Aviation Administration Degrees by Degree Program Level

Aviation administration is relevant to students interested in the business side of the aviation industry. In both associate's and bachelor's programs in aviation administration, students learn about aviation laws, air traffic control and many other facets of aviation.

Essential Information

Degrees in aviation administration are available at both the Bachelor's and Associate's levels. Bachelor's programs generally include a broader selection of business courses, and they also take roughly four years to complete, compared to the typical 2-year timeframe for associate's programs.

  • Program Levels in Aviation Administration: Associate's and bachelor's degrees.
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED.
  • Program Length: 2-year and 4-year programs available.

Associate Degree in Aviation Administration

Essential for an entry-level supervisory position in the aviation field, an associate degree in aviation administration builds technical skill and theoretical knowledge of the aviation industry. Typically requiring two years of study, an associate degree in aviation administration is aimed at students interested in administrative roles and management positions. Graduates of these programs learn a wide spectrum of aircraft operation, business, safety and legal issues.

Aviation administration degrees at the associate degree level are typically offered by 2-year technical schools and community colleges. These schools require applicants to possess a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some schools require students to submit SAT or ACT scores, though this requirement is found more often at 4-year colleges and universities.

Coursework in aviation administration programs at the associate degree level include a broad range of introductory aviation topics. Some schools offer electives in specific areas, such as airline reservations systems or air traffic control.

  • Aviation technology
  • Aviation laws and regulations
  • History and theory of aviation
  • Aviation safety and airport security
  • Aviation meteorology
  • Private pilot instruction

Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Administration

Bachelor's degrees in aviation administration offer students the opportunity to learn both aviation and business skills. Students are trained in a wide spectrum of aviation practices, including air traffic control, aviation meteorology and aviation safety. Additionally, bachelor's degree programs cover many of the topics students would learn in a traditional business program.

Most 4-year colleges and universities requires applicants to possess a high school diploma or the equivalent. Applicants are also required to complete college preparatory coursework in math, science, English and social studies. Admission to aviation administration programs is further predicated on SAT or ACT scores, grade point average and, occasionally, class rank.

Coursework in bachelor's degree in aviation administration programs includes a broad range of aviation topics. Generally, bachelor's degree programs offer a wider selection of business courses than lower-level programs. Course topics include:

  • Management basics
  • Aviation meteorology
  • History of aviation
  • Air traffic control systems
  • Airport management and economics
  • Accounting

Popular Career Options

Associate degree programs in aviation administration prepare students for a wide variety of entry-level management positions in the aviation industry, including:

  • Air traffic control
  • Airline passenger service
  • Airport operations
  • Aviation sales and reservations
  • Air cargo

Graduates of bachelor's degree programs in aviation administration find work in airports and airlines and at the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Job areas include:

  • Aviation accident investigation
  • Airport security and operations
  • Aviation safety management
  • Air traffic control

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't provide information specifically for aviation administrators, air traffic controllers were projected to see little to no change in jobs from 2012-2022. The mean annual wages for these workers were $118,780 in May 2014.

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