Piper Archer sitting on ground at a three-quarter angle

Flight Training TimelineZero Experience to Airline Pilot in About Two Years

With ATP's accelerated pilot training, you will complete the Airline Career Pilot Program in 6 or 9 months and can become an airline pilot in about two years.

Request More Info »

Choose Your Starting Point

Begin Program with Zero Experience


Start
Begin with Credit for Your Private Pilot Certificate


Start
Private Pilot
The first step towards becoming an airline pilot is earning your Private Pilot Certificate.
3 Months

Private Pilot

The first step towards becoming a commercial pilot is earning your single-engine Private Pilot Certificate. Keeping your end goal in mind — ATP's philosophy is to deliver airline-style training and flight experience at the very onset of a pilot's training career. This is accomplished through standardized operating procedures and training students to a high level of proficiency. In your primary training stage, you'll learn the fundamentals of flight and accomplish your first solo.

Request More Information »

What's Included
Aircraft Flown
Certificate Earned

Private Pilot (with single-engine privileges)

Some Time Away from Primary Training Center May Be Required

To keep your training on time, the single-engine private pilot checkride may be scheduled at a location other than your primary training center. In such cases, travel will be required and ATP will coordinate transportation and housing as necessary.

Typical Training DayRequires up to 7 days per week, must be flexible

As directed by your flight instructor and the program outline, each day you will participate in guided independent study (online modules, reading, research, "chair flying", etc.), group study (with students in similar stages of training), and/or flight lessons with related briefings. In addition, some days include FTD lessons, individual ground lessons and/or group ground lessons.

Learn more about required availability.

Multi-Engine Rating
Once you're a private pilot, the next step is to earn a multi-engine rating and begin training in the Piper Seminole.
3 ½ Months
Multi-Engine Rating
Once you're a private pilot, the next step is to earn a multi-engine rating and begin training in the Piper Seminole.
½ Month

Multi-Engine Rating

Add multi-engine privileges to your private pilot certificate, allowing you to fly larger complex aircraft. While the principles of flight remain the same, learning to fly the multi-engine Piper Seminole will involve new concepts such as multi-engine aerodynamics, emergency operations, and more sophisticated systems.

Request More Information »

What's Included
  • Multi-Engine Flight Instruction
Aircraft Flown
Rating Earned

Multi-Engine Rating

Some Time Away from Primary Training Center May Be Required

To keep your training on time, the multi-engine rating checkride may be scheduled at a location other than your primary training center. In such cases, travel will be required and ATP will coordinate transportation and housing as necessary.

Typical Training DayRequires up to 7 days per week, must be flexible

As directed by your flight instructor and the program outline, each day you will participate in guided independent study (online modules, reading, research, "chair flying", etc.), group study (with students in similar stages of training), and/or flight lessons with related briefings. In addition, some days include FTD lessons, individual ground lessons and/or group ground lessons.

Learn more about required availability.

Instrument Rating
Add an instrument rating to your private pilot certificate, which will allow you to fly in all kinds of weather.
5 ½ Months
Instrument Rating
Add an instrument rating to your private pilot certificate, which will allow you to fly in all kinds of weather.
2 ½ Months

Instrument Rating

Airlines conduct flights under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), allowing them to fly in less than ideal weather conditions. Accordingly, these pilots must have an Instrument Rating. During this stage, students conduct flights under simulated instrument conditions and learn IFR procedures such as approaches, holds, arrival and departure procedures, and emergency operations.

Not unlike other stages of the program, students are trained using standard operating procedures, flows, and callouts. This practice not only increases safety and consistency, but will prepare students for flying in the airline environment.

Request More Information »

What's Included
Aircraft Flown
Rating Earned

Instrument Rating

Some Time Away from Primary Training Center May Be Required

To keep your training on time, the instrument rating checkride may be scheduled at a location other than your primary training center. In such cases, travel will be required and ATP will coordinate transportation and housing as necessary.

