Aviation

CONTACT
(970) 339-6472
aviation@aims.edu

Gainful Employment Program Disclosures

General Aviation Pilot Option

Associate of Applied Science Degree

The General Aviation Pilot Option is designed for those seeking a career as an airplane pilot. The curricula include Private and Commercial Pilot Certificates and Instrument Rating. A Multi-Engine Rating may be selected from the elective options.

A sampling of career and job opportunities are listed below.

  • Aerial mapping
  • Aerial photography
  • Aerial surveying
  • Agricultural applications
  • Air taxi operations
  • Air tours
  • Banner towing
  • Business flying
  • Cargo operations
  • Charters
  • Corporate operations
  • Drug interdiction
  • Fish spotting
  • Fire fighting
  • Flight instruction
  • Fractional operations
  • Government business:
    • Agriculture
    • Border Patrol
    • Commerce
    • Energy
    • FBI
    • Health & Human Services
    • Interior
    • Justice
    • Treasury
  • Hunting
  • Law enforcement
  • Medical:
    • Organ transport
    • Patient transportation
    • Emergency supply transport
  • Pipeline patrol
  • Power line patrol
  • Scenic tours
  • Scientific research and development
  • Search and rescue
  • Test pilot
  • Traffic Patrol
  • Weather modification

How to become a commercial pilot

  • Obtain your Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificates and ratings. The usual sequence is:
    • Private Pilot Certificate
    • Instrument Rating
    • Commercial Pilot Certificate
  • Pilot hiring is based on the applicant's total flight time and type of aircraft flown. Most pilots will have about 250 flight hours upon completion of the program. Depending on the type of flight operations, pilot hiring minimums may be higher or lower than airline minimums. Unlike airlines, hiring needs in this sector of aviation is not dependent on current economic conditions.

Life style and qualifications

A career pilot must also consider the lifestyle and qualifications when choosing a career path. In the general aviation sector, additional non-aviation skill sets and training may be required. For example, aerial applications (crop dusting and fire fighting) require specialized equipment and training in the handling of chemicals, toxic hazards, understanding the unique requirements for low level flight, and short flights in demanding conditions of high heat and repeated acrobatic activities.

  • General aviation, corporate, and fractional operations may or may not operate 24/7
  • Depending on the size of operations, pilots may bid or be assigned their flight schedules
  • Depending on the type of operations, pilots may or may not be away from home for extended periods of time
  • Some jobs are seasonal only
  • Some jobs are part time only
  • Recurrent and up-grade training is based on company policies
  • Background checks, including driving records, are based on company policies
  • Most operations are conducted under FAR Part 91 regulations, which require pilots to hold a Second Class Medical Certificate; however, individual company polices may require a First Class Medical Certificate
  • Pilots may be subject to pre-employment, random, and "for cause drug screening
  • There is no FAA required retirement age
  • Must be able to read, speak, and understand the English language
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a second class medical certificate

Salary range (per month)

Charter Salary

First year, First Officer

$1,600 - 3,800

First year, Captain

$3,800 - 10,100

Twelfth year, Captain

$5,600 - 10,500

Part time

$23 - 80 per flight hour
Corporate (type rating may be required) $2,500 - 20,000
Fractional Salary

First year, First Officer

$2,200 - 4,800

First year, Captain

$3,200 - 7,300

Twelfth year, Captain

$4,200 - 16,200

General / Other
Salary

Full time

$3,500 - 15,000

Part time

$20 - 140 per flight hour

Course of Study

1st Semester

Course Credits
AVT 101 Private Pilot Ground School 4
AVT 102 Private Pilot Flight 4
AVT 105 Aviation Meteorology 4
ENG 121 English Composition 3
Total Credits 15

2nd Semester

Course Credits
AVT 103 Introduction to Air Traffic Control 3
AVT 111 Instrument Pilot Ground School 4
AVT 112 Instrument Pilot Flight 4
AVT 113 Instrument Flight Trainer 4
Total Credits 15

3rd Semester

Course Credits
AVT 201 Commercial Pilot Ground School 2
AVT 202 Commercial Flight I 3
AVT 206 Crew Resource Management 1
MAT 121 College Algebra 4
Arts & Humanities Course 3
Total Credits 16

4th Semester

Course Credits
AVT 203 Commercial Flight I 4
AVT 229 Aviation Management & Economics 3
PHY 105 Conceptual Physics 4
Social and Behavioral Sciences Course 3
Electives 3
Total Credits 17
Electives  

AVT 205 Mountain Flying Ground School
AVT 207 Multi-Engine Ground School
AVT 208 Multi-Engine Flight
AVT 209 Multi-Engine Flight Trainer
AVT 210 Multi-Engine Cross-Country Flight
AVT 211 Fundamentals of Instruction
AVT 212 Flight Instructor Ground School
AVT 213 Flight Instructor Flight
AVT 222 Instrument Instructor Flight
AVT 223 Multi-Engine Instructor Flight
AVT 230 CL-65 Type Rating Prep Training
AVT 231 Advanced Regional Transport Transition
AVT 236 Tail Wheel Transition Flight
AVT 237 Basic Aerobatics
AVT 275 Special Topics
AVT 285 Independent Study

1
1
1
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
5
2
1
1
1-6
1-6
Total Credits 12

Total credits for 4 semesters

60

Estimated Costs

Fee In District Out-of-District WUE Out-of-State
College tuition and fees* $ 7,626 $ 12,594 $18,638 $39,785

Flight-training lab fees*

44,400 44,400 44,400 44,400
Approximate total costs for program: $52,030 $56,994 $63,036 $84,185

*Costs subject to change at any time.
*Flight costs based on FAA minimum flight hours.  Individual students may require additional flight hours.
*Costs may vary with choice of electives.