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You might have an interest in becoming a professional pilot for Delta Air Lines but how to become a Delta pilot in 2023?

Do you know the ways, processes, requirements, salary, and various other information related to Delta’s pilot career?

If not, don’t worry! We have produced this detailed article to cover all the information regarding pursuing a career as a Delta Pilot.

So, without further delay let’s get into our topic by exploring some basic details of Delta Air Lines.

About Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines is commonly known as Delta and is one of the major airlines of the United States. The airline operates more than 5,400 daily flights to over 320 destinations in 52 countries across the globe.

Delta operates its flight from nine hubs located at different airports in the United States. It is also known as the world’s second-largest airline in terms of fleet size and passengers carried.


Talking about the fleet status, Delta currently conducts flights with more than 750 aircraft including Boeing 717, Boeing 757, Boeing 767 and Airbus A330.

How to become a Delta Pilot in 2024?

Delta Air Lines offers vacancies for pilot jobs on its official website. Before applying, you are required to completely fulfil all the basic, educational, medical and flight hours requirements.

There are three ways to become a Delta Pilot, and they are:

Let’s explore these opportunities one by one.

Delta Propel – Collegiate Pilot Career Path

Delta Air Lines has introduced the Delta Proper – Collegiate Pilot Career Path to offer a defined path for university students to become professional Delta pilots. This program is available to those students pursuing their careers at Delta partner universities.

If you become able to enroll in this career path program, you will get a Qualified Job Offer (QJO) from Delta Air Lines. The QJO is a systematic approach that lets you achieve your piloting goals in a short period. 

Collegiate Pilot Career Path delta propel program aviatechchannel

Through this program, Delta offers the students a customized career path that allows them to choose between two career routes.

The first one is flying for one of the Delta Connection Carriers including SkyWest Airlines, Endeavor Air, and Republic Airways. Another is flying military aircraft for the Air National Guard or Reserves.

Requirements to join Collegiate Pilot Career Path

The Delta Propel – Collegiate Pilot Career Path is available to Juniors, Seniors, and Flight Instructors at the airline’s partner universities.

Here are the basic requirements set by Delta for the Collegiate Pilot Career Path.

  • Students must be enrolled in or a recent graduate of an R-ATP major at Delta’s partner universities.
  • Pilots must hold a Private Pilot License (PPL) Certificate.
  • Pilots must have completed at least one additional Part-141 flight course.
  • Must be able to fulfill First Class Medical Requirements set by FAA.
  • A valid passport is required with authorization to travel in and out of the United States.
  • Must obtain legal authorization to work in the United States.

Processes to apply for Delta Propel

If you meet all the requirements we discussed above, you can apply for the Propel College Path program which is announced only once a year. So, you need to stay updated with the airline news and official website to find openings.

You can apply online by submitting an application form. The airline in coordination with the partner universities will analyze your application and conduct various assessments including interviews, skills tests, and much more.

After completing the application process and passing assessments, you will be selected for the Propel program.

Career Progression through Delta Propel

Once you get selected for the Collegiate Propel Career path, you will receive an accelerated timeline to Delta Air Lines of 42 months or less. That means you will either work for Delta Connection Carriers or Reserve/Guard to collect flight hours and finally become eligible for Delta pilot.

If you wish to work for Delta Connection Carriers (SkyWest Airlines, Republic Airways, or Endeavor Air), you must hold a minimum of 1000 hours of flight time in turbine engine aircraft. Likewise, Reserve/Guard requires a minimum of 750 hours of heavy or lighter turbine time. 

After completing 42 months in a Connection Carrier or Reserve/Guard, you are eligible to apply for Delta pilot.

Delta Air Lines Partner Universities

  • Arizona State University
  • Auburn University
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Inter American University of Puerto Rico
  • Jacksonville University
  • Kent State University
  • Middle Georgia State University
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Minnesota State University
  • Southeastern Oklahoma State University
  • Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • University of North Dakota
  • Western Michigan University

Delta Propel – Company Pilot Career Path and Propel Advance

If you are an employee at Delta Air Lines, you are eligible for the Delta Propel – Company Pilot Career Path and Propel Advance.

This program allows Delta employees to take flight training, acquire Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) minimums, work for Delta Connection Carrier and finally apply for Delta pilot position.

delta propel advance aviatechchannel

The airline offers its employees a systematic approach and accelerated time to become a professional pilot.

How can you join this program? Let’s find out below.

Requirements to join the Company Path and Propel Advance

Here are the basic requirements you need to fulfill to apply for the Propel Advance program.

  • The minimum age of the applicant must be 23 years.
  • Must have obtained FCC Radiotelephone Operator’s Permit.
  • Must not have interviewed for a Delta Pilot previously.
  • Applicants must have completed 3 years as an active Delta employee.
  • Applicants must have obtained a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Must fulfill the basic pilot requirements.
  • Applicants must possess a Private Pilot Certificate for Fixed Wing.
  • Applicants mustn’t exceed a Commercial Pilot Certificate for Single Engine-Fixed Wing
  • Applicants must hold a minimum of 100 hours of total flight time in a fixed-wing powered aircraft.
  • Must obtain a recent Biennial Flight Review (BFR).

The process to apply for the Propel Advance program

If you fulfill all the requirements, you can apply for the Propel Advance program.

As per Delta, The Propel Company and Propel Advance program are announced once a year. The upcoming program will open from February 7 to 25, 2022.

Career Progression via the Propel Advance

Employees selected for the Propel Advance program will be provided with a systematic and accelerated approach to becoming a Delta Pilot.

  • First of all, employees receive proper flight training to obtain R-ATP/ATP minimums.
  • After acquiring ATP minimums, trainees will get an opportunity to work for Delta Connection Carrier from which they can generate Part 121 turbine flight time.
  • Employees will get a golden opportunity to become a Delta pilot after accumulating 2000 hours of Part 121 turbine time and completing a minimum of 3 Delta Connection Carrier training programs.
  • Employees must go through the standard selection processes and must pass all the tests, and interviews to finally become a Delta pilot. 
  • It may take up to 66 months from the initial phase of training to become a professional Delta Pilot.

Apply as an experienced pilot

Delta Air Lines announces vacancies for First Officers on its official website. If you are an experienced pilot, you can apply if there are any open positions.


Delta Air Lines Pilot Requirements

Basic Requirements for Delta Air Lines – First Officer

  • The minimum age of an applicant must be 23 years.
  • A High School Diploma or Equivalent Level of Education is required.
  • A four-year Bachelor’s Degree is preferred.
  • Applicant must hold a valid passport with authorization to travel in and out of the United States.
  • Applicants must have obtained an FCC Radiotelephone Operator’s Permit.
  • International Certification of Vaccination (Yellow Card) and COVID-19 Vaccination proof are required.
  • Applicants must be able to pass a Delta Background Check, Criminal History Check, and Drug Screening Test.

Flight Time Requirements

  • Applicants for Delta First Officer must hold a minimum of 1,500 hours of total documented flight time.
  • A minimum of 1,000 hours of fixed-wing turbine time is required.
  • A minimum of 250 hours as Pilot in Command (PIC) or Second-in-command (SIC) is needed.
  • A minimum of 50 hours of multi-engine airplane time is also demanded.

Delta Air Lines Pilot Hiring Process

If you meet the requirements mentioned above, you can go through the following processes to apply for the Delta Air Lines First Officer.

  • First of all, you need to visit the career section of the Delta official website and find active vacancies for the first officer.
  • You are required to register to the Delta Airline Apps and submit an application online including documentation, certificate, and other required things.
  • The airline recruit department will carefully analyze your profile and application to select you for further assessments that include interviews, document verification, flight hours verification, skills tests, and so on.
  • If you manage to pass all the assessments, you will be selected for the First Officer position at Delta Air Lines.
Looking for other pilot jobs opportunities in the United States? Find out through these blogs.
How to become a United Airlines Pilot?
How to become an American Airlines Pilot?
How to become an Alaska Airlines Pilot?
How to become a Southwest Airlines Pilot? 
How to become a Hawaiian Airlines Pilot? 
How to become an Allegiant Air Pilot? 
How to become an Avelo Airlines Pilot? 
How to become a Delta Air Lines Pilot? 
How to become a Frontier Airlines Pilot? 
How to become a JetBlue Pilot? 
How to become a Spirit Airlines Pilot? 
How to become a Sun Country Airlines Pilot?

Delta Airlines Pilot Salary

Pilots at Delta Airlines can earn an average of $160,000 per year. This pay scale can range from $66,853 per year for a fresh First Officer up to $257,657 per year for an experienced senior Captain.

Delta Airlines Pilot Uniform

delta airlines pilot uniform aviatechchannel

Delta Airlines Pilot Benefits

Besides basic salary, pilots at Delta Air Lines enjoy various benefits and perks.

  • Competitive Base Pay
  • Profit-Sharing
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan
  • Health and Wellbeing Programs
  • Growth and Development Opportunities
  • Leadership Opportunities
  • COVID-19 Safety and much more.


We are pretty sure that we covered all the aspects of ‘How to Become a Delta Pilot in 2023?’

If you require more information, have doubts, queries, or want to ask anything related to Delta Pilot, please contact us directly or reply in the comment section below.

How long does it take to become a pilot with Delta?

Delta Airlines Pilots can earn an average of $160,000 per year. This pay scale can range from $66,853 per year for a fresh First Officer up to $257,657 per year for an experienced senior Captain.

Is it hard to become a Delta Pilot?

If you meet all the requirements and show excellent competency, you can easily become a Delta Pilot. For that, you need to go through various assessments including interviews, skills tests, psychometric tests, and so on.

Does Delta have a pilot program?

Yes, Delta Air Lines offers pilot two different pilot programs – Delta Propel (Collegiate Pilot Career Path) and Delta Propel (Company Pilot Career Path and Propel Advance).

Do you need a 4 year degree to be a pilot for Delta?

No, having a four-year degree is no longer a mandatory requirement to become a pilot for Delta Air Lines. Nevertheless, it is strongly preferred, and possessing a degree will greatly enhance your likelihood of being hired.

Will Delta pay for you to become a pilot?

In collaboration with Skyborne Aviation, individuals aspiring to become pilots can join a structured flight training program that outlines a clear path to securing a position as a Delta pilot from the very beginning. Students have the opportunity to receive up to $20,000 in financial assistance.

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Suman Karki
Suman Karki is the founder of the AviaTech Channel blog and YouTube Channel. He is a passionate aviation enthusiast and holds experience working as a Ground Operations Officer for Swissport International. He is currently serving as a Flight Data Feeder for FlightAware (a US-based company for Flight Tracking). Besides, he has worked as an aviation content editor for various aviation media.


  1. To Whom It May Concern,
    I am looking to apply to Delta and have some questions before starting the application.
    I have 25 years of flying part 135 with 8100 hours and six types,4 are pic and 2 sic in jets and turbo props. I have some failed check rides and most were 25 years ago, but one recently.I do have a 2 year degree so not a 4 year.
    No accidents, or incidences and a clean criminal and driving record.
    I hold all the required documents that you ask for.
    Would my failed check rides or 2 year degree be an issue ? I also have in the last 3 years a number of jobs do to owners selling the airplane and Covid, is that an issue ?


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