Do you love to fly and want an exciting, rewarding, and challenging career with great travel benefits?
Join the club!
On any given day, more than 45,000 commercial flights take to the air in the United States carrying 2.9 million passengers and nearly 122 million pounds of cargo.* And while it takes a team effort with many aviation professionals working together to make this happen without incident, at the controls of each plane is a professional airline pilot.
Flying domestically and internationally for regional, mainline, or all-cargo carriers, commercial airline pilots navigate the skies to deliver goods and ensure travelers get to their destinations safely and securely. You can join them and become a professional airline pilot, traveling across the country and even around the world to connect people and products.
Anyone with a passion, aptitude for flying, and meeting the requirements can become an airline pilot regardless of race, gender, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. And there are several options for ways to attain this dream. You can make it happen with the right attitude, planning, and perseverance.
Join the aviation program at your school or in your community. (Or start one!)
Take an aviation class.
Build and fly model airplanes.
Visit your local aviation museum.
Become a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol.
Take it a step further and learn about:
The theory of flight.
A day in the life of a pilot.
Navigation and developing a flight plan.
Air traffic control.
Federal aviation rules and regulations.
These are growing lists of activities and information for high school students. Send your ideas to Education@alpa.org.
There are several paths that you can take to become a professional airline pilot. One of the most common ways is by attending a university with an aviation/flight training program. There, you can learn to fly, build flight-time hours, and earn your degree. You can also learn to fly through standalone flight training programs and the military. Each path has pros and cons.