Aviation Schools and Classes

Learn how to pick an aviation school and what you'll learn in aviation classes. Prepare for a career in flying a commercial or private plane, training other pilots or managing an airline's operations. Keep reading to learn more about degree options. Schools offering Aviation Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Aviation schools offer a variety of programs covering piloting, airport and airline administration, management, and operations. These programs are available on campus and online and may be located near an airport to provide hands-on experience with aircraft.

Programs Associate's degrees in aviation, aviation flight management, private pilot technology, aircraft operations, aviation management, operations, or aviation technology; bachelor's degrees in aeronautical science or aviation
Classes Flight theory, piloting theory, aviation transportation, aeronautics, meteorology, management
Future Career Options Commercial pilot, airline operations, airport management, executive or management positions in commercial airlines

What Can Aviation Schools Teach Me?

Aviation schools teach you how to fly planes and about air transportation operations; typically programs focus on one aspect or the other. In a pilot degree program, you may spend time flying a plane. In an airline operations or management program, you learn how to work in executive or operational airline careers - or even start your own business. You also spend time in simulators and flying planes but do not earn pilot or other certificates. Some of the topics you might be covering in your classes are listed as follows:

  • Physics and mechanics of air transportation
  • Commercial piloting
  • Instrument rating
  • Multi-engine rating
  • Flight instruction

What Degrees Are Available to Me?

You can earn 2-year pilot degrees such as an Associate of Science (A.S.) in Aviation, Aviation Flight Management or Private Pilot Technology; or an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Aviation Flight or Aircraft Operations. The credits you earn in an A.S. program may transfer to a 4-year school, but your AAS credits may not. Associate-level airline management degrees include an A.S. in Aviation Management or Operations and AAS in Aviation Technology or Aviation Management.

If you're seeking bachelor's-level studies, possible 4-year pilot degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science or Aviation and a Bachelor of Arts in Aviation. Additional degree options include a Bachelor of Science in Aviation, Aviation Management or Aviation Technology.

What Classes Will I Take?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established curriculum and facility requirements for flying schools to ensure that aspiring pilots receive appropriate training. In an associate's degree pilot program or an operations and management associate's degree program, you'll be covering some of these classes:

  • Aviation transportation
  • Flight theory
  • Multi-engine operations
  • Piloting theory
  • Aviation meteorology
  • Aerodynamics
  • Airspace information system design and analysis
  • Aviation and business management
  • Marketing
  • Aeronautics
  • Meteorology

What About Courses in a Bachelor's Program?

In a bachelor's degree program, it's likely that you'll be responsible for completing an internship. You may also complete simulated flight labs and flight training. Bachelor's programs mostly cover the following topics:

  • Instrument rating
  • Aviation law
  • Aviation weather
  • Aeronautical engineering
  • Budgeting
  • Aviation safety
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Statistics

How Should I Select A School?

When choosing an aviation school, consider whether its program is accredited by the FAA or the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI). Graduation from an FAA- or AABI-approved school is not required to be licensed as a pilot or to work in aviation management, but it may improve employment prospects.

Additionally, consider the type of aircraft available to students and whether the school has an airport. The larger the variety of aircraft you learn to fly - and the more hands-on experience you gain working in a plane or airport - the better prepared you may be to work in the field. The following schools are among those that offer aviation classes:

  • Everglades University (Decatur, GA)
  • Thomas Edison State University (Trenton, NJ)
  • San Diego Miramar College (CA)
  • Miami Dage College (FL)
  • Southern Illinois University (Murphysboro)
  • Southern New Hampshire University (Manchester, NH)
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, FL)

What About Online Options?

Associate's and bachelor's piloting degree programs are available online, but only if you already hold flight training or pilot certificates. Therefore, you are only required to complete non-piloting courses to earn a degree. Subjects are the same as those in a traditional, on-campus program. Assignments, lesson plans and classes are available online, and students complete classes according to their schedules.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools