If you're looking for a challenging and adventurous career in the aerospace industry, a bachelor's degree in aviation is an excellent choice. Aviation is a multidisciplinary field that includes air traffic control, airport management, aeronautic engineering, and leading edge technology systems, such as unmanned aircraft drone systems. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 5% growth in jobs for airline and commercial pilots through 2024, and an online aviation degree expands your career prospects. To help you make an informed decision, read on for our guide to bachelor's programs in the field.

Choosing a Program

All bachelor's programs in aviation and aeronautics cover the basics of airport operations, including aviation safety and security, aviation law, air traffic control, aircraft design, and meteorology. The right program for you should feature a concentration or focus that is aligned with your career goals. Some of the popular concentrations include aviation management (flying or non-flying), professional pilot studies, air traffic management, and aeronautics.

If your goal is to become an airline or commercial pilot, consider a program approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to shorten the required flight training hours. For careers in aviation management, flight training is not required, but some schools encourage students to obtain a private pilot certificate. If your interest is in aeronautics, aircraft design, or engineering, a concentration in aerospace engineering can lead to prestigious and lucrative careers in government or defense agencies.

Another popular specialization is unmanned aerial systems (UAS), an emerging aviation technology field strictly regulated by the FAA. Schools offering this concentration give you the opportunity to design, build, and test a UAS application for your senior capstone project.

What Are The Best Online Bachelor's in Aeronautics/Aviation Programs?

Rank School Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Raleigh, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 79%

One of the country's top research universities, North Carolina State University at Raleigh offers a BS in aerospace engineering that weds online and on-campus instruction in what it calls an onsite program. Students who earn this online aviation degree enjoy both web-based and classroom lessons that allow them to interact with faculty and peers in virtual and face-to face environments.

NC State permits aerospace engineering students to enroll in a 1+3 program, which means they can satisfy one year of credits at an institution closest to them before transferring those credits to this program. North Carolina residents who do not live near Raleigh may opt to complete their one year of campus-based studies at either the University of North Carolina Asheville or University of North Carolina Wilmington. They may also transfer pre-engineering credits earned at Craven Community College.

This 127-credit degree requires courses in dynamics and controls, engineering thermodynamics, flight stability and control, and aero vehicle design. While the university does not require an entrance exam, those who wish to enroll in this program must have earned at least a 2.5 GPA in previous college coursework.

NC State accepts applications for fall, spring, and summer admission. Applicants can submit either the Common Application, which more than 800 colleges nationwide accept, or the Coalition Application, which more than 140 U.S. institutions accept. They must also submit college transcripts and a high school transcript if they are under the age of 21 and previously earned fewer than 24 college credits.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Aerospace Engineering
Tuition: $221/credit in-state; $874/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 127 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (919) 515-5440
Email: linda_krute@ncsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

Liberty University's School of Aeronautics boasts distinction as a recipient of the Loening Trophy, which recognizes the most outstanding college aviation program in the country. Students who wish to earn an aeronautical science degree can choose one of the school's two programs.

Liberty's BS in aviation equips students with practical skills in aeronautical decision-making. Coursework develops their knowledge of airplane instrument panel controls and aerodynamics in addition to GPS navigation, aviation weather, and aviation safety. Moreover, learners can participate in the Restricted Airline Transport Pilot Program, for which graduates qualify after 1,000 hours of flight time if they possess both commercial pilot and instrument flight certifications.


Delivered fully online through eight-week courses, this degree requires 120 credits that students can complete in 3.5 years. They can also transfer up to 75% of the required credits. Learners must either enroll as a licensed pilot or earn their license through a Liberty Flight Training Affiliate.

The school's BS in aviation maintenance management requires the same number of credits, which learners can also complete in under four years. The program targets those who wish to become aeronautical managers and technicians. Classes build students' understanding of aviation technologies, aircraft repair, and aviation safety. As a result, they develop the teamwork and collaboration skills necessary to make critical decisions that prevent accidents. Degree candidates can transfer up to 90 credits for this program.

