15 Best Aviation Schools in the US

Are you seeking to study Aviation abroad and don’t know where to start? Or you are finding it difficult to choose an aviation school to advance your career? If yes, then you are in the right place. Studying Aviation is a great way for you to be open to several job opportunities. However, these job opportunities require different qualifications in the Aviation field.

In this article, you will learn about:

  • Aviation in the US
  • Job Opportunities in Aviation
  • How much a pilot earns
  • List of the (15) best universities in the US
15 best aviation schools in the US

Aviation in the US

Travels by air in the US is a constant growth curve. Many people prefer to travel by air because it is the fastest way to travel in time. These flights are usually scheduled at different hours depending on your time zone. Also, some flights might take all day to get to the desired destination.

Therefore, pilots and flight attendants have to work at several irregular hours. Sometimes they spend the night in different cities. As a result of this, they are constantly away from their homes and families.

There are several branches of Aviation. So, as a student seeking to study in the Aviation field, you might be curious to know the job opportunities that await you at each level. Continue reading as we look into those job opportunities below.

Job Opportunities in Aviation

According to the Statistics of the Bureau of Labor, Forty-four percent (44%) of air transport employees work in different offices such as administration support, ticket sales rep, gate agents, maintenance/installation, and repair. Most times, these jobs just require a high school certificate and you are good to go.

If you go ahead to get a college degree then you will have a competitive edge as a job seeker. Senior admin jobs, for instance, require a college degree. If you have a degree in hospitality, sales, advertising, or even business, then you have a chance to fill in these positions. 

Lastly, is the most honorary position, which is the pilot! For you to be a qualified pilot, then you must have a bachelor’s degree, a license to fly, and a certificate. 

You must also undergo a series of hands-on training, and this is only possible in a profitable and highly esteemed Aviation school. Also, the courses are taught by highly trained experts in aviation.

Amongst the courses taught are aerodynamics, air navigation, meteorology, and many others. In addition, these aviation schools make use of state-of-the-art facilities for their training.

In the course of training, aspiring pilots are taught abstract skills too. These skills help them in quick decision-making. For example, they learn how to react in a quick time, and how to solve problems on-site and also in the case of emergencies.

How much is a Pilot paid?

Pilots make as much as $119,500 – $83,731 per year. And a total of $9,958 – $2,666 per month. This is due to the high tasks and risks that pilots have to take to successfully fly a plane.

In any case, this amount may vary because of the different levels of education and training. This is why it is important to go to an Aviation School that has experienced experts as well as quality facilities for training.

Read this article to learn more about Pilot Salary in the US

List of Best Aviation Schools in the US

Now, that we know a few requirements and job opportunities in Aviation, let’s get down to the real deal. Below are a few selected Aviation Schools in the US to help you on your Aviation Journey.

1. Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN)

Purdue University is a leading school in Aviation as it has several connections in the Aviation Industry. It works tirelessly to build a strong and formidable future in aerospace and aviation.

Purdue takes into consideration the needs of the aviation industry. This provides a curriculum that gives the students a chance at having a successful career.

The Aviation Career Fair is an opportunity for Aviation students to meet with employers. This gives them a broad spectrum of what the real world is like.

In addition, Purdue University has an aviation research centre. Where both the faculty and the students gather to find solutions to challenges that affect aviation.

They focus mainly on the sustainability, safety, and quality of the Aviation Industry.

Check out their Aviation Schools here

You can read more about Purdue University here

2. Baylor University (Waco, TX)

Baylor University is popularly known for its practice of balancing aeronautical theory and application and it’s also one of the best Aviation Schools in the US. This school offers an on-site experience to students through theory and practical training courses.

As a result, they produce students who graduate with excellent qualifications. The training also certifies the students to be Commercial Pilots and Certified Flight Instructors. 

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Asides from the aviation training, Baylor University also has a well-rounded education system that guides its students on different topics. This includes Political Science., English Language, Communication, and also Computer Science.

