Career Path From LIFT to Republic

When you take off, you always need to know where you’re going to land. At LIFT Academy, we offer dedicated pathways to a steady commercial Pilot career at Republic Airways. Because we know your goals go far beyond graduation.

We sat down with former LIFT Academy student and current Republic First Officer Sarah Caldwell to learn more about the path that took her from learning to leading.

What’s Right for You?

LIFT wasn’t Sarah’s first foray into the world of aviation. She was working as a mainline flight attendant when she realized that she belonged on the other side of the flight deck door. “There are a lot of options to choose from, Part 61s and smaller mom-and-pop operations,” Sarah explains. “Part 61 training can sometimes be a really good experience but can potentially be risky due to aircraft and instructor availability.”

After encountering financing hurdles at another school, Sarah discovered LIFT Academy. She was immediately impressed with its focus on a commercial Pilot career after graduation. “When I found LIFT, I knew it was the right fit for me and packed up my entire life and moved to Indianapolis in January 2020.”

Get Certificated

Once Sarah had completed her initial flight training, she was ready to start instructing. LIFT Academy students often become Certificated Flight Instructors, where they are paid to instruct other students while building the flight time and skills necessary.

Sarah took pride in her time as a CFI, “You’re teaching the next generation, you need instructors who are invested. And students who are invested, too.”

Land at Republic

Sarah knew she had a guaranteed career pathway to Republic, so she hustled. “One of the great things about LIFT is there’s no shortage of students and no shortage of airplanes.” Sarah continued, “And with maintenance on-site, we seldom miss a good weather day due to inspections or mechanical issues.” Starting in January of 2023 with 500 hours, Sarah got to the required 1,500 hours by August. It took her 7 months to do what it usually takes students a year.

And now, she’s flying jets for a living with Republic Airways.

Want to see if LIFT Academy is right for you? Take our 3-minute Flight Training Readiness Quiz and find out!