The great thing about aviation is the broad scope of careers under the umbrella, from cabin crew to air traffic controller to pilot to aviation maintenance technician! Here is how you can pursue a career in aviation in the U.S.
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You can begin working in careers related to aviation with a high school diploma or less, depending on the career. Some of those jobs include cargo agent or flight crew.
A 2-year degree in a field related to aviation might be hard to find, but some program topics would include air traffic control, safety, airline procedures, understanding of aircraft technology, etc. An Associate of Science in Pilot Technology would grant students the knowledge and skills to become a certified pilot, if the program includes flight courses. An Associate of Science in Aviation Maintenance Management would supply students with technical training in aviation maintenance.
Other options could include certificate programs where students could become certified in airport management, commercial flight operations (air traffic control), and airframe mechanics. Look into your governing body’s certification requirements.
A 4-year degree would provide students with more advanced skills to operate aircrafts and customer relations, and would include more in-depth and comprehensive hands-on training in programs such as aviation maintenance and airline operations. Students can also get bachelor’s, or more advanced, degrees in mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, or industrial engineering. These would all translate to different specific careers and specialty skills such as dealing with electromechanical systems or researching new engineering technologies. You could even translate any of these careers to working for NASA!
These types of programs are very heavy in math, sciences such as physics and engineering, and computer skills.
Career & Technical Education (CTE)
Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs provide on-the-job training as students receive education for their program of interest. Through CTE programs, students interested in aviation-related careers can study electrical work, aircraft powerplant technician, or aircraft and airframe mechanics.
- Free Coursera courses: How Things Work: An Introduction to Physics (University of Virginia), 3D CAD Fundamental (National Taiwan University), Introduction to Engineering Mechanics (Georgia Institute of Technology), Applications in Engineering Mechanics (Georgia Institute of Technology), Numerical Methods for Engineers (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Introduction to Systems Engineering (University of New South Wales, Sydney)
Check with your institution of interest to find out more about their admissions application and the aviation-related major requirements.