Typical Training DayRequires up to 7 days per week, must be flexible

As directed by your flight instructor and the program outline, each day you will participate in guided independent study (online modules, reading, research, "chair flying", etc.), group study (with students in similar stages of training), and/or flight lessons with related briefings. In addition, some days include FTD lessons, individual ground lessons and/or group ground lessons.

Learn more about required availability.

Crew-Style Flight Experience
Once instrument rated, gain experience flying with a fellow student.
6 Months
3 Months

Crew-Style Flight Experience

Upon earning an Instrument Rating, students are paired together on flights and gain experience operating in an airline-style environment using crew resource management.

Each flight is operated using standardized procedures, as well as enhanced scheduling with flight releases to assist with weather, routing, and performance reviews. Routes are scheduled based on operational needs and multiple flights to the same airport may be scheduled — just like the airlines. ATP's specialized Flight Operations team ensure safety and support for each flight through around-the-clock monitoring.

This crew-style flying requires a level of currency, proficiency, and standardization that defines ATP's excellence in flight training.

Request More Information »

Up to Three Weeks Away from Primary Training Center Required

During the Crew-Style Flight Experience stage of training, expect to be away from your primary training center for a few weeks.

Typical Training Day7 Days Per Week

Each day you can expect to fly one or more flights.

Learn more about required availability.

Commercial Pilot
After completing the cross-country stage, earn your single-engine Commercial Pilot Certificate.
6 ½ Months
3 ½ Months

Commercial Pilot

After completing the cross-country flying stage, students will begin preparing for their single-engine Commercial Pilot Certificate, eventually allowing them to be paid to fly. As a commercial pilot, new flight maneuvers are introduced and existing ones are held to tighter tolerances. Prior to completing the commercial pilot practical test, 10 hours of Technologically Advanced Aircraft training will have been conducted either at your primary training center or at another location.

After completing the cross-country flying stage, students will begin preparing for their multi-engine Commercial Pilot Certificate, eventually allowing them to be paid to fly. As a commercial pilot, new flight maneuvers are introduced and existing ones are held to tighter tolerances.

Request More Information »

What's Included
Aircraft Flown
Certificate Earned

Commercial Pilot (with single-engine privileges)

Commercial Pilot (with multi-engine privileges)

Some Time Away from Primary Training Center May Be Required

To keep your training on time, the commercial pilot checkrides may be scheduled at a location other than your primary training center. In such cases, travel will be required and ATP will coordinate transportation and housing as necessary. Additionally, if no previous training was conducted in Technologically Advanced Aircraft, you may be required to travel to another training center for up to two weeks to accomplish this training.

Typical Training DayRequires up to 7 days per week, must be flexible

As directed by your flight instructor and the program outline, each day you will participate in guided independent study (online modules, reading, research, "chair flying", etc.), group study (with students in similar stages of training), and/or flight lessons with related briefings. In addition, some days include FTD lessons, individual ground lessons and/or group ground lessons.

Learn more about required availability.

CFI Academy
Attend CFI Academy and become a flight instructor – the best way to gain experience and meet airline minimums.
8 ½ Months
5 ½ Months

Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) Academy

Two months of the program are devoted to developing students into Certificated Flight Instructors (CFI). Here students attend ATP's CFI Academy to learn the fundamentals of instruction and hone their ability to effectively teach and communicate the knowledge and experience they have attained throughout the program.

Becoming a CFI allows you to begin earning an income in your new career while you gain the flight experience needed to meet airline minimums. Airline Career Pilot Program graduates are guaranteed a paid instructor job with ATP, earning up to $42,000 annually with airline tuition reimbursement.

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Logo

ATP Instructors Nationally Recognized by AOPA

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) consistently award ATP CFIs with “Distinguished Flight Instructor” awards and the recognition of being “Best Flight Instructor in Region” during the annual Flight Training Experience Awards.

National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) Logo

NAFI Master Flight Instructor Awards

The National Association of Flight Instructors is proud to announce that ATP Flight Instructors Michael “Todd” Shellnut and Jeremy Hand have earned accreditation as NAFI Master Flight Instructors.

