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Apply while building hours

For those pursuing an ATP or R-ATP, enroll in the AviateSM 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

  • 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

    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Florida Tech Western Michigan University University of North Dakota

    Partner flight schools

    Westwind FlightSafety Academy Hillsboro Aero Academy ATP Lufthansa Aviation Training US Aviation Academy

    Part 135 operators

    Ameriflight Boutique Air
  • Have a high school diploma or GED equivalent
    • Please note that a bachelor’s degree is preferred to transition to United.

Step 2


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

  • A direct path to United. Aviate participants 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 hundreds of United destinations
  • Coaching. Aviate participants are paired with United pilots, creating a structured format for critical leadership and career development
  • Aviate pilot leadership program. Aviate participants are equipped to become future United Captains through leadership, business acumen and decision-making skills development
  • Development events and programs. Aviate participants are provided a breadth of resources to learn and grow throughout Aviate
  • United leadership interaction. Aviate participants are key to our future and have opportunities to meet senior leadership and United Captains
  • Site tours. Aviate participants have opportunities to visit and tour our advanced and complex operational facilities

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, commercial flight schools or Part 135 operator partners
  • Complete the minimum service requirements of 750 flight hours and 18 months flying with one of Aviate’s universities, commercial flight schools or Part 135 operator partners
  • Participants attending, or who graduated from, a participating university with an FAA-approved aviation major and enter Aviate as a CFI are exempt from the 18-month and 750-hour requirement

Step 4

Fly with a United Express partner

Gain invaluable experience flying with one of our United Express Aviate partners, which include:

Air Wisconsin - Airlines Express Jet Mesa Airlines CommutAir

  • Enjoy expedited time in service with Aviate: minimum service requirements of 2,000 flight hours and 24 months with a United Express Aviate partner

Step 5

Transition to United as a First Officer

  • Once you complete your minimum transition requirements with United Express, you’ll be eligible to transition to United as a First Officer
  • When a First Officer position opens with United and you’re at the top of the priority list, you’ll receive a job offer
  • The sooner you apply to Aviate, the higher priority you’ll have for 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 cockpit as a United Captain

Any questions?

We’re here to address any questions you may have. Please provide your information and question in the space provided, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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