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The aviation industry embraces almost all parts of air travel as well as the activities that support it. This includes the entire airline industry, aircraft manufacturing, research firms, military aviation, and much more. To get involved in this massive industry, one should obtain an aviation degree from a university, indeed. Students that are interested in aircraft, engineering, physics, and aeronautics might do well to pursue an aviation degree. Flight training, meteorology, aircraft maintenance, aerodynamics, aviation law, and safety are all topics covered in an aviation degree program. You can become an airline or commercial pilot with a bachelor's degree in aviation. You can prepare for jobs in management, manufacturing, engineering, and safety with a master's degree in the subject. In addition, the terminal degree in aviation is a Ph.D., which is often only given to people who want to direct aviation research or teach at the university level.

Study Aviation in the USA

International students frequently choose the US as their preferred destination since it has retained its leadership in educational achievement. Both public and private colleges offer higher education in the US.  State universities receive public funding.  The US state system frequently has a single administration managing a number of campuses dispersed throughout the state. Each campus has its own unique identity as an independent university and is totally autonomous. Compared to private institutions, where tuition costs can be very high, state universities are often less expensive. The university system maintains a high degree of competency and excellence thanks to its autonomy, independence, and total self-regulation. However, circumstances can differ depending on the university and department. If you would like to study aviation, you should know that it is a particular field that is available at only certain universities and colleges in the USA. The crucial part of this journey is seeking these universities with the qualified education that appeals to you.

Advantages of Studying Aviation in the USA

Initially, there are numerous reasons to study aviation in the United States. When it comes to aviation, the country has some of the best universities in the world, and there are plenty of job opportunities after graduation. Moreover, no matter what field of aviation you are interested in, the United States has a long history and significant presence there. The US has been at the forefront of aviation innovation, from early pioneers like the Wright Brothers to contemporary astronauts. There is no better place to study than in a nation with such a long history in aviation if you want to learn from the best. In addition, learning aviation requires the latest technology, which America plays a significant role in this part. You can use some of the top facilities in the US. You will be able to work with the newest tools of the trade, such as wind tunnels and flight simulators, firsthand. Lastly, the cost of studying aviation in the United States is frequently cheaper than in other countries, making it an excellent choice for students on a tight budget.

Career Path for Aviation Degree Majors

Aviation students do not always become pilots. Indeed, an international student with a degree in aviation can pursue a variety of careers in aviation. Many different degree programs are available at colleges, universities, and schools across the United States to help international students prepare for careers in aviation as a mechanic, air traffic controller, flight attendant, and more. To clarify, these careers in aviation are based on the basics listed below;

Pilots: Pilots typically come to mind when people think of aviation. A pilot typically focuses on flying a specific aircraft, such as airplanes, gyroplanes, helicopters, gliders, balloons, or airships. In addition, pilots do a wide range of jobs, including flying large commercial airliners, crop dusting, banner pulling, private tours, and air taxis. There are extensive opportunities for pilots. 

Mechanics: Another popular option for careers in aviation is to become a mechanic. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and service technicians "inspect aircraft engines, landing gear, instruments, pressurized sections, accessories—brakes, valves, pumps, and air-conditioning systems, for example—and other parts of the aircraft, and do the necessary maintenance and replacement of parts. They also keep records related to the maintenance performed on the aircraft." There are over 170 schools that are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration that instruct international students on how to be aircraft mechanics. However, there are some conditions that mechanics can be exposed to.  Because they sometimes work outside on the airfield,  they become subject to the weather elements. They are furthermore subjected to obnoxious noises and grimy environments. 

Air Traffic Controllers: Without the assistance of air traffic controllers, airplanes could not fly safely. Air traffic controllers must have excellent multitasking skills, attention to detail, and constant alertness. By clearing the airspace around them and ensuring that planes are not flying too near to one another, they assist aircraft in landing and takeoff. In detail, there are various types of controllers, which are the terminal radar controller, the tower local controller, the clearance delivery controller, the ground controller, the tower flight data controller, the tower flight data controller, and the en route controller. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these controllers are employed mainly by the Federal Aviation Administration. 

Flight Attendants: The faces of airlines are flight attendants and pilots. They are the well-known figures in aviation. The safety of the passengers in an emergency is essentially the responsibility of the flight attendants, who represent the airline. Before takeoff, they brief passengers on safety precautions, and they help passengers escape the aircraft in an emergency. Another responsibility of flight attendants is to provide comfortable and pleasant experiences. They give the passengers in-flight entertainment information, offer drinks and snacks, and distribute pillows and blankets. In some situations, becoming a flight attendant may simply require high school graduation, but more airlines now demand college degrees from their flight attendants. All types of degrees in aviation, as well as degrees in hospitality, are useful.