The School of Aeronautics offers scholarships to eligible enrollees. Its Ethan LaFleur Memorial Scholarship helps those who need assistance paying lab fees and flight course costs. Those with a commercial pilot license and at least a 3.5 GPA qualify for the LUSOA Flight Instructor Course Scholarship.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Aviation; BS in Aviation Management
Tuition: $390/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 3.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 424-9595
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide

Daytona Beach, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 25%

The aviation industry recognizes graduates of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University because of the school's long-standing reputation for offering one of the country's top online aviation degrees. Alumni go on to enjoy careers such as air traffic managers, pilots, aviation safety experts, and meteorologists thanks to the university's rigorous curriculum.

Embry-Riddle's BS in aeronautics appeals to both those with previous experience in the aviation industry and newcomers to the field looking to build their aviation knowledge. Core classes examine aircraft maintenance, aeronautical science, air traffic control, and human factors. Furthermore, learners can opt to minor in studies like airport management and small unmanned aircraft system operation. Minors not only provide experience in a specific discipline, but also permit flexibility when it comes to satisfying degree requirements.

The College of Aeronautics Undergraduate Studies delivers this 120-credit degree. Students may select the program's aviation area of concentration. Many enrollees possess either all or most of the credits this requires thanks to prior aviation experience and training. Moreover, the university may award prior learning credit for U.S. military experience, military training, and certain aviation licenses.

Applicants under the age of 20 must submit a high school transcript with a completed application. Those age 20 and older must also submit a resume while those with military experience must provide transcripts that document their service. Transfer applicants must also submit high and college transcripts, and they must have earned a minimum 2.5 high school GPA if they possess neither military experience nor at least 12 college credits.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Aeronautics
Available Concentrations: Aviation
Tuition: $390/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 522-6787
Email: worldwide@erau.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

LeTourneau University

Longview, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 60%

The College of Aviation and Aeronautical Science at LeTourneau University awards two online aviation degrees that appeal to adult learners. The school's BS in aviation management marries its renowned aviation program with business training so graduates readily enter leadership positions in the aviation industry. The school's BS in aviation studies prepares students for exciting careers in the industry thanks to an emphasis on management know-how.

Classes for LeTourneau's aviation management degree examine aviation safety, airport operations, air transportation systems, and aviation human factors. If they so choose, students may select among four optional concentrations: maintenance, professional pilot, aircraft dispatch, and homeland security. The fully online curriculum includes year-round, accelerated courses to ensure learners complete the 122 credits this degree requires.

The university particularly targets transfer students for its aviation studies program since it leverages previous coursework and industry experience to count toward required credits. This includes previous military experience for active-duty service members and veterans. The university's fully online classes for this degree explore topics like financial analysis and business ethics so learners can pursue professions such as aviation operations coordinator and aviation safety specialist.

The recipient of the American Airlines Safety Award, LeTourneau University is a Christian institution. Admission requires a completed application, transcripts from previously attended schools, and either SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students must have attempted at least 12 college credits in which they earned a minimum GPA of 2.0. Once admitted, enrollees can seek support from LeTourneau's Student Success Center, which provides online tutoring and time management strategies.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Aviation Management
Available Concentrations: Maintenance; professional pilot; aircraft dispatch; homeland security
Tuition: $355/credit
Credit Requirements: 122 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (800) 759-8811
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

Hallmark University

San Antonio, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 53%

Hallmark University offers an aviation maintenance management degree online that gives students the knowledge and experience necessary to advance professionally. Job opportunities like aircraft records analyst, aviation general manager, and aviation maintenance planner abound for graduates thanks to the school's rigorous curriculum that emphasizes business and management capabilities.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approves Hallmark's aviation maintenance school, which award a BS in aviation maintenance management. Core classes include studies in financial accounting and business law in addition to change process management and economics. Students train under several concentration courses to prepare them for the responsibilities that come with a management role in aviation. Furthermore, through the completion of exams, they possess the preparation necessary to become licensed aircraft technicians.

Most students complete this fully online program in 20 months through eight-week classes (on average, bachelor's degree programs take about 58 months to complete). As a result, Hallmark students finish their studies almost three times faster than other students, which significantly saves their costs. All Hallmark students pay the same tuition regardless of where they live.

