How can you be assured of getting a job as a pilot for an airline? There are some non-negotiable basics -- things you absolutely must do. The most important of course is get the ratings you need. You must study and pass your written and flight tests for your Private Pilot Certificate. In addition, you need at least an Instrument Rating, a Commercial Pilot Certificate, and a Multi-Engine Rating (to fly aircraft with more than one engine). So now you have the minimum certifications and ratings. You probably also have from 126 to 225 flight hours. In addition to this, you will need more experience -- in the form of more flight hours. And of course, you will also need to pass an FAA physical exam to confirm good health.
The typical aspiring airline pilot in the US sometimes works as a flight instructor to build those hours. To do this, you will need some additional certifications: Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), Certified Flight Instructor Instrument (CFII) and Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI). If you work as a flight instructor for an large academy such as Phoenix East Aviation, you will be able to build those hours through teaching others to fly and do so relatively quickly. Another advantage is you will build hours without having to pay to rent an airplane yourself, which can be quite costly.
The typical progression for a pilot today is student, flight instructor, first officer for a regional airline (or charter or cargo airline), and then either captain for a regional airline -- or first officer for a major airline (or large cargo company).
There is one additional certificate you will probably want: The Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL). It is the highest pilot certificate you can obtain. It is required to be the captain (though not the first officer) of any aircraft with more than one pilot in the cockpit, which is nearly all airlines. You need to have logged a minimum of 1,500 flight hours to qualify, as well as being at least 23 years old.
If you'd like to know the details of how you can obtain these licenses and certificates to become a professional airline, corporate, cargo or charter pilot, a Phoenix East Admissions Officer can help you. Call 1-800-868-4359 (US) or 1-386-258-0703 or check out www.pea.com.