How Can I Earn a Degree in Aviation?
Aviation degrees can be found at the associate's, bachelor's or master's degree levels and in a variety of specialties, including aviation management, aviation science and aviation safety. Learn about the requirements for these degree programs.
What Degrees in Aviation Are There?
Available aviation degree options include associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in aviation management, aviation safety, aviation administration and aviation science. They prepare you for a range of jobs in the industry, including air traffic control, maintenance and administration. Many of these programs are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is a requirement for securing many jobs in the aviation industry.
If you want to become a pilot, you can earn a Bachelor of Science in Aircraft Operations. If you'd rather work in management, bachelor's and master's degree programs in aviation management are available. Associate's degrees in aviation maintenance and aircraft operations are also available if you'd like to earn a degree in two years. Graduate degree programs include five-year bachelor's and master's degree programs in aviation management and Master of Business Administration degrees with aviation-related concentrations.
|Program Levels||Associate's degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree|
|Job Requirements||FAA-certified schools are necessary for attaining proper aviation education; work experience and education are often required to work in many aviation career fields|
|Online Availability||Some for-profit schools offer online programs, most commonly at the master's level|
|Median Salary (2018)||$63,060 (Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians)|
|Job Outlook (2018-2028)||3% growth (Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
What Are the Requirements?
FAA regulations differ depending on the particular aviation career you're seeking. If you want to work in aviation maintenance, you'll need to attend an FAA-certified aviation maintenance technician school. These programs typically take between 12 and 24 months to complete. You'll also need to be certified by the FAA to work without supervision.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), aspiring air traffic controllers have three pathways into employment. You can gain prior experience through the FAA or the Department of Defense in either civilian or military work. You can also earn a combination of education, typically at the bachelor's degree level, and work experience. The third way to become an air traffic controller is to enroll in one of the FAA's Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative programs.
Aviation administration and management programs usually teach you business principles, aviation laws and marketing practices. These programs are often appropriate for aspiring pilots, and they give you an option for pilot training and flight courses. To become a pilot, you'll need to gain certification from the FAA.
Can I Learn Online?
Typically, aviation programs are offered only on campus, but some for-profit institutions offer online opportunities. These are usually for master's degree students. You may be able to find limited blended programs that allow you to take some of your courses online, though these are also usually master's degree programs.