Aviation Management Degrees: Requirements & Courses

Learn about degree programs in aviation management and how they can set the path for a career in the airline industry. Find out the requirements to enroll, the kinds of courses you might take, and what degree options exist. Schools offering Driver Training degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are the Requirements for a Degree in Aviation Management?

Aviation management is a degree that potentially consists of almost everything occurring at an airport. Security, air traffic, and airport design all fall under this category, in addition to many other topics. Most degree programs in aviation management are open to anyone who has a high school diploma, but some have special requirements that must be met.

For aviation management programs that include flight time, students must be deemed physically fit to fly and meet minimum requirements regarding vision and hearing. Special licenses, such as a Student Pilot Certificate, may be needed, which will have their own requirements. Since some courses like flight training and internships are offered at local airports which have partnered with the university, reliable transportation is often an informal requirement.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree or master's degree
Common Courses Aeronautics, aviation safety, and airport management
Other RequirementsHigh school diploma; may require physical exams (for flight programs)
Certification or Licensure Student Pilot Certificate may be needed for flight programs
Job Outlook* 7% growth from 2016-2026 (for air transportation workers overall)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What is an Aviation Management Degree?

Aviation management is a major with a comprehensive focus on all things related to flight, providing a wide range of classes, from science courses like aeronautics to business courses and even flight training. Most aviation management programs are designed to provide students with all they need to know to work on the ground at an airport in a variety of roles. Aviation management may offer further specializations, such as air traffic control, to help students who have already decided exactly which role they would like to perform.

What Kinds of Courses Will I Take in an Aviation Management Program?

Aviation management programs can be most easily divided into flight and non-flight programs, which will naturally shape what courses are taken. Flight programs include supervised flight experience. Science plays an important role, with courses such as aviation meteorology explaining how weather can affect flight, or aeronautics courses that cover the science of how planes fly. Business courses will include both the general, such as macroeconomics, and the very specialized, like aviation industry regulations. Given the high-risk nature of flight, courses like aviation safety and aviation systems security are often mandatory before graduation.

What Degree Options Are There For Aviation Management?

Aviation management programs are available at both the bachelor's and master's degree level. A bachelor's degree is sufficient for most jobs within the field of aviation management, however there are a few, such as airport operations, that can require the master's degree. Larger airports may require higher degrees for some positions due to the scale of the operations and the greater competitiveness for the positions. Some schools offer 3+2 programs, which combine a bachelor's program and a master's program into one five year degree track; this may make pursuing the higher degree more convenient.

What Jobs Are Available with a Degree in Aviation Management?

A degree in aviation management can prepare you for a number of jobs airports across the nation. Airport managers oversee the day-to-day running of the airport, ensuring that operations proceed smoothly on and off the runway. Air traffic controllers talk to pilots in the air as they approach and make sure it is safe for them to land. Airline managers work for a particular airline within the airport and coordinate pilots, flight attendants, and baggage handlers, in addition to helping customers with their problems. Aviation management degrees could also provide a point of entry to the cargo and freight side of the industry, monitoring the transport of goods via airplane. Jobs within the government, such as with the Federal Aviation Administration, may also be an option.

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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