In a bachelor's degree program in aeronautic science, students learn to fly with an instructor and are required to record a certain number of flying hours each semester. Some programs offer areas of concentration, such as commercial pilot, military pilot or airline pilot.
Upon completion of a bachelor's program in aeronautic science, most graduates will have a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Commercial Pilot Certificate. These 4-year programs typically are offered at aeronautical schools since they require time spent flying aircraft as well as classroom instruction. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED.
Bachelor's Degree in Aeronautic Science
Students enrolled in bachelor's degree programs in aeronautic science must complete general education requirements in addition to core courses. This generally includes classes in mathematics, communications, business and physics. Courses specific to aeronautics might include:
- Flight instructor rating
- Aviation meteorology
- Transportation logistics
- Instrument and commercial pilot operations
- Aircraft performance
Popular Career Options
Graduates might seek careers as pilots within the military or with a commercial airline. Those seeking employment with the latter might first work as flight instructors and then advance to a pilot position. Graduates also might find work as airport managers or aviation safety experts.
- Airport Manager
- Aviation Safety Expert
- Commercial Airline Pilot
- Corporate Pilot
- Flight Instructor
- Military Pilot
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Airline pilots, copilots and flight engineers, for instance, earn a median annual income of $117,290, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2015. The BLS predicts that jobs for these professionals will show little or no change from 2014-2024 as airlines try to become more profitable by adding more passengers to the average flight and decreasing the overall number of flights (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Graduates might pursue additional education through a master's and/or doctoral program in aeronautics. These programs combine theoretical and practical learning, and some offer specializations in areas such as air traffic management, aviation meteorology or aerospace management.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), to obtain FAA licensure, applicants must be at least 18 years old and complete 250 hours of flying experience (www.bls.gov). They also must pass a stringent physical exam and a written test and display their flying expertise to testing administrators.
Individuals who wish to fly commercial airplanes must be at least 23 years old and have 1,500 hours of flying experience, including cross-country and instrument flying. Some airlines require applicants to pass aptitude and psychological tests. Licenses are valid as long as applicants can pass periodic vision and physical examinations, as well as complete flying skills required by the airline and FAA.
Students in a bachelor's degree program in aeronautic science work with an instructor to complete hands-on training flying an aircraft. They also complete in-class coursework covering general education courses and aeronautics courses like aerodynamics, flight instructor rating, and aviation meteorology.