Transitioning from the military to the airlines

Transitioning from the military to the airlines

Transitioning to the airlines takes time and work, but it is not complex. We’ve broken it down into 4 steps to help you tackle the process.

Step 1 – Set your timeline

We recommend allowing a year to prepare to apply for the airlines – from the time you start the process until you hit submit on your application.

Step 2 – Build your application

This will be your most time intensive step – begin early. For airline application review, we recommend Checkedandset. Charlie Venema and his team are timely, thorough, and care about the end product that you submit to the airlines.

As mentioned, below is a non-inclusive list of items you will need to track down for your application:

  • College transcripts (don’t estimate on your GPA…you will need it at your interview, too)
  • List of major military awards
  • Driving record (more specifically, all moving violations on your driving record). If you only have one or two speeding tickets, you can approximate here…just don’t forget any!
  • Military flying history report (FHR from ARMS for Air Force), or logbook if you have one.
  • A short one-page resume to attach to the application
  • Your pilot certificate number (CFI expiration date if you have one)
  • FCC Radiotelephone Operators Permit
  • Your FAA first class medical (to get hired, you need a Class 1…some airlines don’t require First Officers to keep a current Class 1, but you have to have it to get hired).
  • Your ATP written test date and score

Step 3 – Prepare for the interview

For pilot interview prep, we recommend Emerald Coast Interview Consulting. Aaron Hagan and his team offer a high quality product with great results. They have a “Once a client, always a client” system – you purchase their online preparation course one time and you can attend unlimited live and online seminars. When you have a date for an airline interview, the team will give you a phone top-off.

Once you receive an interview offer from an airline, you will need to study for the other parts to that airline’s interview (for example, Delta has a cognitive test and a knowledge test in addition to the interview).

Step 4 – Meet the FAA requirements

All available CTP courses can be found at Note that some of those providers are in-house courses for regional airlines.

Hands down the best CTP provider is the Delta Training Center. It is a unique opportunity to complete the FAA CTP requirement while taking advantage of incredible networking and training (747, 757, 767, 777 sims) opportunities. We have heard nothing but positive feedback from our students. Sign up for the CTP (or the entire Mil-to-Airlines Course!) on our website.

For the written, Sheppard Air is the simplest way to go. Two weeks of studying and $75, and you’ll be ready for the test.

For the ATP, of course we recommend our program! Whoever you choose, we recommend finding a military friendly school to provide you training suited to your flying history.

Mil-to-Airlines Course

If you’re interested in completing all these steps in one place, check out our Mil-to-Airlines Course – we’ve partnered with the companies we recommended to create a one-stop shop training program.

If we can answer any questions for you, we would love to! / 919-526-4ATP /