Information You Must Know About Aviation Colleges
Aviation colleges offer classes and training for all things flying related. There is a large variety of different degrees offered, from undergraduate certificates to master's degrees. These degrees can be used for all sorts of careers. In addition to regular classroom study, most of the aviation programs also offer practical lessons and hands on experiences in the field.
What to Look for in an Aviation College
The first step in finding a college is searching for one which offers the correct program. That includes the right training for the desired career, as well as the correct degree level. For students who already have some experience in the field of aviation, or who have already attended classes, search for a college that will accept the maximum transfer credits possible. Practical concerns, like location and cost, should be considered as well. Last but not least, look for aviation colleges that are rated well by students and employers, and that offer the best training possible.
There are many opportunities to earn credits other than the classroom. Colleges may give credit for practical experience in the field or military service. AP classes or CLEP exams provide credits, as do classes from previous colleges. Not all colleges accept all credits, so it is best to ask each college exactly what they will accept. If a college will not accept the vast majority of the already earned credits, it may not make sense to transfer there. Similarly, if there is a specific college you want to transfer to, it is best to plan your current classes accordingly.
Aviation colleges typically offer certification programs as well as a degree oriented programs. Degrees are available at the associate's, bachelor's and master's level, and are typically given in the sciences. Which degrees are being offered typically depends on the job being pursued and/or the college. Some professions legally require certification, which is usually granted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Most jobs in the field of aviation do not require a degree, but many employers prefer to hire applicants who have completed some form of higher education.
Job Options for Graduates of Aviation Colleges
The most basic training offered at aviation colleges is flight lessons, which teach students the skills necessary to become a pilot, copilot, or flight engineer. Students can learn to fly aircrafts of all sizes, from helicopters to commercial jets, and to handle a plane in the scariest of conditions. There are also job and training options for those who are fascinated by airplanes but don't enjoy flying. Students can train in field such as aviation safety and management, airport management, or air traffic control.
The Price is Right
Higher education is always expensive, but there are ways to cut costs. First and foremost, file a FAFSA and apply for both federal and state financial aid. Military servicemen and war veterans may qualify for special funding and government help, but anyone can apply. The cheapest colleges are public or state colleges that are as close to home as possible. Most public universities offer discounts for residents of the state and/or county, and attending a college close to home means not having to pay for a dorm. Shorter college careers will always end being cheaper, as will lower level degrees.
For students who are looking to fly, or those who simply want to tell others how and when to fly, aviation colleges offer the necessary training and degrees. There are colleges available all across the country and some even offer degrees in aviation online, although the practical experience can't be completed online. Finding the correct college can be as simple as a Google search or asking your academic advisor for help.