These four career options are not the only fields of aviation. There are more options, such as engineers, salespeople, ticket agents, and ground and ramp workers. Those four exemplified fields were the most popular choices in the aviation industry. In addition, professionals in the aviation industry are in high demand in the US. There is a need for competent professionals as the aviation sector expands quickly. Besides, the wages are pretty appealing, as well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2019, the median annual salary for aircraft pilots and flight engineers was $115,670. The lowest 10% earned less than $58,760, while the highest 10% earned more than $208,000.

What Skills Do I Need to Become one of the Aviation Specialists?

The skills differ according to the field you want to study in aviation. However, most students enroll in aviation, intending to become a pilot. Indeed, there are some skills that a pilot must have.

  • knowledge of mathematics and physics

  • a technical understanding, as pilots need to understand how their aircraft operates

  • strong coordination and spatial awareness

  • good communication skills

  • the capacity to act decisively and rapidly in challenging circumstances

  • teamwork skills

  • the ability to remain calm under stress

  • leadership qualities, including the ability to provide passengers and cabin workers with commands that are clear.

  • discipline, self-confidence and commitment

If you would like to become a qualified pilot, you need to have at least one of these features.

Is Aviation Right for Me?

There are numerous aviation degrees available, and international students should make sure they know which one is right for them. Before deciding which degree you would like to study, you must have answers to these questions; Do you want to fly? Do you want to work in aviation maintenance or administration? Do you want to work in air traffic control? If you still have no precise answers and you are confused but want to be involved in the aviation industry, we advise you to fill out forms and contact our education advisors. They will lead you in the right direction for your future career.

How Long Does it Take to Become one of the Aviation Specialist?

It depends what you are opting for.

  • BBA Aviation Management takes three or four years.

  • Master in Aviation Management lasts two years.

  • Pilot training is about three or four years.

  • Cabin crew lasts 6–12 months.

  • Air traffic controller could take between 4.5 and 7.5 years. Pre-employment qualifications must be completed over a period of 3-4 years. If you get a job right away, you'll need to spend 2-4 months in FAA training and another 1.5-3 years on-the-job before the FAA will certify you.

The Best Universities to Study Aviation

Top schools for aviation in the USA:

Kansas State University: Numerous certificates, associate's degrees, and bachelor's degrees in aviation are available at the Salina campus of Kansa State University's (KSU) College of Technology and Aviation. In addition to air traffic control management, aviation maintenance, aviation management, avionics systems and management, professional piloting, and unmanned aerial systems are all included in KSU's Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Technology program. You can complete a certificate by taking each of these subjects separately.

Portland Community College: Students can get certificates and associate's degrees in aviation maintenance technician and aviation science with a focus on helicopters or airplanes from Portland Community College (PCC). The Aviation Maintenance Technician program at PCC offers certificate programs in Airframe or Powerplant that can be completed in one or two years.

Lane Community College: The Lane Aviation Academy of Lane Community College is situated in Eugene, Oregon, about 2.5 hours south of Portland. For students with interest in aviation, the school offers two programs: Flight Technology, which trains students to become pilots, and Aviation Maintenance Technician. From Private Pilots to Airport Transfer Pilots, the school offers professional and secure instruction.

South Seattle College: South Seattle College (SSC) is located in Seattle, Washington, which is also the home of the aircraft manufacturer Boeing. Students at South Seattle College's Aeronautical Technology schools can earn an Associate of Applied Sciences in two fields: Aviation Maintenance Technology and Aerospace Composites Technology. Each program is based on the airframe and engine.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: In the United States, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) has two campuses: Prescott, Arizona, and Daytona, Florida. Embry-Riddle is regarded as one of the top universities for aeronautical studies. They provide 26 undergraduate degrees, 14 master's degrees, and five doctoral degrees in a variety of aviation fields at their Daytona, Florida campus, which is only one hour away from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. There are also numerous options available, allowing students to complete both a bachelor's and a master's degree in as little as five years.

Aviation Admission Requirements

The entrance requirements for the majority of aviation programs are similar to those for the majority of other college programs: a high school diploma, a minimum GPA, English proficiency, and excellent test results. Additionally, certain programs have prerequisites. For instance, Portland Community College mandates that students complete and pass a course in fundamental math and writing. Placement tests or credit for Advanced Placement courses may be available to students who complete these preliminary requirements. Aviation programs also give importance to health. Students must pass a physical examination before they can start their flying instruction and occasionally even before they are admitted to the aviation program. Before beginning flying training at Northwestern Michigan College, students must obtain an FAA Medical Certificate as well as a Student Pilot Certificate. The medical certificate exam assesses previous and present health as well as mental and physical well-being. It also takes current medication use and previous surgical procedures into account. Flight is not always hampered by poor vision. Generally speaking, vision issues that may be resolved with glasses or contact lenses are acceptable.

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