Bachelor's and master's degree programs in aeronautical and aviation management are geared towards flying or aircraft maintenance professionals who want to transition to management careers. Courses are sometimes available online and emphasize business and human resources management, federal aviation regulations and technical concepts.
In Bachelor of Science (BS) programs in aeronautical management, students learn about airline and airport safety, aircraft maintenance operations, labor management, economics and finance, business, communications and ethics. A specialization in air transportation management or a similar sub-field may be offered. Hands-on training is acquired through exit internships. Applicants must have a high school diploma, and in some cases, an associate's degree. Those with technical work experience or education may be given admissions preference.
Two-year Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) with a concentration in aviation management curricula covers cargo and aviation marketing, leadership and decision-making skills, global transportation logistics, airline operations and federal safety measures. Direct experience is gained in local airport internships. Only a bachelor's degree is necessary for admission. Prospective enrollees with calculus and quantitative methods, pre-calculus and accounting familiarity will have an advantage.
Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Management
Bachelor's aeronautical management curriculum is focused, with limited opportunity for electives. Core subjects include:
- Law and the aviation industry
- Organizational behavior
- History of aviation
- Airline administration
- Aviation safety
Master of Business Administration in Aviation Management
Master's business coursework is supplemented with aviation management units. Examples of common topics are:
- Airline management and operations
- Airport and airline relationships
- Aerospace systems analysis
- Logistics of air cargo transportation
- Aviation industry and marketing
Popular Career Options
Graduates are qualified for a number of positions in the industry. Some popular career roles are:
- Air carrier manager
- Airport manager
- Air traffic control specialist
- Operations manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), general/operations managers and air traffic controllers earned mean salaries of $119,460 and $118,740 as of May 2015, respectively. Air traffic controllers are expected to see 9% job decline from 2014-2024, primarily because next-generation technology that automates air traffic control is replacing individual workers.
Depending on their educational background, students who are interested in aeronautical management can earn either a BS or MBA in the field. Both of these programs cover the operational, legal and business-related aspects of the aviation industry.