Admission requires that students have already earned an associate degree with at least a 2.5 GPA. Applicants must also possess a current Airframe and Powerplant certification that the FAA issues. In addition, Hallmark requires a typed essay that explains the reason for applying to this program and discusses the students' academic and personal goals. Any aviation credits that applicants wish to transfer must come from an FAA-certified school. The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges accredits Hallmark.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Aviation Management
Available Concentrations: Maintenance; professional pilot; aircraft dispatch; homeland security
Tuition: $495/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credit hours

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (800) 880-6600
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

Kent State University

Kent, OH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58%

The College of Aeronautics and Engineering at Kent State University prepares learners for exciting careers in fields like air traffic control, construction management, manufacturing, and network administration.

Its BS in aeronautics offers concentrations in flight technology, air traffic control, aviation management, aeronautical systems engineering technology, and aeronautical studies. The university boasts the largest flight training program in Ohio. Moreover, its agreement with local high schools and technical career centers means students enrolled in them can more easily transition to this program. Kent State also maintains agreements with regional airlines, which helps as graduates seek employment.

In addition to its BS in aerospace engineering, the university offers a BS in applied engineering. It examines the application of design, engineering, and management and technical skills for the manufacturing of products and services. It also explores improvement strategies for manufacturing processes. Concentrations for this degree include computer engineering technology, mechatronics, robotic design, and liquid crystal and display engineering.

Students pursuing these degrees may decide to minor in an area of their choice. Minors include innovation, sustainability, aircraft dispatch, and flight technology. Learners may also wish to participate in an internship to gain hands-on experience. Students have interned at companies like Delta Airlines and Mercury Plastics.

First-time freshmen must submit either ACT or SAT scores and a high school transcript. Transfer applicants should have completed at least 12 college credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0. If they completed fewer than 12 credits, then they must also submit either ACT or SAT scores along with a high school transcript.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Aeronautics; BS in Aerospace Engineering
Available Concentrations: Aeronautical studies; aeronautical systems engineering technology, air traffic control;, aviation management; flight technology
Tuition: $896/credit in-state; $1,622/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120-121 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (330) 672-2892
Email: cotinfo@kent.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

Eastern New Mexico University

Portales, NM Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 33%

Eastern New Mexico University offers two aviation management degrees online. Students can select either a bachelor of science in aviation (BS) or bachelor of applied arts and sciences in aviation (BAAS), both of which they can complete fully online.

The BS in aviation science appeals to students who desire to explore aviation science as part of their liberal arts coursework. Those enrolled in this program frequently work in aviation-oriented jobs or wish to do so. In particular, the degree prepares students for careers in the military and aviation management. It also equips them with fundamental knowledge prior to additional training for a career as a pilot, airport management leader, and air traffic controller. The degree requires 120 credits in classes on aviation law, theory of flight, and history of aviation.

ENMU's BAAS targets students who hold an associate degree, with either a minimum of 30 credits in aviation coursework or the Federal Aviation Administration-issued airframe and powerplant certification. In addition, the University considers those with military training in an aviation-related field candidates for this degree. Students must complete 42 credits in subject-oriented classes like aviation law and required classes such as organizational behavior. Upon graduation, alumni can enter professions in manufacturing, ground operations, and aviation scheduling.

All ENMU Aviation Science Program students are encouraged to participate in organizations like the Professional Aircraft Mechanics Association and American Association of Airport Executives. First-year learners over the age of 25 must submit high school and college transcripts for previously earned credits for admission. Applicants with at least 30 college credits can apply as transfer students.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Aviation Science; Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science in Aviation Science
Tuition: $1,921/semester in-state; $2,882/semester out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (575) 562-2732
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

Everglades University

Boca Raton, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 51%

Whether they wish to enter or advance in the aviation industry, the BS in aviation/aerospace at Everglades University equips students to address challenges thanks to the technical skills and knowledge they acquire. The program particularly appeals to those with a strong aviation background in, for example, aviation maintenance and air traffic control as verified through Federal Aviation Administration-issued certifications and military aviation operations.

This online aviation degree combines general education courses and major-specific classes to ensure a well-rounded academic experience. Learners must complete 123 credits, with most doing so within 41 months. Topics include air cargo, international business, and federal aviation regulations. Graduates strengthen their understanding of aerospace principles and regulations while honing communication and analytical capabilities.

