Careers @ Delta

Pilot Hiring and Process

Ready to take flight? Delta’s premier global network and nationally recognized culture make it one of the most sought-after airlines to work for. Here’s what to expect as an experienced pilot during your application process. 


1. Initial Application

All candidates must apply for a Delta Pilot position using Airline Apps.  

2. Application Review

Each application is reviewed by two members of our Application Review Team.

3. Interview Process

Competitive candidates must pass an online assessment, a panel interview and final evaluations to receive a Conditional Job Offer.

4. Pre-Employment Screenings

The final step before starting training is to complete all required pre-employment screenings. 

5. Delta Indoctrination

New pilots experience a two-week indoctrination process that lays out the foundation for operational policies, and an introduction to our culture.

6. Wing Ceremony

Receive your Delta wings in a celebratory ceremony with your family and your Delta leaders. 

7. Training

All pilots must pass the FAA-approved Initial Qualification Curricula. Delta's Advanced Qualification Program (AQP) features state-of-the-art full motion flight simulators and flight training devices. Our pilots benefit from interactive training resources tailored to their experience level, immersive leadership and crew resource management training, and support from highly-experienced flight instructors.

8. Take Flight

Connect our people and customers to the world as a new Delta pilot. 

Application and Interview Tips

Helpful Tips for Your Application

  • Include all flight training, licenses and ratings in the education and professional development section of the application.
  • Driving records must include any infractions in which you were found guilty, or that involved payment or fines, court appearances, and/or assessed penalties.
  • Update your application every month or two to show that you are still interested.
  • On the application include every job you’ve held, and all schools attended, starting with high school and check for gaps in unemployment or time off from school. Airline Apps provides an Applicant Timeline Tool for your use.

Helpful Tips for Your Interview

  • Make sure logbooks are organized in a professional manner and to bring all original logbooks to your interview. 
  • Delta pilots are leaders and uphold these traits: Honesty, respect, tact, are proactive vs. reactive, willing to admit mistakes, open-minded, adaptive/flexible, self-motivated, interested in feedback and interested in self-improvement. 
  • Before your scheduled interview, Pilot Selection will send you an email with instructions on what to bring. Please make sure you read it carefully and bring everything it lists to the interview.
  • Don’t forget to be yourself!



Frequently Asked Questions

Pay rates were increased by 18% on January 1, 2023, and there will be additional increases of 5%, 4%, and 4% on January 1 of 2024, 2025 and 2026 respectively.
Yes. Extra pay will be provided for flying on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Our current per diem rates are the highest in the industry and will be recalculated annually based on the government reimbursement rates. Also, a $400 annual reimbursement if pilot lives more than 80 miles from base that offers parking.

General Requirements

  • At least 23 years of age.
  • Must be legally authorized to work in the US without sponsorship currently and not require future sponsorship for employment.
  • High school diploma or GED equivalent.
  • Current passport or other travel documents enabling the bearer to freely exit and re-enter the U.S. (multiple reentry status) and be legally eligible to work in the U.S. (possess proper working documents).

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Graduate of a four-year degree program from a college or university accredited by a U.S. Dept. of Education recognized accrediting organization is highly preferred. Degrees obtained from a non-U.S. institution must be evaluated for equivalency to U.S. degrees by a member organization of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

FAA Requirements:

  • FAA Commercial Pilot Certificate with Instrument - Airplane.
  • Current FAA First Class Medical Certificate.
  • All aeronautical experience requirements for an ATP, Airplane category rating, as set forth in 14 CFR §61.159.
  • Current ATP written exam.

Flight Time Requirements:

  • Minimum of 1,500 hours of total documented flight time.
  • Minimum of 1,000 hours of fixed wing turbine time is preferred (airplane and powered lift combined).
  • Minimum of 250 hours PIC or SIC as defined in 14 CFR §61.159(a)(5) in an airplane category.
  • Minimum of 50 hours of multi-engine airplane time.
  • When evaluating the flight time of applicants meeting the basic qualifications, consideration will be given to, among other things, quality, quantity, recency, and verifiability of training; complexity of aircraft flown; types of flight operations; and hours flown as PIC in turbine powered aircraft.

Other Requirements:

  • Applicants invited to interview must provide appropriate documentation of all flight hours, FAA pilot certificates, FAA medical certificate and college transcripts.
  • FCC Radiotelephone Operator's Permit.
  • DOT required pre-employment drug test.
  • International Certificate of Vaccination (Yellow Card) for Yellow Fever. This requirement may be waived only for legitimate medical or other limited reasons.
  • TSA required fingerprint based Criminal History Records Check and a Delta background check.
A four-year college degree is highly preferred but not a requirement for first officer candidates.
A letter of recommendation from a colleague can be helpful to our application reviewers. A colleague can be anyone you have worked with in the past including but not limited to a Delta pilot (current or retired). 
Competitive candidates will be invited to begin the interview process by taking the Aon online assessment that tests various personality and skill based competencies.  Successful candidates will then be invited to Delta Headquarters to participate in a panel interview, take the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, Revision 2 (“MMPI-2”).  Candidates who are successful in their face-to-face interview will also participate in a virtual interview with one of our psychologists.
You will receive an email from Pilot Selection listing all of the required documents for the in-person interview. Please read it carefully and follow the instructions. Failure to bring the required items on the day of your interview could result in having to reschedule your interview.
All pilots are required to be vaccinated for Yellow Fever according to the Flight Operations policy. If you require an accommodation, information on the process will be provided at the time of receiving your CJO.
All new pilots will receive a company-paid hotel room for their time in new-hire training and a company-provided uniform before OE. All other costs incurred will be the responsibility of the new-hire pilot.
Check out the Delta Air Lines Pilot Recruiting Facebook page for more information on events and conferences we will be attending.
There are multiple opportunities outside of the Flight Deck for Delta pilots including but not limited to Pilot Brand Ambassadors, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force members, Assistant and Chief pilots, pilot recruiters and interviewers, Special Assignment Supervisors, project pilots, instructors, Line Validation Pilot and Line Check Pilot.