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How Can I Earn an Aviation Management Degree?

You can earn a degree in aviation management at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels to prepare you for a career in aviation management. Aviation managers supervise airlines or operate airports and schedule flights efficiently; they encourage flier safety and seek ways to improve the aviation industry. Keep reading to learn more about your degree options.

What Do I Need to Know About Degree Programs in Aviation Management?

Undergraduate programs at the associate and bachelor's degree levels are offered as aviation management, aviation or aerospace administration, maintenance management, or business administration with an aviation concentration. Depending on the schools location and partenerships, students could have the opportunity to participate in a work-study program while earning their degree.

You'll need to earn a bachelor's degree to be admitted into a 2-year Master of Science in Aviation Management or a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in aviation management. Master's programs often require that you complete one or more research projects designed to improve the function and efficiency of an airline or airport.

Degree LevelsAssociate, bachelor's, master's
Undergraduate Topics Air traffic control, aircraft maintenance, revenue generation, weather conditions
Graduate-Level Topics Airport employee management, customer service, safety and cargo regulations, research project
Program Format On campus or online
Median Salary (2018)$124,540 (Air Traffic Controllers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)3% growth (Air Traffic Controllers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Will I Learn?

Through an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science in Aviation Management program, you'll study airline safety, as well as meteorological weather conditions and how they affect flights. Business classes teach you the financial requirements for managing an airline or airport and generating revenue. Some classes cover aviation history and laws of the aviation industry.

Courses in a bachelor's degree program in aviation management introduce you to concepts pertaining to effectively running an airport by taking care of air and ground safety, finances and personnel management. You'll study air transportation laws and business practices related to airline management, including marketing and techniques for setting prices. Other classes cover airport planning, such as layout and terminal setup. You'll study insurance concerns and regulations regarding international flights, transport and trade. Some possible areas of focus include:

  • Pilot certification requirements
  • Airport management
  • Air traffic control
  • Airline administration
  • Aircraft maintenance

Graduate coursework teaches you methods for managing airport employees and meeting labor regulations, as well as setting up procedures to meet customer grievances or conflicts to provide better service. You'll study methods for balancing safety regulations with respect for different cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds. Your classes could cover regulations for cargo and luggage constraints as you study how weight affects the flight.

Are Online Programs Available?

Online associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs are available. In some cases, you can take all courses entirely online, though hybrid options include on-campus requirements for hands-on instruction. Video and text-based courses allow you to complete your studies at your own pace around your work schedule. Assignments can be submitted via e-mail or online forums, and you can communicate with your instructors and classmates through discussion boards and live chat.