How can I Prepare for a Career in Aviation Management?

Dana Hinders

Careers in aviation management offer excitement, the opportunity for regular travel, and the chance to constantly learn new skills. However, preparing for a career in this fast-paced field can be an extensive process.

A degree in aviation management may provide many job opportunities, including work as a commercial pilot.
A degree in aviation management may provide many job opportunities, including work as a commercial pilot.

To be successful in this industry, you’ll need to have strong interpersonal and communications skills to work with a wide variety of people. You’ll also need to be able to perform well under pressure and understand complex technical concepts.

Aviation management students may study aviation technology and aircraft engineering.
Aviation management students may study aviation technology and aircraft engineering.

Most careers in aviation management require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university that offers an aviation technology program. Courses covered in an undergraduate aviation program includes physics, microeconomics, statistics, and basic mechanics, as well as aviation technologies, aviation regulations, airline management, and aircraft engineering. Some academic programs will give students the chance to specialize in either fixed based operation management, general airport management, or financial management. Opportunities to obtain aviation-related work experience through internships or paid part-time employment are also quite common.

High school students who wish to pursue careers in aviation management can begin by researching schools that offer programs in this area. Since each college or university has slightly different admissions requirements, it’s important to know what prerequisites are necessary for the school you wish to attend. Most programs will require a strong background in math and science, but there may also be requirements for English or foreign language courses that you need to meet as well. Your high school guidance counselor can help you learn more about the admissions requirements for the schools that interest you.

Since aviation management programs must include flight training in order to comply with Federal Aviation Administration guidelines, the cost of attendance can be substantially higher than what you’d expect to pay for other academic majors. However, most schools have grants and scholarships available to those who qualify. Aid can be either based on need or academic performance and most programs will have strict application procedures. To learn more, contact the college’s financial aid office.

A degree in aviation management opens up many different job possibilities. After graduation, you can expect to be qualified for a job as an accident investigator, air traffic controller, aircraft technician, airline manager, aviation attorney, commercial pilot, fire and crash rescue flight dispatcher, flight instructor, maintenance manager, or safety inspector. Aircraft manufacturers, airports, cargo airlines, colleges/universities, medical airline transports, private airlines, professional development centers, and tourism boards are some of the places that hire people with experience in aviation management.

A high school guidance counselor could help a student obtain information about aviation school requirements.
A high school guidance counselor could help a student obtain information about aviation school requirements.

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Discussion Comments


I have a bachelors degree in Political science and psychology but I want to switch to aviation management because of my passion for that industry. Would I be able to gain entry into a masters program in aviation management?


@rallenwriter: You don't need to attend a flight school, but you require aviation experience. The difference is that those who have been to the flight schools are better placed, especially when there is a job offer in safety management. This is because of their extensive training, and exposure to tasks that expose them more to risk management in aviation.


@post 8: It is possible to start an Msc aviation management after the completion of the Bachelors degree in computer science, However, you will require some experience in the aviation industry to be well placed or suited and be accepted in many of the universities offering such an Msc course. Hope that satisfies your curiosity.


Can I have a bachelor's degree in computer science and then be eligible for a master's course in aviation management?


will anyone please tell me if we can pursue a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering and then a master's degree in aviation management?

and also if we would have the freedom of choice to be an airline manager or aviation attorney or such things after graduation in aviation management?


You will most likely need to attend a flight school because a lot of the classes are connected to both programs of Professional flight and aviation management. However, you are not required to take flying lessons and get your pilots license.


i was training to be a pilot but i did not finish. i have 35 hours of flight training and i finished all the theory. now i want to do airline and aviation management and i do not know requirements for it. Please help.


I have a random question -- is professional aviation management different from civil aviation management?


@rallenwriter -- My husband is an ex-pilot who teaches a course in aviation and flight management training at our local college, and although I don't know how it is in other programs, I know that the people who go through his program are just learning about the technical side of aviation security management, like software usage for anti-terrorist measures, what the different kinds of aviation safety management systems are, etc.

So they don't receive flight training. However, maybe this is different from other programs.


Do you know, I never really knew there was such a thing as aviation management until I stumbled across this article.

However, after reading it, I have to say this sounds like a really cool job.

One thing I'm slightly confused about though -- if you want to do a career in, say, aviation safety management, do you still have to attend the flight school? Wouldn't an aviation safety manager be more tied to things like the TSA, etc? Or does everybody who attends aviation management school get the same training?

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