The students are free to choose from a wide variety of advanced elective courses in any field they want. From studying Aviation law to meteorology as well as furthering their interests and passions in other aviation fields of their choice.

Check out their Aviation School here

3. Auburn University (Auburn, AL)

The Aviation students of Auburn University are opportune to have practical experience at their school’s regional airport which has access to the Delta Air Lines Aviation Education Building. 

Also, they have a great learning environment which includes: classrooms, debriefing rooms, and flight simulators.

It has over 420 acres of land, that support fleets of aircraft, and simulator fleets, including other areas for professional flight practice.

However, the aviation students at Auburn University get a six-hour credit load for an internship education. This combines their education with practical work experiences. 

In both government and industry, Auburn University is well connected to the best aviation organizations in the world. They have access to airlines like JetBlue and Delta airways.

Interestingly, Auburn University is not new to this game as they have been actively educating aviation students for over 80 years now.

Check out their Aviation School here

4. Valparaiso University (Valparaiso, IN)

The University of Valparaiso was the training site for pilots in the early 1940s. This was for the Civilian Aeronautics Authority back then.

Currently, the program aims to serve the community, region, and nation in a different way. Its mission is to teach students to learn, fly, and serve.

General education courses at Valparaiso University provide students with an understanding of aeronautical principles as well as an appreciation for liberal arts. 

Despite the fact that the program has been operational for less than a decade, it demonstrates the university’s innovative culture and expansion throughout academic areas.

Graduates can work as flight crew members, in aviation management, or in airport management. We can consider it one of the best Aviation Schools in the nation.

Check out their Aviation School here

5. Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS)

More Master Certified Aviation Instructors work at Kansas State University than at any other Aviation school in the country. 

This group of talented and experienced flight instructors offers top-notch instruction to aviation students.

They teach a variety of courses, including meteorology, aerodynamics, advanced aircraft systems, and flight labs. 

Students at Kansas State University study disciplines ranging from management to business ethics in addition to aviation.

Right next door to Kansas State University is Salina Regional Airport, which offers both education and experience. It has a 12,300-foot runway, as well as crosswind and parallel runways.

To allow training beyond the bare minimum, graduates of Kansas State University are prepared to fly in any weather and exceed industry standards. 

Aviation graduates are highly successful, whether they want to be flight instructors or airline captains.

With a 98 percent program placement record, airline, freight, charter, business, and military pilots are among Kansas State’s alumni.

Check out their Aviation School here

6. Utah State University (Logan, UT)

Aviation students at Utah State University learn from skilled professors from a variety of backgrounds. 

The Certified Flight Instructors on staff assist students in obtaining the hands-on training required to pass their check-ride and also prepare them for their future careers.

Students have an individual learning experience because of the smaller class sizes.

Also, the school’s restricted ATP program allows pilots to enter the industry with fewer hours than other programs.

Furthermore, the fast track to flying with an airline allows aviation students to get a head start on their careers by receiving comprehensive and efficient training.

Students can network with peers who share similar interests and backgrounds through Utah State organizations.

The NIFA Flight Team, for instance, was formed for aviation enthusiasts and it organizes social gatherings as well as professional development trips.

DroneWorx on the other hand is a competition for students interested in unmanned aerial systems.

Check out their Aviation School here

7. Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI)

Western Michigan University has one of the most extensive aviation programs in the country.

It has over 1,100 undergraduate students and is Michigan’s only comprehensive aviation program at a public university. 

These accomplishments demonstrate how WMU is a formidable force for the future of aviation training.

Furthermore, a fleet of 50 aircraft is used to train the next generation of aviation leaders. Also, the department is able to make upgrades to ensure that students have access to the most up-to-date equipment by constantly evaluating the planes. These aircraft are used for a variety of purposes which including aviation maintenance and flight training.

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WMU’s Aviate program is a pilot career development initiative that demonstrates how highly trained and sought-after its graduates are.

