Do you need a specific degree to become a pilot? The short answer is no.
You don’t need a specific degree to join flight school training. Although having a degree won’t hurt and may even lead you to other career opportunities, there are no specific courses solely designed for aviation.
However, there are training, continuing education, and other specialized classes that provide students with all the necessary knowledge and skills they need to develop to become eligible to fly. These classes focus on all the relevant aspects of aviation, such as air safety and airplane proficiency.
Any airlines, even the major ones, accept wanna-be pilots regardless of their bachelor’s degree. After all, they are not concerned about the student’s field of study during college so long as they have completed it.
With a degree, this shows specific qualities major airlines look for in pilots, like:
- Discipline to achieve goals
- Ability to stay on the course and follow instruction
- Commitment to a specific cause.
Pilots who hold bachelor’s degrees and continuing education credits are better candidates for in-demand positions with coveted airlines. Those who work in major airlines also enjoy higher pay, better benefits, and more.
While there is a shortage of pilots in regional airlines, there’s an abundance of applicants in major carriers. With a degree and other relevant continuing education courses, you can have a competitive advantage over other pilot applicants.
Top 5 Continuing Education Courses for Pilots
TSA Security Awareness Training Course
Provider: Gleim Aviation
This training course is required for both initial and recurrent TSA FSSA training for certified flight instructors (CFIs), as well as other flight school employees. After completion and understanding of the course,
- Students will improve their knowledge of actions that they can use to boost security at a flight school or airport.
- Students will learn the crucial skill of identifying suspicious activities in an airplane.
- Access to the course is free. A certificate is awarded after completing the study unit.
Fundamentals of Flight Mechanics Specialization
Coursera offers free online courses like the Fundamentals of Flight Mechanics. Aviation is not just about how pilots should fly safely, it’s also about understanding how flight mechanics work.
This course can be used either for a review of flight accidents, a flight test program setup, or the preliminary design of an airplane.
Interested enrollees will learn the following:
- The relation of the Mach number concerning a stall speed.
- The meaning of flight instrument indicators,
- Why turboprops consume less than turbojets,
- Use relevant and appropriate words in describing airplanes and the motion in the air.
Digitalization in Aeronautics
This is a free online course that presents a wide spectrum of aviation research and application areas– studying how digitalization impacts aeronautics, including its effects in simulating the interaction of aircraft components.
This online training is designed to prepare students with the following:
- A variety of digital applications used in aviation research,
- An understanding of the presence of digitalization in aviation research history,
- Recognize the complexity across all systems that result in digitalization.
Safe Pilot Course
Provider: Gleim Aviation
The first step toward the road to becoming a safer and better pilot is to join safety pilot courses. Gleim Aviation teaches different programs to aviation enthusiasts who wish to learn more about flying.
- The course presents ten different types of airplane accidents.
- The program’s goal is for each student pilot to learn and understand how these accidents can be avoided.
- This also provides an overview of sound risk management and decision-making. It also has videos that simulate each accident, along with a unique supplementary Gleim Knowledge Transfer Outline to help turn your knowledge into memory.
- The lectures provided will prepare for every study unit through guided video presentations.
Development of Secure Embedded Systems
On July 6, 2013, three people died following a crash landing of an Asiana Airlines aircraft at San Francisco International Airport from Seoul, South Korea. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), the crash was probably caused by the crews’ inaction.
Three girls lost their lives: two from the plane, and the third was accidentally run over by a firetruck.
Human factors are the usual causes of accidents. 50% of plane crashes are caused by pilot errors. That’s why it’s very critical to have a properly designed safety and security system to prevent these things from happening, and this is what these free online courses are all about.
If you’re interested in training on how to build secured embedded systems and you want to earn the relevant accreditation and certificates, then this specialization is perfect for you.
Why Have a Career in Aviation
If you love flying, a career in aviation will help you turn your passion into a profitable field. Here are some reasons why.
High Demand and Financially Rewarding
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of commercial and airline pilots is said to grow by 13% between 2020 and 2030. This is a lot faster than the usual occupations. There are also 14,500 job openings for aviation pilots in the next ten years.
Chance to Meet New People
With an aviation career, you’re always meeting other people. Starting from your student life, you’ll brush elbows with flight instructors, flying experts, accreditation specialists, and new classmates. You will meet people from different backgrounds, and all of you share a common similarity- your love for flying.
Therefore, no matter where you work in an airport– whether you’re a pilot, an aircraft mechanic, or a technician, you will meet a diverse group of people regularly.
You Will Gain Globally Transferrable Skills
Especially after completion of your continuing education courses, whether from an online ground school or on-campus aviation campus, the training you get from your course will help develop your skills further.
Working in the aviation industry, whether as a temporary career or a long-term job, gives you a lot of transferrable skills. In a person-facing role, you will experience handling tasks that have something to do with people management, customer service, and other soft skills.
A Variety of Lifestyle Advantages
When you complete and finally earn your continuing education credits, expect a lot of excellent benefits. Common benefits include reduced holiday airport parking, above-average pay, subsidized commuter rail travel, and cycle-to-work schemes.
Growing-work benefits such as additional holidays (for long-serving employees), and pay raises are also possible.
Common Areas of Concern for Continuing Education Courses
Some new pilots are embarrassed to admit they are afraid of some specific aspects of flying. No matter how good you were with your FAA written exam, there will always be areas of concern that you must discuss with your CFI. Here are some of them.
Crosswinds: Any pilot can handle crosswinds efficiently because this is very common in every training flight. But in some geographical locations, the student may sometimes encounter a significant crosswind that he has never flown before.
Crosswinds are a fact of life, and there is no better way to face them than by learning how to handle them. After a few concentrated crosswind exercises, you’d be able to clock in more flyable days in your calendar.
Marginal Weather Flying: This is a regional training area. On the East Coast, you will have to learn how to deal with low ceilings and poor visibility because these factors are integral parts of the environment. In the Southwest and West, if there is an overcast at around 3,000 feet and visibility is less than 10 miles, nobody will operate because they know that by the following day, the sun will be out.
Thru a continuing education (CE) course, you will understand that there is a narrow window between successfully flying in marginal weather and not lowering ceilings and visibility.
Operating at Gross Weight: In any private pilot training, specifically in four-place airplanes, a student pilot doesn’t have that opportunity to experience an airplane’s change in character when at gross weight and in aft center-of-gravity configurations.
When the plane will register at its gross weight, it handles differently. The take-off roll takes time to complete and climbs become shallower while touchdowns become faster. Spending a few classes on operating gross weight is a good way to deal with the issue.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should you learn in aviation?
In aviation, expect to take physics classes and aviation mathematics, as well as aircraft regulations and fundamentals of electricity. Other courses include Private Flights, Commercial Flights, Aerodynamics, Aviation Technical Operations, and many more.
What are the usual courses in aviation?
Although becoming a pilot has no specific degree, the courses below can help you land a job in the aviation industry as soon as completion of the degree.
- Aerospace Engineering
- Air Traffic Control
- Aircraft Maintenance
- Aviation Safety
- Cabin Crew
- Civil and Military Aviation
- Aviation Management
- Pilot Training
- Aviation Transport
- Flight Instruction
- There are no specific and defined aviation degrees to help you land a job as a pilot.
- Having continuing education credits allows you to stand above your contemporaries. This means better career opportunities.