Stein Mjåtveit

What is a pilot cadet program?

Stein Mjåtveit

08. OSM Aviation Academy students in class

Some of you might have found the term "cadet program" when you are searching the web to find answers to your questions about flight training and career opportunities for pilots.

They come in many variations and are offered by a multitude of airlines in cooperation with different flight schools. We want to answer a few questions in order to help you understand what they are and why they exist. More specifically this post will talk about: 

  • Is a cadet program the same as an integrated program?
  • Do I have to be a pilot to apply for a cadet program? 

Read more about OSMAA's First Officer Program in Arendal, Norway

Let's break it down

A cadet program is basically a cooperation between an airline and a flight school. The purpose of a cadet program is to ensure the supply of qualified pilots for the airline. Usually the flight school that will be training the cadet pilots, undergo a rigid audit process from the airline where the cadets will start working after graduation. 


Is a Cadet Program the same as an Integrated Program?

A cadet program is usually done by following the same structure as an integrated program or an MPL program. However, an integrated program does not necessarily have to be a cadet program. The word "cadet" simply means that graduates from that program are devoted to a specific employer from the start of their training. Thus, all of their training is conducted with that specific employer in mind. 

Do I have to be a pilot to apply for a cadet program?

No, cadet programs don't require any former flying experience. However, you should expect to go through a screening and selection process.

Read more about screening and selection. 

Are all pilots hired through cadet programs?

A cadet program is just one of many ways for an airline to secure their supply of pilots. The airlines also recruit graduates from other paths, such as graduates from integrated programs, modular programs and multi-pilot license programs (MPL). You can read more about the difference between modular, integrated and MPL in this blogpost. 

Most of the students who attend OSMAA enroll in integrated flight training programs that take you from little or no experience to having all the licenses and ratings you need to apply for a job as a First Officer for a European airline. Since the need for pilots in the coming years is substantial, we expect to see more cadet programs becoming available to applicants. It will be increasingly important for airlines to get involved on this level if they want to attract new pilots to join their team. 

Does OSMAA offer cadet programs through airline partners? 

Yes, OSMAA now offers a cadet program in cooperation with OSM Aviation. OSM Aviation has more than 4000 employees in 18 countries and they work with several partner airlines. OSM Aviation pilots fly for Norwegian, Finnair, TUI and several other airlines.  

Learn more about this exciting program on the course page.

Training location at OSM Aviation Academy


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