It is not a requirement that you have to possess an aviation degree to become a pilot – however, employers usually consider pilots who have attained degrees related to that field.
You can obtain an aviation degree in many places, and it is also possible to complete some of the following degrees online. Potential employers usually take a look at the highest institution you selected to pursue your degree.
For example, a degree from an institution like the United States Air Force Academy will be more desirable. Below are some examples of aviation degrees that you can pursue to become a pilot.
There are a couple of great programs and degrees individuals can pursue if they want to become a pilot. We have listed some popular paths that individuals take to become a pilot below.
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Aviation Degree (B.A.)
A bachelor of arts in aviation is one of the most common paths for students to take if they want to become a pilot. This degree will help prepare you for everything you will need to become a pilot.
Students can expect to take courses in electronics, engineering, and various flying courses. Some schools offer specialized aviation degree programs in which you will focus on something very specific. Examples could include maintenance or airport management.
Students should expect to complete their aviation degree in about 4 years – some students may take as long as 6 years to complete their program. Most programs should provide you with your pilot’s license after completion, and some programs will even provide you with a commercial pilot’s license.
Aviation Degree (B.S)
The bachelor of science in aviation is a great option for individuals who already have some air experience. This degree is a little more technical and will provide students with a complete commercial pilot’s license at the end of the degree.
Students will usually have more hands on work in this degree versus the bachelor of arts degree. Students can expect to spend a good amount of time doing flight training. If you are looking to learn more technical skills, a bachelor of science in aviation should be you choice when looking to become a pilot.
Aerospace engineering is a great major for anyone looking to build a solid base of knowledge and become a pilot. While this major will not certify you to become a pilot after graduation, it will prepare you as a top candidate for other flight training programs and employers.
Aerospace engineering was ranked as one of our hardest engineering majors. Students will learn a ton of valuable knowledge while completing this major. If you can complete this major, you will be in a good spot to become a pilot or do something in the flight industry.
You can find every school in the United States that offers aerospace engineering with our college finder tool.
Air Traffic Management (B.S.)
An air traffic management degree will not necessarily prepare you to become a pilot, but it will help you take steps in the right direction and can prepare you to become an air traffic controller. This degree should only take students four years to complete – a little shorter than some of the majors listed above.
Students in this major will learn basic aviation principals, how planes work, and meteorology principals. This is a nice major to have if you are planning on attending flight school down the road. Employers will also look favorably to applicants that have a background in flight.
Aviation Maintenance (B.S.)
Aviation maintenance is the perfect degree for students who know they want to get into something flight related, but are not sure what specifically they want to do. This major will allow students to learn basic flight principals, as well as how to take care of, and manage, aircrafts.
Students with a background in aviation maintenance will be able to apply to flight school and get into flight training programs as employers will appreciate the background in aviation maintenance. Students will also be able to get into flight management and operations with a background in this major.
Aviation Management (B.S.)
Aviation management is another aviation degree that may not necessarily help you become a pilot, but is a step in the right direction. This major, while it does teach some basic principals on flight, will mostly focus on the business side of aviation.
Students will learn how to manage, deal with, and run a successful flight operation. Students who major in aviation management usually go on to work for private charter flight companies. Do not get discourage though, you will still be able to apply to various flight programs and become a pilot with a background in this major.
Aeronautical Science (B.S.)
Students majoring in aeronautical science will learn how to build aircrafts. Not only will they learn about how to build aircrafts, they will also learn about what makes aircrafts fly, and about new technologies in the industry.
This major will show potential employers and flight schools that you have a technical background in flight and would be a great candidate for their programs. Anyone who complete an aeronautical science major will be able to show they have a technical background, which is always highly sought after. This is definitely one of the harder aviation degrees.
How to Become a Pilot
There are a ton of different ways to become a pilot. If you just want to learn to fly planes and it is a hobby, you can attend a flight school. If you want to become a pilot for a living, you will need your commercial pilot’s license.
There are a couple of different ways to earn your commercial pilot’s license but the degrees listed above are a great start. Not only will the degrees listed above help you become a pilot, they will also provide you with a great foundation of knowledge that you can take with you to the flight industry. They will provide you with great options.
We encourage students to use our college finder to search for any of the above programs and see which colleges and universities offer them.
If you want to complete your aviation degree online, check this out for more information.