In addition, EU allows students to select a concentration. Learners can choose specialty areas like aviation operations management, which considers the relationship between management and aviation for careers at airports and with commercial airlines. They might also choose aviation safety, which focuses on various safety factors within the industry.

Admission candidates must provide either a high school transcript or proof of graduation. They must also either sit for EU's entrance exam or submit either SAT or ACT scores. The university requires a minimum combined score of 1200 on the SAT and at least a composite score of 17 on the ACT. EU also accepts Florida's CLAST exam if applicants earned either passing or exempt scores. Upon admission, students enjoy access to academic advising and career placement support.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS Degree With a Major in Aviation/Aerospace
Available Concentrations: Aviation safety; flight operations; management; aviation maintenance management; aviation operations management; security
Tuition: $700/credit
Credit Requirements: 123 credits
Program Length: 41 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (888) 854-8308
Email: AdmissionsEUB@evergladesuniversity.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook

9

Hampton University

Hampton, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 56%

Hampton University's BS in aviation management (airport administration) prepares adult students to enter managerial roles at airports by building their analytical, problem-solving, and ethical decision-making skills. The university's Department of Aviation in its School of Engineering and Technology delivers this 122-credit program.

Students enrolled in this aeronautical studies degree online complete coursework in flight safety, unmanned aircraft systems, and crew resource management. In addition, classes examine topics like airport planning and homeland security as well as business organization and management. HU also encourages students to engage in internships and cooperative learning opportunities that allow them to apply their textbook lessons practically.

One of the country's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), HU is the only HBCU to offer a FAA-approved air traffic collegiate training initiative program. Those who complete studies in its Department of Aviation graduate prepared for roles in government and the aerospace industry. This program includes a strong foundation in liberal arts and a staunch comment to lifelong learning through robust research.

Applicants must submit proof of high school graduation, complete an admission application, and draft an essay that describes their most important goal over the next decade and how education can help them attain it. They must also submit transcripts from all colleges at which they earned credit. Those who wish to transfer credits should have earned at least a 2.0 GPA. Active-duty military and veterans with at least two years of service may receive credit for their military experience and training.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Aviation Management (Airport Administration)
Tuition: $300/credit
Credit Requirements: 122 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (757) 728-6970
Email: set@hamptonu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

Lynn University

Boca Raton, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 51%

The BS in aviation management at Lynn University allows students to learn both the piloting and business aspects of the aviation industry. Not only do they graduates with an understanding of the industry's basic business structure, but they also build knowledge of industry management techniques and air crew training. Furthermore, this online aviation degree qualifies learners for the restricted privileges airline transport pilot (R-ATP) certification once they complete 1,250 hours of flight training.

This program requires 120 credits. Major core classes include aviation technologies, air traffic basics, project management, and global aviation regulations and laws. In addition, students can participate in simulations and cockpit training. Those who desire flight training can do so at the Boca Raton Airport, where the university maintains practice aircraft.

Lynn requires online students use an iPad because it supports the university's efforts to ensure affordable schooling costs. Not only does it eliminate the expense of a personal computer, but it also provides cost-effective apps and e-books that reduce the expense of traditional textbooks. Its iPad-powered learning program has earned Lynn recognition as an Apple Distinguished School multiple times.

Admission requires an application, a personal statement, and high school transcripts. Those with college credits must also submit transcripts from every college they attended. An admission counselor can help applicants complete the process. Lynn considers those who previously earned at least 12 credits as transfer applicants. These applicants must submit a personal statement, college transcripts, and a dean of students certification and recommendation form.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Aviation Management
Tuition: $35,960/year; flight fees additional
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (561) 237-7000
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

What Else Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Aeronautics/Aviation Program?

While program requirements differ among schools, you can expect a strong focus on aeronautical decision-making and problem-solving skills. Courses such as flight theory, air traffic control, security, and aviation law are completed by all aviation majors. Here's a general overview of what to expect in an aviation bachelor's program.

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN AERONAUTICS/AVIATION

Below is a sampling of courses offered by most aviation bachelor degree programs. While course titles vary by school chosen, some material is foundational for all aviation students.