Check out their Aviation School here

8. University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, ND)

The University of North Dakota offers a liberal arts core curriculum as well as professional aviation training. 

Some of the training includes air traffic management, airport management, aviation management, aviation safety & operations, aviation studies, commercial aviation, as well as unmanned aircraft system operations. These are among the specialized undergraduate programs which the school offers.

Students in any aviation program get their training in cutting-edge facilities. This includes the world’s largest collegiate training fleet of over 100 aircraft and simulators. They also have VR training devices as well as a hypobaric chamber to simulate the physiological effects of high-altitude flight.

Students have access to a variety of training opportunities, thanks to immersive hands-on flight control, hardware, and simulation software.

The University of North Dakota emphasizes a hands-on curriculum without leaving out safety.

Lastly, the school has the first and only collegiate program that has achieved the highest level of Safety Management System compliance.

Check out their Aviation School here

9. South Dakota State University (Brookings, SD)

South Dakota State University offers affordable, high-quality aviation training. Aviation students are taught on campus. By 28 full-time and part-time flight instructors and 14 airplanes. 

The senior capstone course bridges the gap between education and practice, by evaluating students to ensure competency.

To further their education, aviation students can choose between two specializations. Aviation education is designed for students who want to become Certified Flight Instructors or professional pilots in the industry.

Recruiting top students and alumni as SDSU flight instructors allows aviation graduates to improve the program in which they once participated.

Furthermore, students in the aviation maintenance management specialization, learn how to repair and maintain aircraft.

As a result of the extensive aviation programs, the entire Class of 2019 was placed in professional flight positions.

The majority were hired as flight instructors, while others went on to work for airlines, such as United, SkyWest, and Republic Airways.

Check out their Aviation School here

10. Louisiana Tech University (Ruston, Louisiana)

Louisiana Tech University has had a national reputation for producing outstanding graduates since 1967. 

Professional Aviation and Aviation Management programs focus on developing leaders in the aviation industry by emphasizing knowledge, skills, and experience. 

They also have a strong alumni network that includes airport planners, commercial pilots, flight school instructors, and transportation and development specialists.

Year-round, students can benefit from the ground, simulator, and flight training. The university acquired a new fleet of 12 Cessna Skyhawk and Piper Arrow planes in 2017. 

Furthermore, LTU has aviation management cooperative agreements with a number of Fixed Based Operators in the region. Which includes the Louisiana Airport Managers Association and Ruston Regional Airport. 

Because of industry connections, LTU aviation students have access to numerous internship opportunities. With major airlines, regional airlines, corporate aviation, and government organizations.

Check out their Aviation School here

Also check out: 10 Best Aviation Schools in Canada

11. Sinclair Community College (Dayton OH)

Sinclair College has one of the most comprehensive aviation technology programs in the state and country, with new Bachelor of Applied Science degrees in Aviation, Technology/Professional Pilot, and Unmanned Aerial Systems. 

Graduates can also continue their education in aviation, by transferring to an aerospace university, through an articulation agreement. 

Sinclair students can transfer their credits, to complete a Bachelor’s Degree through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide Campus.

Inclusively, Sinclair has recently been granted authority by the Federal Aviation Administration to certify graduates of its Aviation Technology/Professional Pilot degree programs. 

This would make them be eligible for an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, with a limited aeronautical experience (R-ATP). 

The total flight time required for the school program graduates to obtain R-ATP certification has been reduced from 1,500 to 1,250 hours for Associate level and 1,000 hours for (Bachelor).

Lastly, Sinclair’s Bachelor and Associate school degree pilot training programs, as well as technical certificate programs, prepare graduates for careers as pilots, mechanics, flight attendants, aircraft dispatchers, managers, and drone pilots. 

Check out their Aviation School here

12. Orange Coast College (Costa Mesa, CA)

A degree in Aviation Science from Orange Coast College will take you far. The program at OCC trains students to be professional pilots or flight operations specialists. The program is designed for students with no prior flying experience. It can be tailored to meet the needs of individual students.

