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Apply while building hours

For those pursuing an ATP or R-ATP, enroll in the Aviate® program before you apply to a United Express® regional partner and you’ll be on a defined path to United.


We’re looking for talented candidates who:

  • Reflect our leadership qualities, including the ability to model character, think creatively, deliver results and foster teamwork
  • Share our commitment to the principles of core4 service behaviors: Safe, Caring, Dependable and Efficient
  • Demonstrate a passion for the industry and a lifelong dedication to excellence and achievement

Your process

Details and requirements

Step 1 Meet minimum eligibility requirements

Are you on the right Aviate career path? Or have you:

Graduated with a bachelor’s degree that grants R-ATP eligibility, from a participating university?

Check out the university path ➔

Obtained a Commercial Pilot Certificate with Instrument Rating from a participating flight school?

Check out the flight school path ➔

  • Be employed or have accepted an offer of employment with one of Aviate’s universities, commercial flight schools or Part 135 operator partners

    Partner universities

    Auburn University Delaware State University Elizabeth City State University Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Florida Tech Hampton University Louisiana Tech University The Ohio State University Purdue University Southern Illinois University University of North Dakota Western Michigan University

    Partner flight schools

    ATP Cornerstone Aviation Epic Flight Academy Lufthansa Aviation Training Phoenix East Aviation Skyborne Airline Academy US Aviation Academy

    Part 135 operators

    Ameriflight Boutique Air JSX Wiggins Airways
  • Hold a valid FAA medical certificate that was originally issued as a first or second-class medical certificate
  • Have a high school diploma or GED equivalent

Step 2 Apply to Aviate

When you join Aviate, you’ll gain access to:

  • Growing pipeline of talent. United aims to hire up to 24% of the Aviate transition list each year at each participating United Express (UAX) carrier
  • A simple, direct path. Aviate participants can transition to United as a First Officer upon successful completion of the Aviate program and hiring requirements
  • Travel privileges. Aviate participants enjoy travel privileges to United destinations around the world
  • Coaching. Aviate participants will have the opportunity to participate in a coaching program and receive mentorship from United pilots
  • Culture. You'll gain deeper connections with our United team, with access to senior leadership, site visits and tours, and an inside look at our inclusive culture

Step 3 Build toward your ATP/R-ATP certification

  • Build flight hours toward your R-ATP/ATP and gain valuable experience teaching as a CFI at one of Aviate’s universities, professional flight schools or Part 135 operator partners
  • Complete a minimum of 750 flight hours with one of Aviate’s universities, professional flight schools or Part 135 operator partner. (Some partners may also require a minimum service time requirement)
  • You are exempt from the 750-hour requirement if you:
    • Graduated with a bachelor’s degree that grants R-ATP eligibility, from a participating university (See university path)
    • Obtained a Commercial Pilot Certificate with Instrument Rating from a participating flight school (See flight school path)

Flying with our United Express Aviate partners provides invaluable flying experience.

Air Wisconsin - Airlines CommutAir GoJet Airlines Mesa Airlines

  • Secure your path to United with a minimum of 2,000 flight hours (1,500 flight hours if upgraded to Captain) and 24 months of service with a United Express Aviate partner
  • A bachelor’s degree continues to be preferred across all United pilot hiring. You must either have a bachelor’s degree, serve a minimum of 1,000 flight hours as a Captain at an Aviate-participating UAX carrier or graduate from United Aviate Academy
  • Candidates who are already flying with a United Express Aviate partner will be credited for months of service and flight hours already completed

Step 5 Transition to United as a First Officer

  • Once you complete your minimum transition requirements with United Express, you will be eligible to transition to United as a First Officer
    • A bachelor’s degree continues to be preferred across all United pilot hiring. You must either have a bachelor’s degree, serve a minimum of 1,000 flight hours as a Captain at an Aviate-participating UAX carrier or graduate from United Aviate Academy
  • When a First Officer position opens with United, and you’re at the top of the Aviate transition list, you’ll receive a United pilot class date
  • The sooner you join Aviate, the higher priority you’ll have — which means a quicker transition from United Express to United
  • Once you join United as a First Officer, begin your dream career toward the left seat in the flight deck as a United Captain

Any questions?

Full details regarding Aviate eligibility and transition requirements can be found in the Aviate Program Guide (APG). For questions not covered in the APG, please provide your information and question in the space provided, and we’ll get back to you soon.

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