A career in aviation can be exciting and challenging. If you’re considering studying for it, keep in mind that there are certain lifestyle changes you’d have to adopt. Depending on which part of aviation you’d like to be a part of, whether as a pilot, cabin crew, air traffic controller, or ground crew, you wouldn’t be working a normal nine-to-five job.
Since you’d have to be away for long periods, you’d probably miss spending time with your family on holidays, especially if you’re a pilot or a cabin crew member. But if you’re young, single, have a taste for adventure, and willing to put in the work, then you’d get a chance to travel the world.
Aviation has various branches, each of which has different criteria and requirements. So, it’s important to take a look and consider what it takes for a career in this industry. But first, a definition of aviation:
What Is Aviation?
Aviation refers to the various aspects of mechanical flight and its management. This includes the activities and industries connected to flight, such as air traffic control and aircraft maintenance. Students who want to get into aviation will have to focus on one of these core competencies:
- Professional pilot
- Air traffic control management
- Aviation regulation
- Transportation management
- Aviation management (maintenance, security, legislation, management)
If you decide on studying for an aviation career, there are a few things you might consider. Some of these are the following:
The Types Of Aviation Programs You Can Try
For a career in the industry, here are three types of aviation programs you can take:
Airframe & Powerplant technology
Airframe & Powerplant technology is a type of aviation degree program offered in aviation schools. This program prepares students for a career in the aviation industry as a mechanic. The types of classes in this degree program include turbine engines, welding for aircraft, aircraft electrical systems, among others.
Air Traffic Management
This degree will prepare you for a career as an air traffic controller. An air traffic controller has a crucial responsibility–they track the movements of airplanes, make sure they have safe passage, and ensure airplanes don’t fly into each other.
Because of the importance of their responsibility, air traffic controllers undergo a strict mental and physical evaluation before they’re hired.
Professional Flight Management
If you want a career as a pilot, this is the degree you should go for. Students in this program take classes in learning how to fly aircraft, dealing with hazardous weather conditions, reading and understanding flight instruments, and others. There are also business classes that help students learn about the administrative side of the aviation industry, as well as valuable leadership skills.
Of course, there are more aviation programs available, such as flight operations management, aeronautical technology, flight dispatch and scheduling, avionics, aviation computer science, and a few others. Check your prospective school to learn pertinent details about these programs.
The Requirements For An Aviation Degree
Aviation degrees and courses require a strong foundation in engineering, science, and mathematics. So, if you want to have a career in aviation and succeed, you’d have to make sure that you excel at these or other related subjects. For one, your grades in physics or math shouldn’t go below a B.
Moreover, since English is considered the language of air travel, you’d have to be proficient in it. To gain entrance into the aviation industry, you should have a minimum score of 6.0 to 6.5 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). You can consult your school’s guide to get a better understanding of IELTS test scores.
The requirements for aviation degrees, however, may differ from one school to another. So, you’d have to find out from your prospective school the proper qualifications and requirements for their aviation program. Check, too, if the program is a bachelor’s degree, certificate, or diploma course. These courses can have different entry requirements.
How Long It Will Take To Qualify For A Career In Aviation
This would depend on which qualification you choose; some positions may need only certifications, while with others, you’d first need to finish a three to four years undergraduate course. Meanwhile, a postgraduate or a master’s degree, should you decide to pursue one, would take at least a year full time. If you took it up part-time, it’ll take you about two years.
But if your degree includes training for a commercial pilot, a practical component will be included. This could mean additional time for the completion of the degree. Additionally, you also have to qualify and obtain a pilot’s license, as well as the necessary flying hours before you can qualify as a commercial pilot.
To qualify for a commercial pilot license, you’d have to log in 150 to 250 flying hours. For a commercial airline pilot, you’ll need at least 1500 flying hours.
There are many career paths you can take in the aviation industry. But before deciding on taking on a career in aviation, you’d have to consider a few things, like the hours, your dedication, the scholastic and academic requirements, plus the time it’ll take for you to qualify for an aviation job.