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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Aviation Management

Majors Overview April 10, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in aviation management and their coursework and job and wage outlook.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Aviation Management

Students who complete an undergraduate aviation management degree program can go on to seek employment as air traffic controllers or pilots. Students are provided with a foundation in basic piloting skills, flight controls, and aeronautics theory. Students learn about the different modes of operation of different types of aircraft, in addition to FAA regulations, instrumentation, and meteorological conditions that affect flight.

They also learn about the operational practices involved in running an airport, in addition to human resources management. Students enrolled in many programs are allowed to use air traffic control or flight simulators. Programs may require students to fly an aircraft on the supervisory watch of a pilot or to participate in an internship in an air traffic control tower. Schools usually break down this training into modules whose patterns come from FAA-certified courses.

While students can gain a basic grasp of aviation from an undergraduate program, they would need to complete Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified training before they can be allowed to direct air traffic or fly aircraft.

Two hundred fifty hours of flight training must be completed by aspiring pilots, who must demonstrate to an FAA certified instructor their qualification to fly an aircraft. FAA certification can be earned by demonstrating the ability to fly at night time as well as perfect and low visibility conditions.


Coursework within bachelor’s degree programs in aviation management includes classes in management, security, flight crew operations, and FAA regulations. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Cargo transportation
•Human resources
•Avionics instrumentation
•Aviation risk management
•Corporate management in airlines
•Flight safety
•Human physiology in flight

Job and Wage Outlook

Pilots commonly seek occupations with discount and regional airlines (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a negative one percent job growth rate have been predicted for airline and commercial pilots (BLS). In May 2012, airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers brought in an average annual wage of $98,410.

Their training is usually completed by air traffic controllers in an FAA-certified college program, as FAA employees, or in the military. Students can complete FAA-certified bachelor’s degree programs in two years. In May 2012, professionals employed in air traffic control positions earned $122,530 on average (BLS).

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