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College Majors?

Pro Member First Officer
KevinTsai First Officer

Hi, I want to be a pilot when I grow up, an airliner pilot maybe. I'm a junior now in high school and I've been trying to decide which college major to choose.

Which college major or course should I take in college in order to become a pilot? Is there a college major in flying airplanes?

2 Responses

Pro Member Chief Captain
CRJCapt Chief Captain

There are programs at certain colleges with aviation programs that result in a degree in aviation but I don't recommend it. The degree is of value only within aviation. It's better to get a degree that you can fall back on if you loose your medical or get laid off from your flying job. The airline industry is full of pitfalls that could end your flying career in a heartbeat, you don't want to have all your eggs in one basket. You don't need any specific degree to become an airline pilot, just a four year degree.

Pro Member Trainee
Ryan (ryane) Trainee

I have quite a few friends who work in aviation or are pilots (professionally). From what I understand, engineering or math and science concentrated degrees are favored. This helps especially as the salaries for these degrees are generally higher and help pay your way through flight training (at least until you're CFI).

Aviation and pilot training programs are costly and rarely accredited, unless there is some aerospace engineering component tied in with it (like Embry-Riddle). If airplanes and flying are you're thing though, you may want to look into an aerospace eng degree anyway (see http://www.gatech.edu ) 😉 . That way, if we have another pilot surplus, you can still get a job anywhere in the industry.

I'm going by FAA (US) regulations here, but 250 hours of time (training + pilot in command) is required for the commercial/CFI rating. That will cost ~$25k to ~$30k depending where you live (its worse in Europe because of user fees). I've spent ~$6k to get the 65 hours I have right now (I have a private pilot certificate).

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