When a student is finishing a Bachelor in Sc. Aviation, how many stripes does a student have? Can a student have stripes during his bachelor graduation or do they have to go through other PPL courses?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ In the US and most of Europe I have only ever seen 3 uniform stripes for a First Officer, and 4 for a Captain. If you are part of a school that issues stripes to student pilots it would be better to inquire directly with the school. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 20:19
  • $\begingroup$ There is a major 141 school I know of that uses one and two bars. I haven't a clue what they mean. $\endgroup$
    – acpilot
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 20:25

2 Answers 2


Stripes don't have any standardized meaning in between companies. If a company wanted, it could give one stripe to its most senior captains and four stripes to the office dog.

If your employer or your school has issued you a uniform, then the number of stripes that you have is the number of stripes that they decided to put on that uniform. If you haven't been issued a uniform, then you don't have any stripes.

  • 10
    $\begingroup$ The ever increasing number of stripes in this video always gets me :D $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 23:32
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ You just gotta love Paul :) As a side note, whatever it is that you are doing, if the number of stripes matter, you're in the wrong business. Unless the business is making stripes. $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Commented Jan 25, 2020 at 16:38
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I want a picture of that office dog with stripes! $\endgroup$
    – Manu H
    Commented Jan 25, 2020 at 19:59

Outside the military, stripes mean nothing. They are not earned rank. Each company and/or school gets to decide how their uniform looks and what is on them. There is no industry-wide regulation. If (and this is a big if) a Part 61 school has a uniform, it is usually a polo shirt and anything but jeans. Same with university programs. If you are in a Part 141 school, they decide what the stripes mean for their school. If you are working professionally in the industry then the stripes go as follows:
4 stripes equals captain regardless of type or level of experience.
3 stripes equals everyone else regardless of type or level of experience.
2 stripes equals the ever increasingly rare species called the flight engineer. They are nearly extinct.
1 stripe is not really used in the airline industry. It is sometimes used to signify a pilot trainee in some schools.
0 stripes means the company does not use stripes for your position.
Polo shirt equals cushy corporate job. Cayman Islands, here we come.

Remember, some people CHOOSE not to be captains. If you are a high seniority first officer, you go to the bottom of the captain seniority list as soon as you become a captain. That may be why they call it an upgrade instead of a promotion like they do in the military. Remember the name Jeffrey Skiles, a highly trained, skilled, and experienced pilot who contributed his teamwork to the Miracle on the Hudson.


Graduating from a University with an aviation degree does not make you a pilot. There are many different NON-FLYING aviation degrees. The professional pilot tract of a university would get you a degree as well as the appropriate pilot certificates (PPL, Instrument, multi, comm-single, comm-multi, and possibly CFI/CFII/MEI). You would have to fly with an instructor as well as take university classes. The cost of the flight hours is usually in addition to your regular tuition.

  • $\begingroup$ Not to mention that many of us who are pilots don't wear any sort of uniform at all. Most of my flying has been done in jeans and a t-shirt, with sweater or jacket as needed in colder weather. If some aviation schools choose to require their students to wear uniforms with stripes, that's entirely their business. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Commented Jan 25, 2020 at 18:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the merge. For future reference, here is the official guidance for multiple answers: What's our policy towards multiple answers from the same user on the same question? $\endgroup$
    – Bianfable
    Commented Jan 25, 2020 at 19:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .