Reminder: The only way to apply for a job at Southwest Airlines® is through this site.
Fees don’t fly here -- we will never ask for any form of payment for your application or training.*

*Destination 225° is a program of Southwest Airlines and there is no cost to apply; however, candidates advancing through the selection process will be responsible for all costs incurred. Read more.

La única forma de solicitar un trabajo en Southwest Airlines es a través de este sitio web.
Las tarifas no vuelan aquí: nunca solicitaremos ninguna forma de pago para su solicitud o capacitación*

*Destination 225° es un programa de Southwest Airlines y no hay costo para aplicar; sin embargo, los candidatos que avancen a través del proceso de selección serán responsables de todos los costos incurridos. Lee mas.

Image of the Pilot Simulator room at Southwest

First Officer Opportunities​​​​​​​

Take your career to new heights

​​​​​​​
Working at Southwest Airlines® is more than a career. It’s a calling. And life as a First Officer at Southwest® is about more than flying airplanes—it is about connecting people to what is important in their lives. First Officers have the unique opportunity to work with some of the best Teams and Crews in the world to deliver our mission to the Customers we serve each and every day.  

Our Pilots are not just safe and efficient in their flying skills, although smooth flying and soft landings are important. Our Pilots are overall Leaders who take care of our internal and external customers to create a one-of-a-kind experience only found at Southwest Airlines.

Why Southwest Airlines?

Image that reads, "9,500+ Pilots across 11 domiciles in the United States"
Image that reads, "2018: average trip time 2 hours and 3 minutes"
Image that reads, "Largest Boeing fleet in the world with over 750 Boeing 737 aircraft"
Image that reads, "A network of 101 Destinations in the US and 10 Additional Countries + 4,000 weekday departures*"
Image that reads, "46 years of profitability"

Your first year at Southwest Airlines:


Before your first day: 

  • Southwest Airlines First Officer Interview
  • Decision Committee
  • Matched with Southwest Airlines Mentor

Image that describes a Pilot's first year at Southwest

Minimum qualifications

Certificates/Ratings

  • USA DOT/FAA Airline Transport Pilot Certificate. The certificate must display the following:  
    • "Airplane Multiengine Land" Category and Class Ratings.
    •  "English Proficient" limitationPlastic certificate (plastic not required if the certificate is a   valid temporary certificate)
  • USA DOT/FAA First Class Medical Certificate and, if applicable, any necessary Special Issuance of a Medical Certificate (Authorization) or Statement of Demonstrated Ability (SODA) issued by the Federal Air Surgeon

Education

  • A degree from an accredited four-year college is preferred.
Flight Experience
  • We require 2,500 hours total flight time or 1,500 hours total flight time in a turbine aircraft.  
    • Additionally, we prefer a minimum of 1,000 hours in a turbine aircraft as the Pilot in Command. Only time in a fixed wing aircraft is counted. This specifically excludes simulator, helicopter, WSO, RIO, FE, NAV, EWO and UAV.
  • Actively flying two of the past five years is preferred. 
General
  • Must be at least 23 years old at the time of hire.
  • Must possess a valid U.S. driver’s license.
  • Must have authorization to work in the United States as defined by the Immigration Reform Act of 1986.
  • Must have a valid passport allowing travel across U.S. borders or a Refugee Travel Document.

How to apply


When we review applications and select interviewees, we look at both your application and your Pilot Credentials profile.
  1. Once you meet our minimum requirements, create a Pilot Credentials profile at SWA.PilotCredentials.com. We recommend you update this profile monthly. 
  2. During an open hiring window, apply to the Pilot-First Officer job on Careers.SouthwestAir.com. You are required to apply to an open position to be considered for an interview. Be sure to use the same email address you used when you created your Pilot Credentials profile. Email addresses must be the same on both sites for consideration. 

A complete application consists of an up-to-date Pilot Credentials profile, as well as an application on Careers.SouthwestAir.com.  


Frequently asked questions


Is any interview prep recommended?
  • We encourage coming prepared for your First Officer interview. We look forward to getting to know you, your experience, and your Heart. Please visit our Careers page to receive the most current information regarding Southwest Airlines, our mission, and our values. 
  • We realize that there are third party services available for hire to assist you in your preparation. Southwest Airlines is not affiliated with any of these services, and unfortunately, we have found some of their information regarding our hiring process to be inaccurate, out of date, and at times, misleading. We look forward to meeting with you!

Where can I find instructions on creating a Pilot Credentials profile?

Do I have to apply to every application window?
  • You should apply every time an application window opens on Careers.SouthwestAir.com to be considered for an interview. 

How often should I update my Pilot Credentials profile?
  • We recommend updating your profile once a month, and definitely every time you apply during an application window. 

Where are the Southwest Airlines Flight Operations Domiciles?
  • Southwest domiciles—also referred to as bases—are where a Pilot’s trip begins and ends. Our domicile locations include ATL, BWI, MDW, DAL, DEN, HOU, LAS, LAX, OAK, MCO, and PHX. 
  • Southwest Pilots bid on their domiciles. Opportunities in each city are based on demand, and this process takes into account seniority.

I'm interested in becoming a pilot. Where do I start?
  • There are a variety of approaches to becoming a pilot. 
  • On a compass rose, 225° is the southwest heading, and Destination 225° was developed to lead aspiring pilots to Southwest Airlines. The Southwest Airlines Destination 225° Program includes various pathways to provide the opportunity to get you to the right seat of a Southwest aircraft. Set your course for 225°.

If you have additional questions check out our Southwest Careers Discussion Forum.

*As of June 2019, during peak travel seasons.