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Criteria

Our cadet programmes offer two routes; Multi Pilots Licence (MPL) and a full Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), the entry criteria to both routes are:

  • At least 17 years of age to apply and 18 years of age to start training.
  • GCSE Maths, English and Science excluding General studies and Critical Thinking, grade C/4 and above plus 112 UCAS points according to the 2017 UCAS point system or equivalent (academic and vocational qualifications accepted). For international academic comparisons, see: naric.org.uk
  • Fluent in English (and, if applicable, an ICAO Level 6 on completion of training). For non-native English speakers, you will need to a certificate proving you have achieved International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Level 5.5 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any individual area (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking). This must be the Academic test, not General Training.
  • The unrestricted right to live and work in the UK (Please note that a work/study visa does not satisfy this requirement).
  • A valid passport which permits unrestricted worldwide travel.
  • Your height must be between 1.57m (5'2") and 1.90m (6'3"). Height is accurately determined during the assessment process. If you’re taller than 1.90m, you may submit an application, but may be required to undergo a functionality check.
  • Able to obtain and hold an EASA Class 1 medical with no restrictions and meet British Airways medical criteria.
  • Before training starts, you must have completed referencing and pre-employment checks to the satisfactory standard and supply satisfactory UK and international Criminal Record Checks.
  • At least 17 years of age to apply and 18 years of age to start training.
  • GCSE Maths, English & Science grade C/4 and above. For international academic comparisons, see: naric.org.uk
  • Fluent in English (and, if applicable, an ICAO Level 6 on completion of training). For non-native English speakers, you will need to a certificate proving you have achieved International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Level 5.5 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any individual area (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking). This must be the Academic test, not General Training.
  • The unrestricted right to live and work in the UK (Please note that a work/study visa does not satisfy this requirement).
  • A valid passport which permits unrestricted worldwide travel.
  • Your height must be between 1.57m (5'2") and 1.90m (6'3"). Height is accurately determined during the assessment process. If you’re taller than 1.90m, you may submit an application, but may be required to undergo a functionality check.
  • To be able to obtain and hold an EASA Class 1 medical with no restrictions and meet British Airways medical criteria.
  • Before training starts, you must have completed referencing and pre-employment checks to the satisfactory standard and supply satisfactory UK and international Criminal Record Checks.

Potential Costs

Our programmes are fully self-funded, for further details about the costs involved please visit the flight schools websites.

Selection

The initial application process involves a situational judgement test and a numerical test. If you meet the required standard, we’ll invite you to submit a full application for review.

If your application is successful at this stage, you’ll be invited to a two-day selection event at your flying school of choice. It will include aptitude testing, numerical and verbal reasoning, a group exercise and a competency based interview. There may be a selection fee payable at the time of booking the assessment event. There is no further charge for selection, but you are responsible for any travel and accommodation costs incurred.

Upon successful completion and shortlisting through the flight school selection process, you will be invited to a final stage assessment conducted by the British Airways Selection Team at British Airways Head Office, Waterside near London Heathrow.

Inspire Gliding Scholarship

Get your career off to a flying start with a gliding scholarship that’ll give you a unique insight into flying, and our recruitment process. Find out more here.

Pre-Employment Checks

As a company our number one priority is to maintain the safety and security of our people and our customers. Pre-employment checks on all new joiners are essential. We have specific regulatory requirements that apply to these checks, as we are an aviation business.

These checks may seem quite complex and time consuming. But don’t worry, we’re here to guide and support you through the entire process. For airside roles we need to do a full five year pre-employment check, this includes education, ALL jobs, gaps and holidays of more than 28 days, along with documentary evidence. It is important that you provide us with accurate, and in-depth information. Discrepancies cause delay and may affect your start date.

You will also need to apply for a Criminal Records Check (CRC) also known as a Disclosure Baring Service Certificate (DBSC) and an overseas CRC if you have lived abroad in the last five years. If you already have an overseas criminal record certificate that is over 10 weeks old, it is valid if you have not returned to the country of issue to reside.

Typically, the CRC or DBSC will take two weeks to be issued, the overseas CRC will vary from country to country. The Pre-employment checks for airside will typically take around 16 weeks, the time will vary depending on the number of jobs, periods of education and gaps we have to check, and validate.

