Dusty Mosness-Brailsford, Esq.
(970) 339-6645

Appointments & Advising
Rebecca Espinoza
(970) 339-6472


Professional Pilot Option

Associate of Applied Science Degree

The Professional Pilot Option is designed for those seeking a career as an airline pilot. Students interested in corporate or fractional flying careers may also want to choose the Professional Pilot Option. The curricula include Private, Commercial, and Flight Instructor Certificates and Instrument Rating.

How to become an airline pilot

  • Obtain your Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificates and ratings. The usual sequence is:
    • Private Pilot Certificate
    • Instrument Rating
    • Commercial Pilot Certificate
    • Multi-Engine Rating
  • Airlines hire pilots based on the applicant's total flight time. Most pilots will have about 260 flight hours upon completion of the program. When the supply of pilots is low compared to hiring needs, the airlines will require a lower number of minimum flight hours; when the supply of pilots is high compared to hiring needs, the airlines will require a higher number of minimum flight hours.
  • When the supply of pilots is high, airlines will use college degrees (A.A.S. or B.S., etc) as a decisive factor.
  • Many pilots choose to become flight instructors to build their total flight time up to the hiring flight-time minimums
  • Your first airline job will be at a regional airline flying turbo-prop and/or regional jet aircraft
  • Eventually you will have accrued enough flight time to apply to the major carriers such as American, Continental, Delta, United, or US Airways

Life style and qualifications

A professional pilot must also consider the lifestyle and airline qualifications when choosing a career path.

  • Airlines operate 24/7
  • Pilots bid their flight schedule and domicile (home base) by seniority
  • Pilots are away from home about 16 days per month, more if they commute to their domicile
  • Pilots receive recurrent training and check-rides on a regular basis
  • Extensive background checks, including driving records, are conducted prior to an employment offer
  • Airline pilots must hold a First Class Medical Certificate, requalification is required every six months
  • Must be able to read, speak, and understand the English language (meet International Civil Aviation Organization level 4 standards)
  • Pilots are subject to pre-employment, random, and "for cause drug screening
  • Current FAA regulations require pilots to retire from the cockpit at age 65

Salary range* (per month)

Small regional: Salary

First year, First Officer

$1,200 - 2,320

First year, Captain

$2,475 - 5,680

Twelfth year, Captain

$3,600 - 8,080
Large regional Salary

First year, First Officer

$1,444 - 2,870

First year, Captain

$4,270 - 4,800

Twelfth year, Captain

$6,375 - 7,910
Major Carrier Salary

First year, First Officer

$1,800 - 4,056

First year, Captain

$1,800 - 13,572

Twelfth year, Captain

$11,400 - 15,444

*Note: Some employers pay relocation/hiring and other types of bonuses

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
AVT 207 Multi-Engine Ground School 1
AVT 209 Multi-Engine Flight Trainer 2
AVT 229 Aviation Management & Economics 3
MAT 121 College Algebra 4
Total Credits 16

4th Semester

Course Credits
AVT 203 Commercial Flight II 4
AVT 208 Multi-Engine Flight 1
AVT 226 Flight Deck Crew Management Transition Trainer 3
AVT 227 Transport Category Aircraft Systems 3
AVT 228 Regional Transport Aircraft Transition 2
PHY 105 Conceptual Physics 4
Total Credits 17

5th Semester

Course Credits
Arts & Humanities Course 3
Social and Behavioral Sciences Course 3
Plus, select 6 credits from the following:  
   AVT 205 Mountain Flying Ground School 1
   AVT 210 Multi-Engine Cross-Country Flight 2
   AVT 211 Fundamentals of Instruction 2
   AVT 212 Flight Instructor Ground School 2
   AVT 213 Flight Instructor Flight 1
   AVT 222 Instrument Instructor Flight 1
   AVT 223 Multi-Engine Instructor Flight 1
   AVT 230 CL-65 Type Rating Prep Training 5
   AVT 231 Advanced Regional Transport Transition 2
   AVT 236 Tail Wheel Transition Flight 1

   AVT 237 Basic Aerobatics

   AVT 275 Special Topics 1-6 credits
   AVT 285 Independent Study 1-6 credits
Total Credits 12

Total credits for 5 semesters


Estimated Costs


In District




College tuition and fees*

$ 8,585




Flight-training lab fees*





Approximate total costs for program:





*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.