out of state 4 yr schools. The flight program has some astronomical costs now.

I have a lot of friends that were in the flight program, One thing I have noticed through their careers is the importance of a personal network. Where you got the degree is less important than the connections you made while you were doing it. That network you create may not land you a job at a major, but it can really help finding all the jobs that lead up to the major. Out of 6-10 friends one gets a flight instructor job. Another slot opens up at the school. "Hey I know a CFI looking for a job", Next thing you know 2-3 of that group are working there. Another lands a cargo job, same story. A good network can make life better.


Spot on, and one of the reasons you should never make enemies in aviation. It's a deceptively small world.

It seems every generation of pilots in my company has a few groups of guys who knew each other from flight school or regionals in some other country. "Oh yeah, he was my instructor for CPL," and so on.

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