Anyone Airline Pilots


If anyone here works for an airline did you HAVE to go to college. I am trying to become an airline pilot for a career but I don’t have very good skills in school and to go to college to earn a degree will be VERY HARD for me to do. What should I do??? Should I just give up and look at some other career??? Seriously I need help. If you have any info and don’t want to start this as a thread just PM me.


Join the military…

And if you’re willing to give up on school that easily, you will need to work harder to do well in life.


I can’t join the military I have asthma. The thing is college requires me to take college algebra when right now I’m in consumer math<— Not for smart people. And to get to the college level I will need to take Algebra2 and probably pre calc so that’s why i’m wondering about maybe like delta connection flight school or some flight school like that.


It’s one thing to not go to college because you can’t afford it or because that’s just not what you want to do. But to forgo a college education because you don’t want to take two high school math classes is silly and shortsighted.

If you really want to go to college, and are not just using math as an excuse not to go, you should just bite the bullet and take the classes. You won’t have to take math in college in some majors. Having a college degree is huge, especially if the other people trying to get the same job as you have one and you don’t.


From what I have seen, College Algebra is a minimum requirement to fulfill the math part of a school, such as Spartan School of Aeronautics here in Tulsa, for a commercial license, I mean certificate.


It’s not that I don’t want to take math, I just can’t learn it because I have a really hard time in school, and its not only math its science as well I just had to switch from general chem to practical chem but thats because I didn’t know how to do formulas because of the lack of math. I want to become an airline pilot but if I need other things that put becoming an airline pilot in jeopardy then maybe I should look to do something else after high school.


If you have a hard time learning math and science, I’d have to assume that it would be tough to be a pilot.


I had a hard time in math in high school myself. When I took a remedial algebra class in college, I had an awesome teacher who really knew how to teach understanding of math! It’s been 15 years since I took a math class, and I really don’t use math that often, but when I do, those fundamentals I learned back then have been retained!

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that maybe it’s not you - it’s THEM (your high school teachers). Or maybe it is you, but the new atmosphere in college will allow you to absorb the material better.

I dreaded math back in high school, but since learning from that one teacher, I look forward to a good math challenge every now and then.


Um, yeah. Those would be the two most important subjects to excel (or at least show aptitude) in if you seriously want to become a pilot. I’m not a pilot, but I did Ace College Algebra my freshman year. :stuck_out_tongue:
Realistically nitro, you definitely want to reconsider if you struggle with these subjects, and you aren’t willing to do the “extra” work to become proficient in them. It’s not easy, but it’s a question of how badly you want it…


It could be the teachers because to me it seems like they want to get the lesson over with and have us do work. But I have notice that when it comes to learning aviation its really easy to me same thing with weather I LOVE WEATHER, so maybe learning to become a pilot won’t be as hard as learning math or chem, to me anyways. But I will tell you this I have learned SO MUCH from everyone one here I am very VERY thankful for this site and for all the great people on this site, you make coming on this site everyday something to look forward to.


What you can also do, Nitro, and I advise others to do this is to go to a community college for the first year or two. You can coordinate your classes with those at the university level so they can transfer. You’ll also save money because community college is cheaper.

You may also be able to concurrently enroll in the community college and the university so you can take classes at the latter (such as flight training) that aren’t offered at the former.


I thought we discussed this already. Why discount everything you’ve been told already. You ask for advice from career pilot, and were given that.

You want to fly for an airline, go to college. If you can’t pass math and science, or aren’t willing to work at it with a tutor then find a different career path. Doing the things you dream of require hard work and sacrifice.

I told him the exact same thing. It’s not what he wants to hear.

That’s what I did at Geneva College and the Community College of Beaver County. Again, I told him the same thing.


I know you told me this. I need to take down this info because the stuff that you said I deleted it on accident. I wrote down all the stuff that has come up to take to my councilor so we can find programs that are good for me!!! THATS WHY I STATED THIS.


I agree with the above, Nitro…Comm. College is a great way to get your basics out of the way. I went during summers, and had outstanding teachers, that helped me understand the material, rather than just have it recited to me.

