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What are my chances for getting a job at an airline if I go the civilain route/flight school?

I'm wanting to know if I would have a better chance in getting a job for an airline if I go the military route? #aviation #airline-industry #pilot #air-force #commercial-pilot

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James Daniel’s Answer

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Hi,
Josh and Matt make valid points about the military being a large commitment. I'm not sure about military having "more" success at being hired with the legacy carriers (Southwest, United, American, Delta, Alaska). The current stats at Delta, where I fly, are about 50/50 hiring military vs non-military for new hires in the last 3 years. Both paths bring different, but respected, perspectives and experience. For the record, I'm a military pilot (12 years active duty, the last 4 years in the Air National Guard). Another option you may want to consider is a "blend" of military and civilian. And that is to be hired by the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserves. If you fly for the ANG/AFR, you will have the same 10 year commitment, however you will only be "full time" military for the first 2-3 years to get through training and get seasoned. After that, you can serve as a traditional guardsman/reservist, which means part-time. Part-time ends up being about 5-10 days a month. The airlines must let you take military leave to serve those days. We have several folks in my unit who are traditional guardsmen, and fly for the regionals. When they get enough hours they'll apply for the major airlines with both military and civilian experience. In the interest of full disclosure, a part-time guardsman/reservist will have periods where they will have to serve overseas and/or be on orders "full time", but generally those full-time periods are short...60-90 days maybe about once a year, and in some units once every couple years. Plus, you will get education benefits with the Post 9-11 GI Bill.


You do need to have a college degree to apply to be a pilot in the ANG/AFR--it is a commissioned officer position. If you have financial challenges with getting to college first, you can also enlist in the ANG/AFR which will provide you a part-time job in college, as well as provide financial assistance for college. If you don't mind being on Active Duty for 10 years, you can also apply for an ROTC scholarship which will pay for a good 80-90% of your college (stick with Air Force or Navy if flying is your ultimate goal) or apply for the US Air Force Academy or Naval Academy. The academies are very competitive...ROTC scholarships are competitive but less so...and you can choose where you go to school (as long as that school has an ROTC unit).


These days, I think either way you choose, if you have the flight experience, team-oriented personality, and are willing to do what you need to do to meet your goals, you can get hired going either the military or civilian route.

Thank you comment icon its very useful to me thank you! Hajira
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Josh’s Answer

It's no secret that military pilots, upon separation from the service, generally have better success obtaining a position at the most coveted carriers (United, Delta, etc). However, they also usually have 12-20 years of service under their belt, plus four years of college. It might actually be faster to go the civilian route in today's hiring environment. Neither path is easy but both can be very rewarding.

Thank you comment icon its very useful to me thank you Hajira
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Matthew’s Answer

As Josh said, going to the military does look better to the big 4 (American, Delta, Southwest and United), but the Air Force and Navy are going to want you for the better part of a decade. Right now, after completing your 4 year degree (the big 4 want this), you could be looking at 3-4 years of instructing and working for a regional before getting hired. Is this timeline subject to change: Absolutely. As of right now things are only getting better to be hired; subject to change of course.

Thank you comment icon its very useful to me thank you! Hajira
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Eric’s Answer

If you look at it backwards, the question would be - "What does an airline look for in hiring a pilot?"

The top answer is "experience".

Airlines can (theoretically) hire you with little-to-no experience and provide all the years of training to get you up to speed. As you might imagine that isn't financially practical on their part.

So you can easily imagine that candidates having experience flying mult-engine/turbines etc. require less training before they can be put to work.

Therefore "experience" increases your chances.


Flying is expensive, so if someone else is paying the bill, then you reap the benefit.

1) In respect to the military route, those who qualify to fly gain experience at the expense of the

government. Your cost, is your time in service.

2) In respect to the civilian route, it's a costly investment. Sometimes it can be indirectly/creatively

subsidized by taking odd jobs at airports for flight time, purchasing a trainer aircraft with other

students, and other creative tactics.

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J J’s Answer

That use to be the case for the most part. I was a civilian and had a long hard route to get my first Major job at Pan Am. Then they went out of business and I had to start over again, it took 7 years to get back to the majors but Northwest hired me and now I am with Delta after the merger.
Timing is everything, but even with bad timing if you stay with it you can have a decent career.

Thank you comment icon Nice post. Reader give a many idea for airlines job thanks for sharing your idea. https://bit.ly/2QgnWPx Maria Martinez
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Maria’s Answer

You do need to have a college degree to apply to be a executive in the Delta Airlines Reservations. it is a normal position. If you have financial challenges with getting to college first, you can also enlist in the Delta/America airlines which will be provide you a part-time job, as well as provide financial help for college.

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