I am 17 years old and am interesting in pursuing a career as a pilot. I am not sure what I need to do first, but I do have a flight lesson this Saturday to see if I want to continue with this career plan. To start off, what certificate should I work toward first and where should I go from there? I have read about the recreational pilot's license, as well as some other licenses, and was wondering what I should go for first. Also, any links to study material for any exams I may need to take would be greatly appreciated! All of the information about becoming a pilot seems a bit overwhelming, so I am just looking for a place to start and a basic plan. Thanks!
If you're considering going career, skip Sport and Rec; you'll need Private before anything higher, and there's no credit for having anything lower first. But wait until you see how your first few lessons go before getting too far ahead of yourself.
There are many sources of information. https://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/media/questions_answers.pdf
Reading the FAR-AIM, available at many flight schools is one good source, as many of the FAA Knowledge Exam questions come from this book. There are online courses you can take, examples:
and many flight schools also offer Ground School classes. You will need an instructor signoff to take the knowledge exam.
There are also flying colleges, such as Embry Riddle in FL. https://erau.edu/
I personally (1994, in my 30s) studied with Jeppeson materials and the FAR-AIM. Being a college grad made the studying easy, being an engineer made the math calculation parts easier. Anything I could not figure out, I quizzed my flight instructor on during flying lessons. The knowledge exam questions were available in booklet form then, I made sure I could answer every question, which often meant knowing where to find the information. Some things you just have to memorize, there is no way to work out/derive an answer. The exam was 60 questions out of the 700+ list of questions.
Try to find a way to fly at least twice a week if you can. Once a week you barely advance from lesson to lesson, missing a week for weather or something and it can feel like you went back 3 weeks. Being 17 will probably help with the motor skills for flying, but may hurt you on the learning part, depends on how good of a student you are.