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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Aeronautics

Majors Overview April 8, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in aeronautics and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Aeronautics

Those interested in the field of aviation would benefit from earning a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Aeronautics degree whereby they can receive training in the technical aspects of aviation technology, such as designing, producing, maintaining, and operating a wide array of aircraft.

Students may learn about military, commercial, or private aircraft. Many programs that are devised to provide students with the skills they will need in order to pursue managerial careers include business courses. In some programs, students may enjoy the choice of concentration in aviation technology, commercial aviation, or air traffic control.

Education Requirements

A strong background in science and mathematics is an educational prerequisite that must be satisfied by incoming students to aeronautics programs. They may also need to have prior flight experience.


Program coursework within an aeronautics major includes many facets of aviation industry management and aviation technology; these include skills pertinent to careers as diverse as piloting aircraft, ground support, and aeronautic equipment design. Coursework may vary by specialization; however, schools may commonly cover courses such as:

•Airport management
•Aircraft engine design
•Aeronautic navigation systems
•Basic flight training
•History of aviation
•Aeronautic propulsion systems
•Aviation controls

Career Choices

Those who complete an aeronautics program may choose from career roles in flying, research, safety, and manufacturing, including positions such as:

•Commercial pilot
•Aviation safety expert
•Aviation technician
•Air traffic controller
•Aeronautics electronics specialist

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, job growth rate of one percent have been predicted for air traffic controllers; airline and commercial pilots are expected to see a negative one percent growth (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, air traffic controllers brought in an average annual wage of $122,530, while over the same period, commercial pilots banked a wage of $98,410 on average (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Certification requirements in aeronautics can vary according to the chosen career. For instance, licensure through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is compulsory for pilots. FAA certification is also a requirement of aircraft technicians, who may have to satisfy significantly different requirements.

Continuing education through master’s or doctoral degree programs in aeronautics may be available to individuals interested in advancing their careers, which would also enable them to develop expertise in sub-disciplines such as aviation safety, aerospace engineering, or air and space law.

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