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Pilot Careers

Secure your future. Pilots who choose Piedmont can earn over $180,000 in bonuses. Those with qualifying experience can join Piedmont as Direct Entry Captains and earn up to $187,500 in bonuses. No matter where you are in your journey, Piedmont has a place for you. Learn what it takes to be a part of the team below.


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Paths to the Flight Deck

Apply as a Direct Entry Captain

Join Piedmont as a Direct Entry Captain and maximize your career earnings. Next stop: American Airlines. Direct Entry Captains can earn $187,500 in bonuses and train immediately.

Minimum Qualifications

  • 2,500 hours of flight time
  • 1000 Hours of 121 time or qualifying 135 time
  • Commercial Multi-engine certificate with an instrument rating, and an English Proficient Endorsement
  • Valid United States passport or a valid passport with authorization to work in the United States
  • FCC Radiotelephone Operator Permit
  • Current First Class Medical Certificate
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED

Bonus Structure

  • $15,000 for all pilots
  • $15,000 for Direct Entry Captains ($10,000 for Near Entry Captains)
  • $7,500 E145 type rating bonus
  • $30,000 Captain upgrade bonus
  • $70,000 flow bonus to American Airlines
  • $50,000 additional bonus paid at flow, earned pro-rata with qualifying hours over two years at Piedmont

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Airline Transport Pilot Certificate
  • Type Rating in a Part 25 Aircraft
  • College degree from an accredited school
  • Current employment in a pilot position
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Apply as First Officer

Join Piedmont and start your journey toward American while enjoying the regional industry’s highest wages and a competitive benefits package.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Meets minimum requirements to hold an ATP or RATP with a multi engine rating
  • 1,500 hours of flight time, 50 hours of multi-engine time, 250 hours as Pilot in Command or meet requirements for Restricted ATP
  • Valid United States passport or a valid passport with authorization to work in the United States
  • FCC Radiotelephone Operator Permit
  • Current First Class Medical Certificate
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED

Preferred Qualifications:

  • College degree from an accredited school
  • Current employment in a pilot position
Apply Now

Train as a Cadet

Receive financial support while building time. Pilots with 500 hours TT are eligible for Piedmont’s flexible cadet program. Cadets do not have to be affiliated with a partner school, and may build hours where and how they choose. Cadets will receive a generous signing bonus and ATP/CTP.

Succeed in the Piedmont cadet program and you are well on your way to a seat at American Airlines.

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Transition from Military

Let Piedmont help you make the transition to a rewarding civilian career. We’ll help you complete the training you need to fly for Piedmont and American Airlines.

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Piedmont offers the Fastest Path to American Airlines

Pilots awarded a position with Piedmont Airlines have a guaranteed job at American Airlines under a company “flow” program. You will train at the American Airlines Flight Training Center in Charlotte, North Carolina and flow to American in seniority order. No regional airline gets pilots to a major airline faster. Talk to a recruiter to learn how you can guarantee your seat at American.

Visual representation comparing American Airlines, United and Delta

Piedmont Airlines’ Elevate Pilot Careers Program

Pilots who choose to join Piedmont Airlines’ exceptional aviation team can earn over $180,000 in bonuses as part of an unprecedented recruitment and retention package. Learn more about the program here.



Earn your Stripes Quickly

At Piedmont, you may start as a first officer, but that doesn’t mean you’ll stay in the right seat longer than you need to. Before your guaranteed job at American, Piedmont pilots have the opportunity to become captains in 12-15 months, which increases your pay. It’s even sooner for pilots with Part 121 experience.

Graph showing how pilots through Piedmont upgrade to Captains usually within 15 months or less.

Pay & Benefits

First Officer Compensation

$51.52/hour (April 1, 2022)

First year pay for First Officers

75 hours/month



Upgrade to Captain

$86.13/hour (April 1, 2022)

Year one Captain

$88.23/hour (May 1, 2022)

Year two Captain

  • After 2,500 total hours and 1,000 Part 121 hours, bid for captain

Time off

11 days off per month guaranteed minimum

42 hours paid sick leave per year

5 paid vacation days in your first year

10 paid vacation days in your second year

Travel for Free

Ready to explore the world? You, your immediate family and your friends can reach 365 destinations on more than 6,800 daily flights across the American Airlines global network.

Insurance and Retirement

High quality health insurance is best in the industry

PPO covers doctor visits, hospitalization, prescriptions and vision

Dental coverage includes no-cost preventative care

Life and disability insurance provided at no cost to you

401(k) plan through Fidelity, with a company match

Additional Benefits

Commuters receive two free hotel rooms per month

Training at the American Airlines Training Center in CLT

100 percent trip cancellation and dead head pay

Bid on crew base assignments based on vacancies and seniority

Hub bases: Philadelphia (PHL) or Charlotte (CLT)

Crew Bases

Charlotte, NC

Two hours from the mountains, three to the coast, Charlotte has it all. Hiking, biking, rafting and the mild year-round climate to enjoy it. Fly Embraer jets from CLT, American’s largest East Coast hub, and build your career in a vibrant city that’s growing but still small enough to retain its Southern charm that always says hello.

Philadelphia, PA

Piedmont’s prime location and growing Philadelphia hub offer pilots another great situation. You’ll challenge your skills with East Coast takeoffs and landings. You’ll live where everything’s within reach. Operate within easy distance of all that makes the East great – dynamic cities, rich culture, live sports, top dining, the beach and mighty Atlantic. Position your career, your life – in the center of it all.

Harrisburg, PA

Coming soon in May 2022

US News and World Report ranked Harrisburg, the state capitol of Pennsylvania, as the #1 Best Place to Live in Pennsylvania. Located along the banks of the Susquehanna River, Harrisburg is an eclectic mix of wilderness and city life, as well as the old and the new, making it a perfect destination for your pilot career. From hiking trails and outdoor recreational activities for the outdoor enthusiast to living within a few hours’ drive from major cities like New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Harrisburg has something for everyone.

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Questions? We’d love to hear from you. Contact a recruiter to learn more about the application process and get a personal guide to joining the Piedmont team. Or visit us at any of our upcoming recruiting events to meet members of our team.