As for math, you need a good teacher and practice. I know, I’ve taken way too much of it in school.


Nitro, Nitro, Nitro…

YOU, of all people who should know better, there is that search button within these forums to find answers to questions you have asked in the past.

Laziness and piloting a plane are like oil and water, they don’t mix very well.



In his defense, it appears that postings go bye-bye after a time. I’ve looked for a couple of things recently and was unable to find them.


I know many people that are at major airlines without a college degree. There are a couple that do require the degree like Fed Ex and UPS. Most say preferred. It does help to have the degree but (like everything) getting an airline job is a who you know game. Make friends flying at the regionals and keep in tough with them. Dont piss anybody off or be a jerk to fly with, it is way too small of an industry.

The “hard” classes you will have: College Algebra, Into to Biology etc. nothing too bad. When choosing a school, look into the classes you would need and don’t forget to look into some smaller aviation schools.

If you love weather you could go for a major in aviation and a minor in geography. I did this because it was the minor with the least amount of credit requirements and the geography dept. had a bunch of great weather classes. It also got me out of taking all the business classes required for an aviation management degree.

From reading your posts you sound like me. I hated the regular classes but loved the aviation classes and did very well in them. I am good at math though, but with some help you could pass the college algebra. It is a big myth that pilots need to be good at math. You will need to do some basic decent calculations to get through training and in the real world the FMS will do everything for you.

Best of luck to you.


If he was a newbie, I’d be more understanding.

Nitro has been around long enoug to realize he can retrieve his own answer to HIS question at … 88nitro305

Yes, searches can be fickle, getting the right word to the right combination, but by his own admission, his question was previously answered and easily retrievable by looking up his past postings.




As a former Airline Pilot, I can tell you that you absolutely DO NOT need a degree to become one. As others have pointed out, you will be much more competitive in the interview process if you have one, but the lack of one won’t stop you. I think the bigger concern for you is your asthma. As you may know, pilots require regular physicals, and must renew their Medical Certificates every six months or year, depending on whether they are a Captain or First Officer. Your first step should be to determine if your condition will disqualify you from getting (at least) a Second Class medical.

Like you, I was a math and science bonehead in High School. I never got above a 2.0 GPA my Senior year, and pretty much bought into the idea that I was stupid. I took a year off after graduation, discovered that I could study Aviation in college, and my life changed completely. I made the Deans List in junior college, and went on to a four year degree in Aeronautics. I had to take Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry (some of them twice!) I never thought I would get through it, but knew I would never forgive myself if I didn’t try.

I am still enjoying a great career as a pilot, and my degree probably hasn’t been necessary at all. Would I do it again? Absolutely! If nothing else, I silenced those voices (mostly in my own head) that said I couldn’t do it. It sounds like you need to do the same. No need to become a mathematician or scientist, but you will be amazed at what you can do if you try.

Good luck!


Nitro, I’m not a pilot but here’s my advice. I put myself through college. I wasn’t very good at math at first but had a mentor sit down and beat me over the head with algebra in 8th grade until I finally got the concept. Then I loved it and took another year of it in 9th grade. I’m female and my hobbies include music, art and severe weather - never math. I’m telling you that once you get the “concept” of algebra, the rest is easy. I never did like geometry and you know what? That was because of a bad teacher, so the other responders here are hitting nails on the head. I even grew to love trig and started making up trig problems just to see how long I could make them and how many I could solve. Although I don’t remember much of trig, I still find myself applying algebra to things that come up in every day life. My pilot friend is brilliant at math and the more I learn about flying, the more I realize it’s a necessity in aviation.

Make it fun and part of your love for aviation!! Then before you know it, it will no longer be a challenge but an intuitive second nature, and a stepping stone on to your next challenge! Sounds like a college commercial but it really does work that way and most of the time all it takes is a good hard “TRY.”

Dami’s advice about a community college is really good because you can retake the math courses if you want to get it down pat and it won’t cost too much. Then transfer and shoot for the stars! :smiley: