Ahead of the Student Education and Careers in Aviation (SECA) conference programme taking place at the World Aviation Training Summit (WATS), we hear from Dr Brent Mireles, General Manager of Operations at Pan Am, about how quality, cost and efficiency are what will set you up for success.

So you want to be a pilot? You have made a great choice.

Aviation is a rapidly growing industry with projections of 650,000 pilots being hired within the next twenty years. In today’s aviation industry, becoming a pilot has promise of a long-term career with high earning potential.

With many different paths to becoming an airline pilot, choosing the one that is best for you can be difficult. The most common paths include flight academies and university flight programs. So, what separates these different paths?

Though the choices vary, there are three main factors that distinguish the different career pilot pathway options that you should consider to help guide your decision:

• The quality of flight training • The cost of flight training • The duration of flight training

Universities What differentiates flight academies from and university flight programs? In addition to the flight training, university flight program students also earn a college degree.

This path has a greater cost and will take more time due to its increase in coursework and degree requirements. With pilots pay weighted so heavily on seniority and experience, time is crucial to reaching your maximum earning potential.

The typical timeline to complete the program and being hired by the airlines is 6 years. The first four years you are a student earning your degree and certificates, whereas the last 2 years are spent gaining the required flight experience as a flight instructor.

Pan Am Career Pilot Academy With time being an important factor, Pan Am Career Pilot Academies Professional pilot program is significantly shorter than university programs. From 0 hours of flight experience to a certified flight instructor in only 12 months is what you will achieve at Pan Am. As a flight instructor you can achieve the required flight experience in as little as 1 year.

The experience and training you receive at Pan Am Career Pilot Academy is of the highest quality. We maintain a 4 to 1 instructor to student ratio, and a 5 to 1 aircraft ratio allowing the students to fly more frequently, reducing their training time and cost.

With parent companies such as Pan Am International Flight Academy and ANA Airlines, we have the necessary network and support to provide our students with the very best experience and highest level of safety.

Conclusion Being a pilot takes skill and talent. If you pair this with high quality training you will maximize your investment in your future. The ultimate determinant when choosing your flight path should be achieving the very best training for a long and successful career.

To find out more about taking the University route, read this piece from Jill Meredith at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.