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An Associate of Science degree in Aviation Science takes between 18 and 24 months to complete. A student pursuing a career as a professional pilot would complete the aviation pilot training school curriculum in order to obtain a commercial pilot certificate. 

Once the commercial pilot certificate is obtained, the student is able to fly for hire with commuter or charter companies to gain experience for airline opportunities.

Commercial pilot certificate holders can also choose to further their education to become certified flight instructors.

Furthermore, individuals who only need to use an aircraft for personal transportation or business travel may choose individual Certificates of Specializations that are appropriate for their needs. Each Certificate of Specialization is intended to be completed in a single academic semester. ​​​

Check out their Aviation School here

Also check out: Top Ten Free Online Courses in aviation With Certificates

13. San Jacinto Community College (Pasadena TX)

The EDGE Center at San Jacinto College. Provides aerospace training and a path to exciting careers in the aerospace industry.

The Houston Spaceport at Ellington Airport’s official education training partner is San Jacinto College.

San Jacinto College provides hybrid training programs to meet the needs of today’s tech-savvy students.

In accordance with applicable federal and state laws, the San Jacinto College District is committed to equal opportunity for all students.

From employees to applicants, regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, pregnancy, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, genetic information, marital status, or veteran status.

Check out their Aviation School here

14. Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH)

With cutting-edge technology, highly skilled instructors, and a well-maintained fleet of aircraft, BGSU Aviation is the ideal place to start your career in aviation! 

BGSU Aviation school has been preparing students to work from airline pilots to corporate pilots, airport managers, airfield specialists, aviation consultants, and many other jobs since 1978.

With a $5 million investment in new aircraft, and state-of-the-art flight simulators, an expansion of the BG Flight Center will invariably double its flight operations, classrooms, and office space this spring.

The Program’s ongoing success has resulted in the current outgrowing BG Flight Center spaces. This has prompted significant expansion and investment.

Check out their Aviation School here

Also check out: How Much Does Flight School Cost?

15. Ohio University (Athens, OH)

Ohio University has a two-year aviation technology degree. You will learn to become a professional pilot through the FAA Part 141 flight program.

This is in order for you to get your private pilot certificate, instrument rating, and commercial pilot certificate. 

After completing the two-year program in the school, you will be able to combine your flight and academic experiences with a bachelor’s degree in another academic field, such as business or communication.

Furthermore, their undergraduate aviation programs begin with fundamental science and mathematical courses which progress to flight training.

They also offer industry-focused courses to provide an enriching learning experience to students.

Check out their Aviation school here


If you are going to become an expert in the aviation industry, then choosing a great school to study at is key.

So far, we have put together some of the best schools and colleges in the US that offer Aviation programs.

Now, you have a complete list of the best aviation schools so that you can make the perfect choice of school to pursue your career.

This article also contains some of the top-paying jobs in the aviation industry that you can aim for as you study at school.

Also, you get to see how much you can make working on some of the jobs on our list.

If you still have questions about this topic, then you may want to also check out these frequently asked questions below.

What is Aviation?

Aviation is the flight or operation of an aircraft.

Is Aviation a good Career?

Yes of course. With the advancement of technology. The aviation industry has seen rapid growth and is now one of the world’s fastest-growing industries.

The demand for pilots and other aviation professionals is expected to rise in the coming years.

Is Aviation hard to study?

Aviation is a highly technical profession. Learning to fly a modern aircraft is both difficult and costly.

It can be difficult depending on your own skill and interests. Mathematics is involved. But not like in high school.

How long do you have to study Aviation?

Even if your current goal is to become a private pilot. Obtaining a comprehensive education will best prepare you.

Ideally, becoming a pilot should only take 3 to 4 years. The time it takes to earn a Bachelor of Science in Professional Flight.

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