In late September, United announced the launch of the United Military Pilot Program (UMPP), an industry-leading program providing full-time, active-duty U.S. military pilots access to conditional job offers as a first officer with the airline. This unique program provides a secure landing place for participants while they complete their service to the nation and work toward meeting all mainline hiring requirements.
Under the terms of the UMPP, candidates must first take part in an interview and then complete all required flight training and certification prior to joining United. An important element of United’s program is that candidates don’t need to hold an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate (ATP) at the time of application. Instead, they can obtain their ATP before joining United, which provides flexibility for service members, including starting at United when the time is right for them and their families.
Military Wings Are Your Credential
“Launching this program is a win-win,” says United CEO Scott Kirby. “Our airline gets direct access to some of the best, most talented aviators in the world, and military pilots—and their families—get the time they need to plan their civilian career while still serving.”
The UMPP offers numerous benefits for participants, including a smoother transition from military to civilian life and a clear path to employment with United. Personalized support is provided through the Buddy program, which connects participants with experienced United pilots for guidance throughout their journey to the flight deck. Also, United has a fully dedicated Military Affairs team that provides support for those who choose to remain in the reserve component.
United has more than 16,000 pilots, including more than 3,000 who have served or are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces. United employs nearly 7,700 military veterans and 1,500 actively serving personnel across various departments and functions, including many in leadership and executive positions.
How Else Can You Become a United Pilot?
In addition to the UMPP, there are multiple paths to becoming a United pilot, depending on your flight experience:
First Officer Hiring
This path is for experienced pilots who meet mainline hiring requirements and are ready to fly for United now, without an alternate path or program. This includes current or former military pilots flying in the reserve component or who are less than six months from separation or already separated.
United Aviate program
Our pilot career development program is designed for pilots with their Private Pilot Certificate who are either learning to fly or are building experience with an Aviate-participating university, flight school, Part 135 operator, or United Express carrier.
United Aviate Academy
Located in Goodyear, Arizona, UAA is our wholly-owned flight school for aspiring aviators.
With United’s historic aircraft purchase comes unprecedented growth, including adding 50,000 new team members by 2026. Hiring well-qualified and talented pilots is our priority. To learn more about becoming a pilot at United Airlines, visit united.com/pilots for full details.