Cadet Academy

To all of those who dream big and want more out of life American Airlines is the world-class aviation leader that enables your success by welcoming you into our inclusive community of committed professionals who care for people along life’s journey.

In the American Airlines Cadet Academy, you will train with one of our carefully selected flight schools and be paired with an American Airlines pilot mentor to walk with you through the program. Our dedicated program lenders, American Airlines Federal Credit Union and Discover® Student Loans, can help simplify the financial aspect of your training.

Most importantly, upon program completion, American’s three wholly owned regional carriers (Envoy, Piedmont, and PSA) will offer you a guaranteed interview. If hired by one of these regional airlines, you are well on your way to working at American Airlines. American Airlines has contractual flow-through agreements with each of these carriers, which means you could be selected to transfer directly to American Airlines once your seniority accrues.

See the qualifications

To get started transforming your dreams into reality, you need to...

  • Be legally eligible to work in the United States.
  • Be 21 years old by the completion of the approximately three-year program.
  • Have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Be able to obtain an FAA Physical (first class medical).
  • Be able to obtain a valid passport with the ability to travel in and out of the United States.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking English.
  • Pass a background check.

Check out the locations & costs

Investing in your future

Cadet Academy has been designed to address all of the obstacles associated with a traditional flight training route. We have developed a turn-key approach similar to many colleges. You are responsible for one price. As long as you study hard and pass all of your courses as expected, all costs associated with becoming a professional pilot are covered in that one price.

Cadet Academy Benefits


Individualized support from an American pilot mentor that continues along your path to American.


American Airlines leads the industry in financing, giving cadets the ability to finance their training on a timeline that makes sense for them.

Path to American

A unique in-road opportunity to interview with our regional carriers: Envoy, PSA, and Piedmont. This continues your journey to your final destination of American Airlines!

Community of Cadets

Cadets from every ethnic, geographic, and economic background coming together to create a classroom and community where you belong.

Partner schools

Each of our partner schools have slightly different tuition driven by different training aircraft and location. Regardless of which school you select, you will receive a consistently high level of training.

The price of the program includes materials, uniforms, and all training (for those who maintain satisfactory academic progress). The cost of housing and meals can be added if necessary, up to the aggregate borrowing limit of each loan ($120,000 for AAFCU or $120,000 for Discover). Cadet Academy is designed to avoid any unforeseen expenses.

Coast Flight

San Diego, CA


1 of 6

Spartan College

Tulsa, OK


2 of 6


Phoenix, AZ


3 of 6

Coast Flight

Dallas, TX


4 of 6

Coast Flight

San Marcos, TX


5 of 6

Infinity Flight Group

Trenton, NJ


6 of 6

Select the logos below to learn more.

See how you can finance it

Loan Program

American Airlines has created partnerships with two financing institutions: American Airlines Federal Credit Union and Discover Student Loans. They each offer a unique financing opportunity for American Airlines cadets.

To qualify for either of these loan options, you must be enrolled in the Cadet Academy. You must meet certain credit requirements. The credit decision is determined by your credit worthiness including your credit score, credit history, and other factors.

American Airlines Federal Credit Union

American Airlines Credit Union is pleased to partner with the American Airlines Cadet Program in helping prospective pilots pursue their dream job. They’ve been supporting American Airlines for more than 85 years and look forward to the opportunity to work with you and watch your career take flight. American Airlines Credit Union is the official credit union for American Airlines and their families. As a member of the Credit Union, you not only get their tuition assistance as a cadet, but you get membership benefits for life. Some of the benefits of working with the credit union include:

  • Cadet student loans up to $120k with variable or fixed rates
  • Low Rates
  • Cosigner Allowed (if your credit needs a boost)
  • No Application Fee
  • No Servicing Fee
  • No Prepayment penalty
  • Rate discount available for automated payments (.25%)
  • Payments do not begin until after program completion*
  • Personalized Financial Wellness Program that includes access to a Financial Advocate, budgeting solutions, and other financial wellness tools
  • Exclusive membership privileges

They can work with you to create a customized financial wellness plan to help your aviation career get off the ground. Learn more how the Credit Union can assist you on your life journey and in pursuing your dream job.

*Assumes satisfactory progress is being made toward program completion.

Discover® Student Loans

American Airlines has worked with our program lender, Discover® Student Loans, to make a Custom Career Loan available to you, which was designed specifically for aspiring pilots who do not have access to traditional loan options for flight training. Once you are accepted into the Cadet Academy, you will have the opportunity to apply for the Custom Career Loan, which offers several great benefits, including:

  • No cosigner needed for this loan
  • Borrow up to $120,000
  • Choice of Variable of fixed interest rate
  • Auto Debit Reward – get a 0.25% rate reduction when enrolled in automatic payments
  • Zero Fees – that means no application, origination or late fees
  • No payments required until 3 months after program completion*
  • It only takes minutes to apply
  • Learn more about the Custom Career Load for American Airlines Cadets.

Discover is one of the leading consumer banks in the U.S., focused on helping people spend smarter, manage better and save more to achieve a brighter future. Discover provides information on their website about financial literacy, building and maintaining a good credit history, and debt management. Students can also get information about loan repayment and deferment options.

Flight Student Loans are made by American Airlines Federal Credit Union, not American Airlines or flight training partners. Custom Career Loans are made by Discover Bank®, not American Airlines or flight training partners.