PhD in Aviation Management: Info on Doctoral Programs

Postgraduate degree programs in aviation are designed to allow aviation professionals to explore advanced theories in the areas of aviation management, economics, safety and regulatory procedures. Although very few institutions offer it, the most advanced graduate program available in the field is a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Aviation.

Essential Information

Ph.D. programs in aviation are ideal for pilots, flight instructors, aviation managers, airline safety specialists, aviation engineers and other professionals who are interested in furthering research and development in the aviation industry. Such multidisciplinary programs include classroom lectures and individual research projects that help students explore the central concepts of aviation safety management, management principles, airline industry foundations and airline regulations. Students learn how to pool their collective knowledge and experience to solve real-world industry problems and advance technologies and procedures in each of these areas.

  • Program Level: Doctorate
  • Aviation Management Program Fields: Doctorate of Philosophy in Aviation
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree and master's degree in a related field; extensive professional experience in aviation
  • Other Requirements: Dissertation

Ph.D. in Aviation Management

Courses in a Ph.D. program in aviation cover advanced theories and concepts in several different components of the aviation industry. Some of these include:

  • Foundations of the aviation industry
  • Historical developments in aviation
  • Aviation safety management
  • Aviation and the economic environment
  • Aviation and law
  • Quantitative research methods

Popular Career Options

A Ph.D. in Aviation doesn't prepare individuals for any specific career in the aviation industry, but instead provides them with an extra level of knowledge that can help them in their current careers. It can also prepare them to move into areas of research or academics in the aviation field. Some positions that are open to graduates of a Ph.D. program include:

  • Airline executive
  • Airline safety regulations manager
  • Flight instructor
  • Aviation management professor
  • Aeronautical engineer

Job Outlook & Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that postsecondary teachers overall should enjoy about a 19% increase in employment throughout the 2012-2022 decade, while aerospace engineers and top executives will see 7% and 11% growth, respectively ( In May 2014, the average salary for a college professor was $74,040; however, salaries varied by specific subject. Aerospace engineers made an average of $107,700 during that year, while chief executives managing private companies made the highest salary, $216,100 on average in May 2014.

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