We will work with you, and our 3rd Party suppliers to make sure the process is as seamless as possible. Your help is vital, and much appreciated.


Future Pilot FAQs

  • For most cadet and training schemes you will need a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade A to C (4-9), including Mathematics, English and a Science. You may also need A-levels or the equivalent. Academic criteria is set per campaign. We suggest studying subjects you enjoy, we don’t favour any particular A-levels or degrees.

    In addition to academic studies, we look for candidates with good hand-eye co-ordination; so taking part in a wide range of sports or the odd computer game could be advantageous; a knowledge of current affairs and the commercial aspects of aviation; and a good ability to interact well with other people will benefit your application and your future career as an airline pilot.

    No particular flying experience is required, although potential airline pilots who have endeavoured to achieve some flying or aviation experience, for example with the Air Training Corps, at a local flying club, gliding club, The Air League, Airpilots, or working at your local airport, would always be looked upon favourably by any potential training establishment or employer.

    Whilst having some flying experience is a definite advantage, it is not a prerequisite to joining any British Airways scheme but will give you a great insight into flying and help you decide if it really is the career for you.

  • Like many employers, we calculate the equivalent value of academic qualifications to understand whether the required standard has been met. A guide to how we consider these can be found on the NARIC website.

  • Depending on your experience level this can vary greatly. Pilots selected for a cadet scheme generally complete their Commercial Licence training – including ground-school – with one of our partner flight training schools in approximately 18 months. Type rating and line training will then take up to 3 months to complete.

  • All pilots with British Airways must achieve and maintain a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Class One Medical Certificate. Generally wearing glasses does not prevent someone from becoming a pilot, this will be assessed by the Civil Aviation Authority Aeromedical Examiners during your initial medical examination. They will determine your suitability to hold a Class One Medical Certificate. For all questions relating to medical suitability please see the CAA website.

  • Work is allocated (or "rostered") in accordance with EASA regulations and Union agreements. Essentially pilots bid for work on a seniority basis, once this work has been allocated you are free to swap trips with each other provided the roster remains legal and all work remains covered. Time away from home will depend on the fleet you operate, your seniority and whether you have elected to go onto a Part Time roster. Both short-haul and long-haul fleets will require some time "down route", which can vary from one night to over a week on the longest trips that are operated. Some routes however will be there and back, allowing you to spend the evening back at home. As with all rosters these are subject to change.

    British Airways operates 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, and as such you can expect to work any day of the week, as well as over Public Holidays such as Bank Holidays and Christmas/New Year.

  • Salary and benefits for being employed as a pilot reflect the hard work and commitment of the individuals that we employ as flight crew. We have a discounted flight scheme, substantial pension and other benefits, including private healthcare schemes and corporate discounts. Salary generally increases with experience and may include a portion of flight pay, for each hour or flight worked, and an overnight expense allowance.

  • We employ pilots from all faiths and backgrounds and fully support everyone's right to practice their religion, however due to the nature of the job, we cannot guarantee any specific times, days or dates when a pilot will be able to carry out any specific rituals or observe rest periods. Most pilots find they are able to balance the needs of the job with their beliefs without great difficulty and can use the roster system to swap duties and make requests for leave and days off.

  • If you have been cautioned, warned or convicted of a criminal offence (other than parking offences) we suggest you check whether you will be able to obtain an airside pass by visiting www.dft.gov.uk. You must also be able to obtain a US visa.

    In order to be employed as a pilot with us you will also be required to provide a Criminal Record Check for every country in which you have been a resident, or worked in, for 6 months or more in the past 5 years.

  • British Airways uniform policy requires that tattoos must never be visible outside the uniform.

    As a guide, areas shown in grey on this diagram will not be covered by our uniform (when wearing a short-sleeved shirt). No tattoos must be visible on the face, hands, neck or arms. Additionally, as all our uniform shirts are white, you will be required to wear an appropriate white undergarment if you have a tattoo on your upper body in the blue area, so that your tattoo is in no way visible through the uniform shirt. Any tattoos in the red area must be covered.

    Please note that covering tattoos with plasters, jewellery or watches in the grey areas is not permitted and it will remain your personal responsibility that tattoos are never visible when in uniform.

    Image showing placement of tattoos



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