Becoming a Pilot for United Airlines
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United AviateSM Become a United Airlines® Pilot

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ATP Flight School is the nation’s leader in airline-oriented flight training and has partnered with United to provide ATP students the most direct path to a successful pilot career with United.

As an Airline Career Pilot Program student, you can apply to join United Aviate – a secure path leading to potential employment as a United pilot. As an Aviate participant at ATP, you will take advantage of proven flight training and development as a leader, all while being provided with clear direction and support for achieving your end goal.

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How to Become a United Pilot

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At ATP, below are the steps to become a United pilot.

  1. Airline Career Pilot Program

    Enroll in ATP Flight School's Airline Career Pilot and apply to join United Aviate.

  2. Flight Instructor Job

    Build experience as an ATP flight instructor after graduating to qualify for airline hiring minimums.

  3. United Express® Pilot or Part 135 Operator Pilot

    Fly as an airline pilot for an Aviate participating UAX carrier or Part 135 operator.

  4. United Pilot

    Transition to United as a First Officer.

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Become an Airline Pilot Airline Career Pilot Program

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Learn to Become an Airline Pilot with ATP Flight School
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United Aviate How to Participate

Your path to becoming a United pilot starts at ATP Flight School. Here's how to go from zero experience to becoming a United First Officer.

Ready to Apply?

Current ATP students and instructors can get started by reviewing the United Aviate application checklist.

  1. Step 1

    Airline Career Pilot Program

    Start flight training in the Airline Career Pilot Program.

  2. Step 2

    Apply for United Aviate

    In three months, you'll earn your private pilot certificate and be eligible to apply for United Aviate. Upon acceptance, you'll receive a conditional job offer as a United First Officer.

  3. Step 3

    Graduate with your Commercial & CFI Certificates

    Remain in good standing, and after nine months since starting the program, you'll graduate with your commercial pilot and flight instructor certificates.

  4. Step 4

    Build Experience as a Flight Instructor

    Build experience as an ATP flight instructor after graduating to qualify for airline hiring minimums.

  5. Step 5

    Fly for an Aviate participating United Express Carrier or Part 135 Operator

    Continue building invaluable flying experience within the Aviate network.

  6. Step 6

    Fly for United

    After 1,200 hours flying for an Aviate-participating United Express carrier or Part 135 operator as a Pilot In Command (PIC), you will be eligible to transition to United as a First Officer.

ATP's United Express Partners

To bridge the gap from ATP to United, you'll fly as an airline pilot with one of ATP's United Express partner airlines and as an ATP graduate, you can take advantage of recruiting events during your flight training. The sooner you join ATP, the quicker a transition from United Express to a United Airlines pilot.


Requirements to Participate in United Aviate

Below are the requirements and pilot qualifications to apply to the United Aviate program through ATP.

  • Train in the Airline Career Pilot Program, and remain in good standing with no disciplinary actions.
  • Hold a private pilot certificate.

After applying, candidates will follow United’s screening and assessment process.

  • United will conduct an initial screening focused on the merits of the candidate and a review of employment records and the candidate’s history.
  • After passing the initial screenings, candidates are invited to interview at United’s Flight Training Center in Chicago, where they will participate in a panel interview and Technical Readiness Review, followed by the Leadership Inventory and the “Becoming United” assessment.
  • Once the screening, interview, and assessments are complete, United’s Acceptance Board of Review will make a final decision on the candidate's application.

Before transitioning to United from a United Express career, it's preferred for pilots to hold a bachelor’s degree.

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Benefits of United Aviate

With United Aviate through ATP, you'll be on a streamlined path to future employment with United. Get the competitive edge with these advantages.

  • Clear direction and a tailored path to a career at United.
  • Expedited time at the regional airlines.
  • Travel privileges to hundreds of United destinations.
  • Structured coaching with a United pilot for leadership and career development.
  • Aviate pilot leadership program to become a future United Captain.
  • Development events and programs.
  • Interaction with senior leadership and United Captains
  • Site tours of United’s advanced and complex operational facilities.

Benefits Exclusive to ATP

  • Accelerated airline-oriented flight training through ATP.
  • Eligible to apply to United Aviate after earning your private pilot certificate.
  • Lifelong career support and mentorship through the ATP Alumni Association.

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United Pilot Hiring & Placements

ATP Flight School has the highest ratio of airline placements to students of any other college, university, or cadet academy, and has placed over 700 pilots with United Express airlines.

The connections that I made at ATP Flight School are what opened the doors for me into my career at the airlines… Being in the Aviate Program gave me the opportunity to interview at CommuteAir, where I would go on to spend two years flying as both a First Officer and a Captain. After completing my transition requirements, I am now a First Officer with United Airlines flying the 737 out of DCA. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the instruction that I received at ATP Flight School, and I’m thankful for the friends and mentors that I made during my time there.

Airline Career Pilot Program graduate and United Aviate Participant

Drew Askew

ATP Graduate & United Aviate Participant

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