Request More Information »

What's Included
Aircraft Flown
Certificate Earned

Certificated Flight Instructor (with single-engine and instrument privileges)

Certificated Flight Instructor (with multi-engine and instrument privileges)

Up to One Month from Primary Training Center Required

Depending on where you choose to train, you may be required to travel to a CFI Academy location. In such cases, travel will be required and ATP will coordinate transportation and housing as necessary.

Learn More »

Typical Training DayRequires up to 7 days per week, must be flexible

As directed by your flight instructor and the program outline, each day you will participate in guided independent study (online modules, reading, research, "chair flying", etc.), group study (with students in similar stages of training), and/or flight lessons with related briefings. In addition, some days include classroom instruction, FTD lessons, individual ground lessons and/or group ground lessons.

Learn more about required availability.

Multi-Engine Add-Ons
Add multi-engine ratings to your existing certificates, allowing you to operate faster, larger aircraft.
Single-Engine Add-Ons
Add single-engine ratings to your existing certificates, allowing you to use instruct and fly commercial in single-engine aircraft
9 Months
6 Months

Multi-Engine Add-Ons

Single-Engine Add-Ons

The final stage of the Airline Career Pilot Program is transitioning to flying the Piper Seminole to add multi-engine privileges to your certificates. While the principles of flight remain the same, learning to fly the multi-engine Seminole will involve new concepts such as multi-engine aerodynamics, emergency operations, and more complex systems. This stage of the program also includes the flight time necessary to ensure that you'll meet Airline Transport Pilot certificate requirements later in your career and be eligible for airline pilot employment.

The final stage of the Airline Career Pilot Program is adding single-engine privileges to your commercial and flight instructor certificate. This rounds-out your qualifications and allows you to instruct and fly commercially in smaller single-engine training aircraft.

Request More Information »

What's Included
  • Commercial Multi-Engine Flight Instruction
  • Multi-Engine CFI Flight Instruction
  • Commercial Single-Engine Flight Instruction
  • Single-Engine CFI Flight Instruction
Aircraft Flown
Privileges Earned
  • Commercial Pilot Multi-Engine Privileges
  • Certificated Flight Instructor Multi-Engine Privileges
  • Commercial Pilot Single-Engine Privileges
  • Certificated Flight Instructor Single-Engine Privileges

Some Time Away from Primary Training Center May Be Required

Depending on where you choose to train, you may be required to travel to a Piper Seminole location. In such cases, travel will be required and ATP will coordinate transportation and housing as necessary.

To keep your training on time, the single-engine add-on checkrides may be scheduled at a location other than your primary training center. In such cases, travel will be required and ATP will coordinate transportation and housing as necessary.

Learn More »

Typical Training DayRequires up to 7 days per week, must be flexible

As directed by your flight instructor and the program outline, each day you will participate in guided independent study (online modules, reading, research, "chair flying", etc.), group study (with students in similar stages of training), and/or flight lessons with related briefings. In addition, some days include FTD lessons, individual ground lessons and/or group ground lessons.

Guaranteed Instructor Job
Graduate the program and take advantage of a guaranteed instructor job with ATP to gain flight experience.

Guaranteed Instructor Job

As an Airline Career Pilot Program graduate you are guaranteed one of the most desired flight instructor jobs in the country, where you can earn up to $42,000 annually with airline tuition reimbursement and build flight experience faster than anywhere else.

Benefits of Instructing with ATP

  • Earn up to $42,000 annually with airline tuition reimbursement, based on how much you fly.
  • Opportunity to instruct at any of ATP’s 41 flight training centers nationwide.
  • Gain ATP’s assistance with regional airline job placement.
  • Build multi-engine and total time quickly to meet airline and corporate hiring minimums.
  • Multi-engine dual experience rapidly moves you to the top
  • Work with dedicated, motivated students.
  • Fly the largest fleet of standardized multi-engine aircraft.
  • Free housing available during indoctrination training in Jacksonville, FL or Phoenix, AZ.
  • Housing, furnished with no lease obligation, is available at training centers for reduced rates.

