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Home > Job Opportunities > Which one will have a better chance of becoming a pilot in a major airline?
Which one will have a better chance of becoming a pilot in a major airline?
Professional Pilots - Job Opportunities
Written by Capt Lim   
Friday, 09 December 2005 09:54

Dear Captain Lim,

I have always wanted to be a pilot; however, circumstances had made me into something else.It has come to a time that I need to make choices to realize my dream and I wish you could help me with my decision.

1. Please consider the following 2 individuals and tell me which one of them will have a better chance of becoming a pilot in a major airline, if they have a good chance at all.

Qualities both Mr. A and Mr. B has in common

- Fluent English speakers
- Perfect health, mentally and physically fit
- 20/30 vision correctable to 20/15 with glasses/contacts lens
- Previous technical professionals
- Posses FAA approved PPL, CPL and ATPL
- Total 1200 flying hours including 500 hours in B-727 on the right hand seat

Differences between Mr. A and Mr. B

- Mr. A is 36 years old but has no University degree at all
- Mr. B is 39 years old and has a Bachelor*s Degree in aviation
- Which is more important? The 3-year age differences or the Bachelor*s Degree?

2. Is it probable that Mr. B can only become a First Officer or Second Officer all the way till retiring age without ever been promoted to a Captain at all?

3. I wonder if you are familiar with the
Airline Internship Course at Phoenix East and I wonder if that can really give me an edge in becoming an airline pilot in Cathay Pacific?

4. I also wonder how the job market for pilots may become in the year 2012 and is it likely that advanced avionics can eliminate most of the pilot jobs; hence, taking away the need for both the First and Second Officers on board?

Thank you Captain Lim, I hope to see you in the skies in 4 to 7 years.

Best Regards,

Kimball Ho

Hi Kimball,

With A & B having the experiences you have stated, both would have a fairly equal chance of joining an airline. At that stage, an age difference of 3 years is not that significant. The one with a degree would have only a slight advantage. What is most important is the attitude of the pilot during the interview. Many aspiring pilots do not realize that, just because they have impressive academic qualification well above what is required (MBA, aviation degrees, etc) they can afford to be *corky* or sound a little arrogant. That is fatal to a pilot career interview! If the one without a degree possess a good attitude, he would most likely get the job (unless a particular airline insists that a degree is a minimum requirement)

Anyone with a recognized ATPL would have an equal chance of getting into an airline as the filtering process is done during the interview and not so much on which flying academy the pilot comes from. So any good flying school is acceptable.

Promotion of Mr. B to a captain is based on vacancies, seniority, performance and the particular airline. If the airline is a small one, his chance of promotion is better than a bigger carrier. So I cannot answer your question precisely without knowing which airlines you are talking about.

In the year 2012, pilots and copilots will still be in demand.


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