Career Path to the Majors

From 500 hours to American Airlines

Piedmont Airlines’ Cadet Program is designed to help the most promising pilots make a smooth transition from 500 hours of flight time all the way to mainline pilot. Unlike other cadet programs, you don't have to be enrolled in a specific school, and you don't have to be a flight instructor.

Build flight hours. Get paid.

Cadets receive Piedmont support as their hours, training and experience grow. Piedmont’s new cadet program offers you more flexibility. Build time WHEN you want, WHERE you want. Choose how you want to fly and get paid up to $25,500 to do it, drawing on your new hire pilot bonus. Learn more below or apply today.

Become a Piedmont Cadet

Minimum qualifications:

  • Commercial pilot certificate with multi-engine and instrument ratings
  • 400 hours TT to interview, 500 hours to start
  • At least 300 hours away from ATP/R-ATP minimums
  • First class medical
  • No criminal record
  • No FAA violations

Payment Schedule

  • $7,500 signing bonus
  • $5,000 as you build time
  • $5,000 after you complete OE
  • $8,000 at your 1 year anniversary with Piedmont Airlines
    TOTAL: $25,500

Apply Now ►

We'll Pay for More

Upon reaching ATP/R-ATP minimum flight experience requirements, Piedmont will pay for the ATP-CTP course (valued at $5,000) for qualified candidates needing to complete the ATP written exam prior to new hire training. Hotel accommodations and ground transportation during the ATP-CTP course will be provided.

Cadets successfully completing the ATP-CTP course and written exam will be placed into the next available new hire class at Piedmont upon reaching minimums, with no additional interview required. 

Need more? Once you sign on as a cadet and receive an American Airlines ID number, you can refer other pilots to the cadet program. We'll pay you $5,000 for every successful referral. Learn how referrals work here. 


Cadet Program to American Airlines
Apply to the Piedmont Cadet Program             
Apply to the program on You must have at least 400 TT but be more than 300 away from ATP/R-ATP.

Interview at the American Airlines Flight Training Center

We’ll fly you to Charlotte, North Carolina and provide hotel and transportation. You’ll interview with the Piedmont Team

Accept offer

Receive $7,500 signing bonus when you sign the cadet contract.

Build time, get paid

Fly as an instructor, tow gliders or banners, work as a skydiving pilot - you decide how and where you want to build hours. We’ll pay you every time you add 100 hours of flight time up to $5,000, drawing on our generous new hire pilot bonus.

Reach ATP/R-ATP minimums

As you grow as a pilot, you’ll have access to career building resources at Piedmont Airlines including mentors, networking opportunities, invitations to cadet events and more.

Enroll in ATP-CTP course

We’ll pay for the ATP/CTP course and exam, provide transportation and hotels - a $5,000 value

Begin first officer training

On your first day of training, we place you in the queue to transition to American Airlines. No separate interview required.

Complete training

Pass training and your operating experience - receive $5,000. Piedmont pilots are also eligible for some of the best benefits in the industry.

One year at Piedmont

Happy Anniversary! Receive $8,000

Upgrade to Captain

Piedmont pilots can upgrade to captain as soon as they reach upgrade requirements, usually in about 18 to 24 months.

Transition to American Airlines

Piedmont’s transition to American Airlines is faster than any other regional carrier. Your place in line is guaranteed as soon as you join our company as a first officer.
Begin training at American Airlines             
Congratulations! Pilots who start at American Airlines before at the age of 30 and retire at age 65 make more than $8 million over their careers.

Apply Now ►

Ready to Fly?

Want to talk? View a schedule of upcoming Piedmont information sessions, or connect with a recruiter.

Pilot Events ► Talk to a recruiter ►

Not there yet? Become an Ambassador.

Students at Piedmont Airlines' partner schools have the opportunity to become a Piedmont Ambassador. Enthusiastic pilots at any stage in their career are invited to apply. As a Piedmont Ambassador, you will develop leadership skills, attend networking events and act as a spokesperson for Piedmont Airlines. Connect with a recruiter to learn more and apply today.

Connect with a recruiter and apply