Guarantee Eligibility

Airline Career Pilot Program graduates must meet the following requirements to be eligible for guaranteed instructor job placement:

  1. Graduate from the Airline Career Pilot Program
  2. Meet availability and proficiency requirements that support on-time graduation
  3. Fail no more than two practical tests (checkrides) (three or more checkride failures will require special review and may prevent your eligibility for guaranteed instructor job placement)
  4. Demonstrate professionalism, adherence to standard operating procedures, and uncompromising attention to safety-focused decisions at all times
  5. Have no prohibitive items on a ten-year background check, as required for airline employment
  6. Commit to an available training center assignment within 2 weeks of graduation. (After 2 weeks, the instructor position is no longer guaranteed.)
  7. Complete approximately 1 week of Instructor Indoc (an ATP on-boarding and proficiency program) in Jacksonville or Phoenix
Tuition Reimbursement
Receive airline sponsored tuition reimbursement as a flight instructor and through your first year at the airlines.

Airline Tuition ReimbursementInterview with Your Airline Between 300-500 Hours Total Time

Airlines have selected ATP as a preferred training provider to build their pilot pipelines with the best training, offering ATP graduates tuition reimbursement. As an Airline Career Pilot Program graduate, you can begin taking advantage of this program between 300-500 hours total flight time. Here's how it works:

Step 1: Airline Career Pilot Program

Graduate from the Airline Career Pilot Program with CFIs.

Step 2: Build Experience as a Flight Instructor

Become a flight instructor with ATP — guaranteed instructor job for Airline Career Pilot Program graduates.

Step 3: Airline Interview & Airline Tuition Reimbursement

As an instructor, interview with your airline. If you accept the airline's offer, they make a financial contribution toward your loan payment and you make a commitment to fly for that airline (payments are made directly to you if you did not finance your training). Depending on your airline of choice, you my also be eligible for airline health and travel benefits.

Step 4: Airline Pilot Job Placement

About two years after starting flight training, and with approximately $5,000 in airline tuition assistance received, you start your new hire class with your airline.

Participating Airlines

Envoy Air
Skywest Airlines
Mesa Airlines
Horizon Air
GoJet Airlines
Piedmont Airlines
Silver Airways
ExpressJet Airlines
CommutAir
Republic Airways

Request More Information »

Airline Placement
Begin flying as an airline pilot with one of ATP's airline partners, who provide you with a direct path to the major airlines.
1,500 Hours

Your Path to the Majors

Upon reaching airline hiring minimums of 1,500 hours, start flying as an airline pilot. ATP's 20 airline partnerships provide you with more opportunities of who to fly for and a direct path to the major airlines like Delta Air Lines, United Airlines®, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Frontier Airlines.

Request More Information »

Join the Discussion at AirlinePilot.Life Get Real Answers from Real Pilots

Get Answers »

American Eagle Pilots on Talking in a Cockpit

Life as an ATP Flight School StudentWork towards your goal of becoming an airline pilot.

Life as an ATP Flight School Student

Request More Information »

What Others Have to SayAirline Career Pilot Program Testimonials

ATP is a pilot factory. No fluff or frills. They pump out professional pilots with extreme diligence. I started the career pilot program in Jan 2012 and 5 short years later I just landed an Airbus A-321 with 230 passengers in Miami after doing a transcon [transcontinental flight].

After only three years with ExpressJet, I had offers to decide between, flying the 747 for Atlas Air, the 777 for Southern Air, or the A-320 series for Frontier. Not only am I accelerating through my career quickly, my ATP CFI is now working for Southwest.

When someone asks me how to become an airline pilot, the first thing I do is give them the link to ATP Flight School. I have recommended the career pilot program to my best of friends, and they have followed suit. I'm glad that something like ATP exists, it sure makes the dream much more achievable.

Airline Career Pilot Program graduates are being hired by the airlines

Tayler Boone

ATP Graduate