Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) Career and Courses

Certified Aviation Managers (CAMs) are responsible for managing and organizing private and commercial airlines and airports. Learn more about the education and experience required to sit for this certification exam. Schools offering Driver Training degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Certified Aviation Managers (CAMs) act as liaisons between airlines and airports. Applicants need to have at least two years of aviation job experience and must renew their certification every three years. Certificates, bachelor's degrees, and master's degrees are offered through various schools and associations.

Courses Fundamentals of air transport, developing leadership skills, strategic management in operations, corporate aviation technical services, corporate aircraft operations, human resource management
Certification Certification as a Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) is available through the National Business Aviation Association
Career Options Aviation consulting, airport manager, general aviation operations manager, air carrier manager

What Is the Process for Certifying Aviation Managers?

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) offers the CAM certification. You must pass an exam to be certified, and you'll also need to renew your certification every three years. The exam tests five subjects: technical and facilities services, personnel management, operations, leadership and business management. It is offered six times a year across the nation.

When reviewing a certification application, the NBAA considers job experience, licenses and education. Two years of experience in an aviation-related business is required, and the NBAA generally prefers applicants with experience working in aviation management, operations or supervision. Eligibility for the exam is determined through a points-based system, in which you're awarded points based on the type of degree you hold and on the number of years' experience you have.

What Courses are Taught?

Bachelor of Science degrees in aviation management or air traffic management and Master of Business Administration degrees in aviation management are common options for aspiring CAMs. Either type can make you eligible for certification, but you receive more points on your certification application if you have a master's degree.

In a bachelor's degree program, you'll learn microeconomics, aviation law and policy, product flow in transportation, airspace management and statistics. You'll also complete an internship, sometimes in a foreign country. Many programs also incorporate flight training into the curriculum.

In an MBA program, you may study:

  • Air transportation economics
  • Logistics
  • Airport operations management
  • Global aviation strategies
  • Aviation law
  • Business administration

You may also complete a capstone project. Some MBA programs are offered online or on a part-time schedule.

What Should I Consider When Selecting A School?

Attending a program accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) will assist you in finding employment after graduation and applying for NBAA certification. If you're interested in flying planes, consider attending a school with an airport. Additionally, the location of a program's internships may impact your employment choices, so you may wish to consider whether they'll give you opportunities to interact with potential employers. Finally, many MBA programs prefer students with work experience. You may be able to substitute internships for this experience, but should check the program prerequisites.

What Does My Career Look Like?

Students who earn an aviation management degree may be eligible for positions as aviation consultants, general aviation operations managers, air carrier managers and airport managers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for transportation managers was $92,460 per year as of 2017.

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:

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