Most children dream of becoming an astronaut or an airplane pilot. Who has never made a paper airplane and watched it soar in amazement or, more likely, watched it take a swan dive, nose first into the ground? It turns out that there is a real science in the research, design and the making of an actual airplane to make one air worthy…and that is called aeronautics. This term also includes technology, enterprise, aerodynamics and all other areas related to aviation.
The terms aviation and aeronautics are often used interchangeably, however, there is a difference. While aeronautics is the scientific aspects of flight, aviation is the actual flight of those flying objects.
A bachelor’s degree is required in most states to enter the aeronautics or aviation field, however, some careers just require certificates or require certification in addition to your bachelor’s or master’s degree. When contemplating an aviation career, do your homework to verify what degree and certification is required in your state, for your chosen field. The bachelor’s degree also allows you the opportunity to expand in order to obtain your master’s or doctoral degree, if you so desire, earning you more opportunities and a lucrative salary. Coursework includes extensive mathematics classes, as well as, physics, control engineering, propulsion, mechanics, aerodynamics, chemistry and computer programming, to name a few.
Students obtaining their Bachelor’s Degree In Aeronautics or Aviation have a plethora of choices when it comes to choosing a future career. Aviation and aeronautic industry students may train to be aeronautic engineers, airline pilots, aviation managers or air traffic controllers, as well as many other professions. Here is a brief overview of a few options:
Aeronautic Engineers design and construct airplanes and other flying aircraft, therefore, focusing on the efficiency and aerodynamics, then testing and analyzing of their designs. Advanced coursework would include air traffic control, security and flight theory and aviation law. Aeronautic engineers can work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as aircraft designers, flight engineers or mission control employees. Also, aircraft or weapon manufacturers often hire aeronautic engineers.
While logging in valuable flight hours, private pilots must earn a license through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), however, an Airline Pilot must have a bachelor’s degree, as well as licensure through the FAA and extensive flight experience hours. Additional coursework in meteorology, aviation law, aerodynamics and aviation science is required.
Aviation Managers are responsible for the daily operations of our airports. Courses in the bachelor’s degree program for aviation management include finance, personnel management and labor regulations, air and ground safety, marketing, cargo, weight and insurance regulations, as well as, transportation law and terminal organization.
Air Traffic Controllers work with other team members to assure the safety of all airplanes that are incoming, outgoing and when in flight by regulating all movement in the sky while reviewing flight plans and instructing pilots on take offs and landings. Controllers often work nights, holidays and weekends and the job can be very stressful, however, the median salary for an air traffic controller is quite lucrative at six figures. You must be well organized with attention to detail and an excellent communicator. Prerequisites for an air controller position include an age requirement of under 31 years old, with U.S. citizenship, speak clear English, pass a physical exam and background check, obtain an air traffic management degree from a FAA approved school, pass a pre-employment aptitude testing and complete FAA training.
The industry of aeronautics and aviation is always in need of qualified professionals, so, the sky’s the limit, literally! Check out our picks for the Best Online Schools for Aviation and Aeronautics!