Pilots may be trained through the military or through aeronautics or aviation degree programs at Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified schools. Pilots who fly passenger airplanes must also have a commercial pilot's license.
Schools with Pilot Training
These schools offer undergraduate and graduate pilot training programs.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered*||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees 2015-2016**|
|University of Alaska-Anchorage||Anchorage, AK||4-year, Public||Associate's, Bachelor's||$5,545 in-state, $17,177 out-of-state|
|Troy University||Troy, AL||4-year, Public||Associate's, Bachelor's||$7,924 in-state, $14,812 out-of-state|
|Henderson State University||Arkadelphia, AR||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$8,100 in-state, $14,700 out-of-state|
|Metropolitan State University of Denver||Denver, CO||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$6,420 in-state, $20,057 out-of-state|
|Naugatuck Valley Community College||Waterbury, CT||2-year, Public||Associate's||$4,072 in-state, $12,136 out-of-state|
|Southern Illinois University-Carbondale||Carbondale, IL||4-year, Public||Associate's||$13,137 in-state, $26,390 out-of-state|
|Delta State University||Cleveland, MS||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$6,112|
|Walla Walla University||College Place, WA||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Associate's, Bachelor's||$26,382|
|Fairmont State University||Fairmont, WV||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$6,620 in-state, $13,970 out-of-state|
Sources: *School website, **National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Important considerations when picking a pilot training program
- Some states do not have year-round flying conditions, so students may consider the school's location to maximize the amount of flight hours they can fit into each semester.
- Some programs offer the majority of flight training time in an actual aircraft, rather than simulators.
- Programs that have agreements with airports and aviation companies may allow students to shadow experienced pilots and take field trips to various facilities.
Associate's Degree Programs
Associate's degree programs in flight technology and flight training incorporate commercial pilot training and FAA certification exams into the curricula, and students can enter the commercial flying industry after graduation. Students can pursue a flight instructor certification or, in some cases, transfer course credit to a bachelor's degree program.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Bachelor's degree students in aviation and aeronautics may focus on commercial aviation, professional piloting or aeronautical science, all of which include flight training in the curricula and may lead to a career as an airplane pilot.
Master's Degree Programs
Master's degree programs in aviation typically focus on management and education, introducing students to the current issues facing the aviation industry. Some programs are offered online, aimed at the working professional.
Pilot training programs are available at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Students should consider a school's location and the opportunity to train in a real aircraft as well as shadow experienced pilots.