  • Flight physiology: This course explores human physiological responses to stressors in flight environments, which prepares students for careers as commercial pilots or certified flight instructors. Topics include fatigue, acceleration, decompression, hypoxia, pressure alterations, and spatial disorientation. Students participate in lab simulations of altered pressure environments in an altitude chamber.
  • Air traffic control: By simulating the role of an air traffic controller in a terminal radar approach control environment, students gain experience in air traffic management. Topics include surveillance, navigation subsystem technology, collision avoidance systems, and sequencing in the terminal area. Students learn realistic, hands-on experience managing landings at civilian and military airports.
  • Aviation law: This course covers the basic legal framework of aviation law through case reading, legal research, and argument. Topics include aviation operations, aviation accident litigation, state and federal tort law, constitutional law, criminal law, administrative law, federal statutes and enforcement actions, aircraft ownership issues, contract law, and international treaties.
  • Aviation meteorology: Students interpret and measure meteorological elements and their effect on aircraft performance. Topics include stability, temperature, pressure, clouds, fronts, air masses, atmospheric heat exchange, thunderstorms, aviation weather equipment, meteorological flight planning, and weather forecasting with specific application to flight.
  • Aviation safety: An introduction to aviation safety for those aspiring to commercial airline flight. Topics include aviation safety culture, risk management, disaster and emergency planning, pilot psychology and physiology, human performance, internal reporting systems, and accident investigation. Students participate in classroom exercises that introduce the techniques and tools of safety promotion.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN AERONAUTICS/AVIATION?

Most bachelor in aviation science programs are completed in three to four years and require 120 credits. If you have transfer credits, or certifications and ratings from the military or FAA, you may qualify for advanced standing, which considerably shortens your completion time.

A program's structure will also influence the length of your degree. Some programs are offered in a cohort model, where students progress through a fixed course of study together, enjoy increased peer support, and graduate as a group. If you prefer to complete coursework at your own pace, select a program that offers individually paced learning. Some schools also offer exceptional students an accelerated track, which may eventually lead to a master's degree. For pilot career paths, you should factor in flight time requirements. If you graduate with a bachelor's degree from an FAA-approved school, fewer hours of flight training are required for pilot licensing.

Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Aeronautics/Aviation Degrees

Accreditation is an official review process handled by regional and national agencies to ensure a school's adherence to rigorous quality standards. You should look for three types of accreditation: regional, national, and field-specific. Regional accreditation is the most widely held and respected designation; it is awarded to schools that meet standards for their state and region. National accreditation requirements are less standardized, and typically apply to vocational and technical schools featuring for-profit status or religious affiliations. Online programs undergo peer reviews by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission to ensure they meet national quality standards. For field-specific accreditation, look for a stamp of approval from the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI), which ensures that aviation programs meet stringent industry standards for relevance, improvement, and quality.

Uniform standards of accreditation are made possible by the oversight of two organizations: the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The DOE does not accredit schools itself, but recognizes accrediting agencies. The CHEA approves agencies that award national accreditation, and provides assurance of academic integrity. Before you decide on an online aviation degree program, you should verify that it is recognized by the DOE, the CHEA, and the AABI. This ensures that you are eligible for financial aid and receive the best education available. It's also wise to verify that the accrediting agency itself is qualified to evaluate schools properly. To see a comprehensive list of accredited schools and programs, visit the DOE and CHEA websites.

Employment Outlook for Bachelor's in Aeronautics/Aviation Graduates

JOB PLACEMENT

A bachelor's degree in aeronautics/aviation gives you an advantage in career prospects, salary outlook, and job placement. According to a recent report by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, a bachelor's degree leads to increased lifetime earnings in the aviation and aeronautics field as a whole. For example, helicopter pilots do not traditionally require a bachelor's degree. However, a 2014 report from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's scholarly commons concludes that as helicopter companies continue to expand, employers are increasingly favoring candidates with bachelor's degrees. For airline and commercial pilots with bachelor's degrees, the BLS projects a five percent increase in available jobs over the next decade.

BACHELOR'S IN AERONAUTICS/AVIATION SALARY

Salaries for graduates of bachelor's in aviation science programs vary depending on location, employer, and level of experience. Aerospace engineers and air traffic controllers have the highest median salaries at all stages of their careers. Commercial pilot salaries in later career stages can match or exceed those of aerospace engineers and air traffic controllers. Using data from PayScale, the table below provides expected median salaries for aerospace engineers, commercial pilots, and other aviation staff at various stages of their careers.

