If you want to be an airline pilot do this:
1. Start flying now
2. Get you Private, Instrument as soon as you can.
3. Get your Commercial when you turn 18, get you CFI as soon after that as you can.
4. Teach flying at a high volume school, get you MEI and start teaching multi engine students.
5. Once you have 500 total time and 50 hours of multi engine time start applying to quality regional airlines (NOT SHADY ONES LIKE GREAT LAKES)
6. Every 50 hours or once a month send a new resume with the flight times updated.
7. Once you get the job at a quality regional, sign up for an online bachelors degree program. When you are on overnights sitting in a hotel room in SCE or FWA for 24 hours you will have more than enough time to take your classes.
8. About the time you finish your degree you should have enough time and seniority to upgrade to Captain (provided you are at least 23 years old--a requirement for an ATP).
9. Fly as Captain for a while and start sending out resumes to the Major airline you want to work for.
As for the guy who said this...
***(2500 needed for most major airlines (regionals going for far far less), although without a flight college degree, you
would be best off with nearly 3000 hours)***
Dude I have a college degree, working on a masters degree, 121 experience, 2000+ hours of turbine 121 PIC time, 2000+ of turbine 121 SIC time, plus 2000+ hours of flight instruction and that is just barely competitive in the airline job market. I had a friend hired by United a few months ago the average total time in his class was 8600 hours.
Yes, you will have to work a little bit harder to build up your flight hours (2500 needed for most major airlines (regionals going for far far less), although without a flight college degree, you would be best off with nearly 3000 hours).
I suggest getting your commercial license and then working as a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) or working at a regional carrier to build up your hours.
I've heard of it being done, but in my experience, it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.
If you lack the determination and self-confidence to finish a college degree, then you will fail to find aviation employment for other, related reasons.
Just jump in and go get the degree. You'll be glad you did.
Yes it is possible, especially for a domestic airline, if you wanted to get to the bigger airlines, it is better to have a degree or something like it, but again not absolutely necessary.
....I'm from NZ though.
Absolutely, I know several commercial pilots that did not go to college.
There are a few regional airlines that will hire today with simply a commercial multi.
One of the ways to go is to go for your CFI (instructor) and build hours that way.
That being said, you will be more competative in the interview process if you did and will have a more rounded aviation background.
Best of luck!
I doubt it. Most ATP's went to college because the airlines hire ex-military pilots and THEY all have College Degrees.
Do you have any idea how MUCH it costs to "do all that flight school stuff"... try at least $50,000. If you want to be an airline pilot, then get a college education, join the Air Force... become a pilot... and then when you get out, knock on the door to the hiring office of an airline.
possible but not likely, you will be competing with pilots that do for the same job.
it will be very hard, but you will probably have to go to college because 1) be competing with people who have gone to college and 2) most companies wont even pull you in for a interview if you havent gone to college.