Becoming a commercial airline pilot without degree?
Becoming a commercial pilot does not *require* a college degree. And many folks are out there crop dusting, performing aerial photography, even teaching flying - all without a higher degree (and some probably without a high school diploma). However, it is NOT the path I would recommend. The higher up the ranks you climb, the more likely any particular institution (whether airline or other) is to want one - even if it really is not directly related to your flying work. With lots of entry level applications, it is just an easy way to weed out the bottom tiers. This is especially true of the airlines.
Also, do not forget that every commercial pilot flies at the risk of their Class II or Class I (the latter required for ATP "airline" flying) medical. I highly recommend that all pilots have a "backup" life plan for the day when they are no longer able to fly commercially.
There are two traditional routes to flying - military and civilian. The military will pay for you to learn to fly, and it is an excellent opportunity and career. But, you have to be accepted by them - and that means good physical and mental condition. And they are most likely going to want to see that you are on at least a path towards a college degree (ROTC, for example). Of course, they are also going to want a long-term commitment from you as well.
Civilian is usually "pay your own way" - at least for the beginning. You can get a pilot's license by working the drive-thru window at McDonalds (to pay for flight school), but it's a tough way to do it. And merely having a license is not enough - you need lots of hours (preferably in jets) to get hired by the major airlines. So that's a lot of time at low wages and strange times - or pay for more of your own training.
Lastly, some airlines do offer ab initio training (training from the beginning), but that is usually foreign (non-US) airlines offering jobs for their own countrymen. Lots of applicants, for a relatively few slots.
Bottom line: Flying is a wonderful career, but like anything else worthwhile - it takes lots of time and effort. If it is something you want to pursue, then don't be afraid of working long hours at perhaps multiple jobs to earn enough money to start getting your license. And then more hours and strange times at relatively low wages to make it into the airlines.
on Nov 09, 2018