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Becoming a Pilot

Explorer C

I am currently in High School and have no clue what to do as soon as I graduate in order to pursue my Career as a Southwest Pilot! I found a flight school near by where I live called ATP flight school in Ft. Lauderdale. I know that getting a 4-year college degree is not required but preferred. My parents are willing to pay for the flight school but I don’t know if I should go to college or go straight to flight school. Also, after completing flight school, it says that if I do ATP then I will only have up to 250 flight hours done. How am I to complete the other hours that are required after school? If anyone could answer my questions and help me better understand the steps after High School to become a pilot I would really appreciate it. Thanks!


Re: Becoming a Pilot

Aviator A

There are 4 year colleges that offer aviation training.


Also Southwest offers a pathway for aspiring pilots


There is a real shortage of pilots right now. That shortage is expected to last well into the future. So you are certainly picking a career that is likely to be quite lucrative.

Re: Becoming a Pilot

Aviator A

Check out Southwest's Destination 225 program, specifically the Cadet Pathway which is great for high school graduates interested in a career with Southwest.


I believe other airlines have similar programs so look around. 


If you wanted to train independently of Southwest then what you mentioned sounds like a great start. Many people become flight instructors to gain additional hours so you are getting paid while accumulating hours. As you go through flight school you'll learn about other opportunities to gain hours.


Good luck!