Online Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Technology
Among the most important members of the teams that keep aircraft flying are aviation and avionics technicians. Continue with this article to learn about what aviation technology degree programs are available, what kinds of aerodynamic and electrical courses you will take in a program, and where you can use your degree in the job market.
What Can I Learn in My Program?
A 4-year program can consist of 120-123 credits and can lead to a Bachelor of Science in an area such as aviation technology or aviation maintenance. Typical courses you might encounter include aircraft systems, engines, aerodynamics, electrical systems, airframe structures, and propulsion systems. Although programs can prepare you to sit for FAA certification examinations, some schools require you to hold FAA certification prior to enrollment. In addition, if you have previous FAA certifications or ratings, you may be able to transfer them for course credit.
|Degree Fields||Aviation technology, aviation maintenance|
|Degree Advantages||Eliminates work experience needed for certification|
|Career Options||Aircraft mechanic, service technician, avionics technician|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||5% for Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians*|
|Median Salary (May 2018)||$64,140 for Avionics Technicians*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
How Valuable Is an Online Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Technology?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the government agency responsible for the regulation of safe air travel. The FAA mandates that all maintenance work on aircraft be performed by FAA-certified mechanics. With 18-30 months of supervised work experience, you may qualify to sit for an airframe, powerplant or combination (A&P) certification examination. Completion of a formal, approved education program may substitute for the work experience requirement.
Although online programs leading to a bachelor's degree in aviation technology are rare, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that there are 170 aviation maintenance schools that are certified by the FAA. About one-third of those schools offer degree programs in aviation technology, avionics or aviation maintenance management. At its website, the FAA maintains a directory of approved maintenance schools.
You may also find a suitable degree program in aviation technology through the National Center for Education Statistics. By contacting the individual schools, you can find out if their programs are presented in an online format.
What Sort of Jobs am I Prepared For with My Degree?
With a bachelor's degree in aviation technology, you may qualify for a position as an aircraft mechanic or service technician or an avionics technician. As an aircraft technician, you're responsible for the overhaul, maintenance, and repair of aircraft engines, hydraulic and pneumatic systems. As an avionics technician, your responsibilities include the proper operation of navigation, radar, missile control, and radio systems.
What Is the Occupational Outlook?
In May 2018, the BLS determined the median annual wage for aircraft mechanics and service technicians to be $62,920, while avionics technicians came in at $64,140.