Willing to become an Alaska Airlines pilot in 2023? If yes, you must read this full article to explore the requirements, processes, salary, training program and various other aspects.
First of all, let us begin with basic information about Alaska Airlines.
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About Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines is a major carrier of the United States that operates scheduled flights to more than 115 domestic destinations. It is also known as the fifth largest airline in the country in terms of passengers carried, fleet status and the number of destinations.
The airline operates its flight with 171 Boeing 737 and 31 Airbus A320 aircraft from airline bases at Los Angeles, San Francisco, Anchorage, Seattle and Portland.
How to become an Alaska Airlines pilot?
Alaska Airlines offers the opportunity to become a pilot by announcing vacancies on its official website. You as an applicant must fulfil the basic requirement and apply to the position.
At Alaska, you can become a pilot via a pilot development program or directly apply for the first officer position.
A pilot development program is offered as a ascend pilot scheme that allows private pilot students to develop their piloting career in a more systematic way with Horizon Air, the regional airline partner for Alaska.
If you are a professional pilot and hold flying experience, you can directly apply for open positions at Alaska Airlines.
Now that we have explored some basic details, let us dig into both the opportunities to become an Alaska Airlines pilot.
Alaska Airlines Cadet Program
As a part of the cadet pilot program, Alaska Airlines offers Pilot Development Program (PDP) in coordination with Horizon Air.
Now, let’s explore the PDP.
Horizon Air Pilot Development Program
Like every other airline, Alaska also offers a pilot development program to aspiring aviation enthusiasts. Without proper guidance and support, your piloting career might be challenging so, Alaska Airlines has introduced this program to assist you in becoming a professional pilot from a scratch.
Students in this program will receive an allowance of $12,500 to develop pilot skills via mentorship from professional pilots. If you successfully complete the PDP training, you will get an opportunity for a class date with Horizon Air.
With that, you can become a Horizon Air pilot and grow your career as a professional pilot.
Requirements for Pilot Development Program
Here are the basic requirements you need to fulfil before applying for the Horizon Air PDP.
- Applicant must be at least 18 years old.
- Applicants must hold a valid Private Pilot License (PPL).
- A valid U.S. passport and driver’s license is mandatory.
- Applicants must be able to obtain the First Class Medical Certificate as per FAA standards.
The process to join the PDP
- First of all, you are required to enrol at a participating school.
After that, you need to register and submit an online application through the airline’s career section. For that, you must find the active vacancies
After registering and submitting the application, the airline will review it and contact you for further processes that might include interviews.
If you manage to pass the interview, you will be selected for the Pilot Development Program.
Following are the universities and affiliated pilot development schools for PDP.
|Washington||Big Bend Community College |
Central Washington University
Clover Park Technical College
Green River College
Rainier Flight Service
Safety in Motion
Walla Walla University
|Montana||Gallatin College |
Rocky Mountain College
|Orlando||Hillsboro Aero Academy |
Lane Community College
Pacific Aviation NW
Willamette Aviation Service
|Oregon||Central Oregon Community College|
|Utah||Utah State University |
Utah Valley University
|Arizona||Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University|
|North Dakota||The University of North Dakota|
|Alaska||University of Alaska-Anchorage|
|California||California Aeronautical University|
|Across the United States||68 ATP Flight Schools|
Career Progression through Pilot Development Program
After you get selected for the Horizon Air Pilot Development program, you will receive a flight training grant of $12,500. This grant is provided in two phases – $5000 will be provided after instrument rating and $7500 will be granted after commercial training.
As you complete the training, you will receive a Chief Flight Instructor (CFI) rating. With that, you will start collecting flight hours by working as a CFI at the school you graduated from.
During your CFI career, you must stay in touch with Horizon Air and provide your progress update until you meet ATP/R-ATP (Airline Transport Pilot) minimum requirements.
You will successfully become a Horizon Air pilot after completing all the steps discussed above.
Apply as an experienced pilot
Alaska Airlines announces vacancies for experienced pilots where you can apply for the first officer position.
Alaska Airlines Pilot Requirements
Here are the basic requirements to apply for the Alaska Airlines pilot job.
- The minimum age of an applicant must be 23 years.
- A High School Diploma or Equivalent level of education is required.
- Must obtain legal authorization to work in the United States.
- Fluency in English Language (Reading, Writing and Speaking) is mandatory.
- Must obtain First Class FAA medical certificate.
- Must hold a valid FAA Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate.
- Proficiency in computer skills including Email, Internet, Adobe application and Microsoft Office is a plus point.
- A valid Driver’s License is also required.
- Applicants must obtain a current passport with unlimited access in and out of the United States.
- Must be able to work from the airline domicile in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Anchorage or Seattle.
- Applicants must possess leadership skills, excellent judgement and commanding competency.
Flight Hours Requirement
- A minimum of 50 hours of flight time within the last 12 months is mandatory.
- A minimum of 2,000 flight hours in a fixed-wing aircraft or 1,200 hours flight time in a high performance military aircraft. (50 per cent of rotor-wing flight time up to 1,000 hours can be counted toward total flight hours)
- Those candidates with 1,000 hours flight time as a Pilot-in-Command (PIC) in a fixed-wing multi-engine turbine aircraft are highly preferred.
- Also, candidates with a four-year degree from an accredited university are also highly desired.
- First of all, you need to visit the career section of the official website and find active vacancies for pilots.
- You can apply by submitting the online application if there are any open positions.
- The airline recruitment team will carefully review your application and will contact you for further assessments that may include interviews, skills tests, psychometric tests and so on.
- If you manage to pass all the assessments, you will be selected for the pilot position at Alaska Airlines.
Alaska Airlines Pilot Training Program
Alaska Airlines offers Pilot Development Training Program in coordination with the regional partner, Horizon Air. All the details on this program have been discussed in the article above.
Want to explore pilot jobs at other airlines in the U.S.? Read these blogs.
Alaska Airlines Pilot Salary
Pilots at Alaska Airlines can earn almost $190,000 per year. The pay scale can range from $65,000 to $230,000 depending upon the seniority level.
Talking about the hourly rate, the salary ranges from $93 per hour (First Officer) to $266 per hour (Senior Captain).
Alaska Airlines Pilot Benefits
Besides basic salary, pilots at Alaska Airlines receive various benefits and perks.
- Paid Time Off
- Health Care Facilities
- Family and Medical Leave
- Employee Development Program
- Active Well-being programs
- 401k Retirement Plan
- Quarterly and Annual Bonus Programs
- Employee Stock Purchase Plan
- Discounts at other travel companies
- Free Unlimited travel for employees and their families
- Career Development Opportunities
- Scholarship for employees and their family members
Alaska Airlines Pilot Uniform
We have covered almost everything related to ‘How to become an Alaska Airlines Pilot in 2023?’ in this informative article.
If you have any doubts or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us or comment below.
Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I become an Alaska Airlines pilot?
First of all, you need to fulfil all the requirements set by Alaska Airlines. Then, you can apply for Pilot Development Program if you don’t have any previous flying experience. If you are already an experienced pilot, you can apply for open pilot positions.
How much money does an Alaska Airlines pilot make?
Pilots at Alaska Airlines are expected to make almost $190,000 per year. The pay scale can range from $65,000 to $230,000 depending upon the seniority level.
Does Alaska Airlines have a pilot program?
Yes, Alaska Airlines offers a pilot program known as Pilot Development Program (PDP) in coordination with Horizon Air.