Median Salary by Experience

Job Title Overall Median Salary Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees Median Salary for Late-Career Employees
Aerospace Engineer $83,092 $72,000 $90,000 $107,000
Commercial Pilot $69,792 $52,000 $72,000 $125,000
Air Traffic Controller $83,791 $64,000 $87,000 $123,000
Certified Flight Instructor $60,330 $42,000 $49,000 $82,000
Aircraft Mechanic $59,738 $42,000 $54,000 $62,000

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

BACHELOR'S IN AERONAUTICS/AVIATION CAREERS

While many online aviation degree holders pursue careers as airline pilots, graduates can find employment opportunities in aviation management, military services, aircraft manufacturing, unmanned aircraft systems, and flight simulator companies. Employers typically prefer to hire reliable candidates with strong teamwork and decision-making skills who are able to work under pressure. Interpersonal communication skills and accurate, organized record-keeping habits are also important. Here's a brief look at a few potential career paths for aviation graduates.

Airline and Commercial Pilot

Airline pilots operate controls and engines to navigate and fly planes that transport people and cargo. Commercial pilots fly aircraft for other purposes, including fire fighting, rescue operations, agricultural irrigation, and charter flights. Major airlines typically require a bachelor's degree from a program approved by the FAA.

Median Annual Salary - $105,720
Projected Growth Rate - 5%

Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers monitor weather conditions and other factors to ensure that aircraft remain at safe distances from one another during flight and ground movement. A bachelor's degree from an FAA-approved program and a favorable score on an aptitude test are usually required for employment.

Median Annual Salary -$122,410
Projected Growth Rate - -9%

Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technician

Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians maintain and repair aircraft, and perform inspections when required by the FAA. While an associate degree can provide entry into the field, some employers also require airframe or powerplant certifications, and a bachelor's degree can provide hiring advantage.

Median Annual Salary - $60,270
Projected Growth Rate - 1%

Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace engineers design, build, and test aircraft, missiles, spacecraft, and satellites. A bachelor's degree from a program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology is required for all entry-level jobs.

Median Annual Salary - $109,650
Projected Growth Rate - -2%

Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technician

Aerospace engineering and operations technicians install, operate, maintain, and test equipment used in development and production of aircraft and spacecraft. They also calibrate aircraft computer systems and perform quality checks. While a bachelor's degree is not required for entry-level employment, FAA certification and continuing education can provide a career boost.

Median Annual Salary - $68,020
Projected Growth Rate - 4%

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

As a future aviation professional, it's worth your time to look closely at the many valuable membership benefits available through professional organizations. You can take advantage of members-only scholarship programs, networking opportunities, annual conferences, discounts on travel expenses, research assistance, and resources for continuing professional development. Some organizations also provide policy advocacy and member representation in governmental proceedings, and participate in the accreditation process.

Financing Your Online Bachelor's in Aeronautics/Aviation Program

College costs can seem daunting, but fortunately there are many sources of aid available. For access to grants, loans, and other funding offered through the U.S. government, complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form. Loans and scholarships are also available through professional aviation organizations such as AOPA. For programs requiring flight training, consider the additional costs of flight time. Many students receive their initial flight training in the military, and attend schools offering tuition discounts to military personnel.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Bachelor's in Aeronautics and Aviation Programs of 2018
Ranking School Location
1 LeTourneau University Longview, TX
2 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide Daytona Beach, FL
3 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
4 Hampton University Hampton, VA
5 Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA
6 Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus Portales, NM
7 Everglades University Boca Raton, FL
8 Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, FL
9 Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology Flushing, NY
10 Lynn University Boca Raton, FL
Best Online Bachelor's in Aeronautics and Aviation Programs of 2017
Rank School Location
1 LeTourneau University Longview, TX
2 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide Daytona Beach, FL
3 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
4 Hampton University Hampton, VA
5 Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA
6 Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus Portales, NM
7 Everglades University Boca Raton, FL
8 Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, FL
9 Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology Flushing, NY
10 Lynn University Boca Raton, FL