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Aviation is the area study and employment that is responsible for understanding planes, airlines, airline operations, management and maintenance and more. Individuals who pursue study in this field will be prepared to work in the aviation industry in one of the many possible positions and areas available.
Types of Aviation Degrees
There are a number of degrees within the field of aviation and many degree types to select from within the field. Below we have detailed the types of degrees available within the aviation degree program that are offered by accredited colleges and universities in the United States. The types of aviation degrees include:
Certificates in Aviation
A certificate in aviation is the entry point into the aviation field for many individuals or an additional professional certificate for working professionals in the field looking to add skills to their toolbox. A certificate in aviation is designed to be completed inside of a year based on the number of expected credits taken at a given time. Aviation certificates will generally require educational prerequisites and likely work experience in the field depending on the certificate type. Make sure to request information from schools below and speak to their admissions department to understand the requirements of the program prior to applying.
Associate Degrees in Aviation
The associate degree programs in aviation are 2-year programs that combine general education courses like English, sociology, and economics with core aviation classes. Classes in aeronautics include physics, meteorology, aeronautical science, aviation statistics, aeronautical science, and aviation legislation while classes in aviation business administration include classes such as microeconomics, finance, accounting, management, business statistics, human resources, and information systems in aeronautics.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Aviation
The bachelor’s degree in aviation is a 4-year program with additional general education courses and core aviation classes compared to the associate’s degree track. A bachelor’s degree is conferred as a Bachelor of Science (BS) and is designed to enhance leadership capabilities, decision making aptitude, and knowledge in the aviation industry. The core courses in aeronautical science include such classes as: instrumentation, private pilot operations, aircraft performance, aerodynamics, turbine engines, commercial pilot operations, domestic navigation, international navigation, aircraft systems, flight physiology, crew resources, flight safety, meteorology, aeronautical science, aviation law, transport systems, airline management, flight technique analysis, and associated labs.
Master’s Degrees in Aviation
Master’s degree in aviation online is a 2-3 year completion program based on full-time matriculation conferred as a Master of Science (MS). The master’s degree is a graduate-level program designed for professionals looking to take their career to the next level. Career tracks can lead to advanced positions as a safety officer, pilot, meteorologist, air traffic controller, aviation teacher, simulation specialist, or similar careers. Aviation classes at the master’s degree level include programs such as: air transportation systems, statistical analysis, systems integration, aerospace planning systems, aviation logistics, research methods, project management, simulation systems, a capstone course, and a thesis.
Doctorate Degrees in Aviation
The doctoral degrees in aviation are conferred as a PhD and is known as a terminal degree in higher education as there are no additional degrees beyond the PhD program. The PhD program in aviation is designed for highly qualified students to extend learning and research in the aviation field through the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced research methodologies. PhD students will be equipped to gain mastery in aviation concepts, solve research-based problems, extend body of knowledge, provide leadership, and demonstrate expertise in the field of aviation. After completing all requisite upper-level courses in the PhD program, students will need to sit for an extensive examination, perform a requisite residency program, and defend a board-approved dissertation.
Education and Schools
Aviation covers a wide variety of information related to the field. Individuals will typically pursue at minimum a bachelor’s degree, with higher level degrees generally being pursued in related fields. Students will have learn about the history of avionics, aviation production, management, in flight and ground operations, maintenance, and more. Some aviation programs may be more specific in their program offerings, differentiating between operations and maintenance.
A curriculum may include:
- History of Aviation
- Airport Operation
- Materials Budgeting and Transportation
Schools that offer practical experience and have professional instructors tend to be more attractive to potential students due to the opportunities and information the may confer. Students should ensure that facilities are modern and that the school offers strong education in the field. Accredited institutions should be preferable as well, ensuring that the degree earned will be accepted by employers.
Different Degrees in Aviation
A number of degree options exist within the field of aviation. Below we have detailed out a clustering of associated degrees within the aviation field to help kick-start your research into viable programs that work best for you. The degrees in the aviation field include a variety of certificate programs, associate degrees, bachelor degrees, master’s degrees, and PhD programs in the following degree tracks:
- Aeronautical Science
- Aerospace and Occupational Safety
- Aviation Security
- Electrical Engineering
- Emergency Services
- Aerospace Engineering
- Aviation Maintenance
- Aviation and Airway Management
- Air Traffic Controller
- Flight Instructor
- Aviation Maintenance Management
- Air Transportation
- Airline Pilot and Flight Crew
- Aerospace Physiology
- Aire Traffic Management
- Project Management
- Simulation Science
- Space Physics
- Aircraft Dispatcher
- Aviation and Aerospace Sustainability
- Aviation Business Administration
- Aviation Maintenance Science
- Engineering Physics
- Engineering Technology
- Technical Management
- Unmanned & Autonomous Systems Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Occupational Safety Management
- Software Engineering
- Spaceflight Operations
- Systems Engineering
- Unmanned Systems Applications
Schools Other Students Requested Information From:
Employment in the field of aviation is expected to increase over the next decade, due in part to increased air travel, newer technologies, and changing business environments. Individuals entering this field may choose between a variety of jobs, though operations tends to be the most common and lucrative. Aviation careers should be relatively easy to pursue due to the nature of the industry, the large number of opportunities, and the expected increase in jobs.
The National Business Aviation Association is an organization dedicated to providing security, growth, and protection of interests for professionals in this field. Similar organizations exist for various jobs within the aviation field and should be reviewed by those who work in those areas.
Additional Resources in Aviation
- Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA)
- National Business Aviation Association (NBAA)
- Aerospace Industries Association (AIA)
- Modification and Replacement Parts Association (MARPA)
- National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA)
- Aviation Distributor's and Manufacturers Association (ADMA)
- National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA)
- Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA)
- Aviation Suppliers Association (ASA)
- International Aviation Ground Support Association (IAGSA)
- National Air Transportation Association (NATA)
- Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA)
- Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)
- National Aeronautics Association (NAA)
- Air Carrier Association of America (ACAA)
- Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance (AWAM)
- Air Taxi Association (ATXA)
- Air Transport Association (ATA)
- General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA)
- Helicopter Association International (HAI)
- Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA)
- American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE)
- Aircraft Owner’s and Pilot’s Association (AOPA)