How to Get a Job as an American Airlines Pilot

American Airlines Career

American Airlines dates their origins to 1926, when Charles Lindbergh flew the first official American Airlines flight carrying mail from St. Louis, MO to Chicago, IL. Over 90 years later American Airlines is one of the largest in the US, flying thousands of flights every day to over 350 destinations across over 50 countries.

Currently, American Airlines has a little over 15,100 pilots, and in 2019 nearly 900 new pilots launched their career with American Airlines.

Where are American Airlines Bases?

  • Chicago, IL – ORD
  • Boston, MA – BOS
  • Los Angeles, CA – LAX
  • Arlington, VA – DCA
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, TX – DFW
  • Queens, NY – LGA
  • Miami, FL – MIA
  • Philadelphia, PA – PHL
  • Charlotte, NC – CLT
  • Phoenix, AZ – PHX

What airplanes are in the American Airlines Fleet?

  • Airbus 319
  • Airbus 320
  • Airbus 321
  • Boeing 738
  • Boeing 752
  • Boeing 763ER
  • Boeing 772ER
  • Boeing 773ER
  • Boeing 778
  • Boeing 789
American Airlines jet tails on the ground

What are the Hiring Requirements for American Airlines Pilots?

For American Airlines pilots there are two sets of requirements, or minimum qualifications to start your career. There’s the regulatory requirements set by the FAA, TSA, DOT, and even FCC. Then there are the individual airline requirements for the job.

Regulatory Requirements:

  • Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate
  • Current First Class Medical Certificate
  • Radiotelephone Operator’s Permit
  • Secure Identification Display Area (SIDA) Badge eligibility
  • Successful completion of pre-employment drug test
  • Successful completion of Pilot Records Improvement Act (PRIA) evaluation
  • 1500 hours fixed wing flight time

American Airlines Pilot Job Requirements:

  • Minimum age of 23
  • Ability to learn and work with PEDs
  • Fluently speak and understand English
  • Must have the right to work in the United States
  • Distance vision corrected to 20/20 and near vision corrected to 20/40 or better in each eye
  • Must be able to secure appropriate authority or Customs security badges
American Airlines airplane at the gate

American Airlines Pilots Pay

American’s pilot’s pay will vary based on the plane you fly and the number of hours you fly during each bid period. They have a 73 hour long call and 76 hour short call reserve guarantee. Given the factors above, the salary below should only be considered an estimate of hourly pay based on available sources.

American Airlines First Officer Pay:

  • Year 1: $90,000
  • Year 5: $169,000
  • Year 12: $190,000

American Airlines Captain Pay

  • Year 1: $255,000
  • Year 5: $263,000
  • Year 12: $278,000

Discover pilot pay for all the major and regional airlines in the USA on our pilot salary guide.

How Do I Apply for an American Airlines Pilot Job?

If you meet all of the qualifications listed above you can visit the American Airlines job website to see if they are hiring. It’s important to note that American Airlines largely hires new pilots from their regional airline partners.

In order to start your American Airlines pilot career you’ll first need to work at a regional and then apply to an open position for American. If your career goal is to fly for American Airlines take a look at the pilot hiring requirements at Envoy or PSA Airlines.