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Aims UAS drone pilot students

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Sciences

Earn a UAS Sciences Associate Degree at Aims

Are you excited about a career piloting Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to help businesses, governments and organizations quickly and safely gather critical data? Earning a UAS associate degree at Aims Community College means you’ll gain hands-on training at Colorado’s top two-year college aviation program. 

In the UAS degree program, you’ll learn best practices and demonstrate basic and advanced maneuvers and procedures for safe UAS operation on fixed-wing and rotary-wing drones. You’ll also learn Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations (BVLOS) and how to properly manage the UAS data you collect. Finally, you’ll engineer and design your own fixed-wing and multirotor aircraft to better understand how a drone works. This process will also teach you UAS maintenance and various design-thinking approaches to solving UAS-related problems. 

In this program, you’ll enjoy access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment that support your training. Aims is building a new Windsor Academic building that will house the Aviation Department. This will include three UAS labs with an outdoor launch and operations facility, featuring spaces for training and operations. The UAS design and fabrication lab provides the space and tools for engineering, maintenance, research and development.

Your training prepares you to take the FAA Part 107 Small Unmanned Aerial Systems certification exam that allows you to earn a Part 107 commercial Remote Pilot Certificate. You’ll also develop the technical and interpersonal skills that will prepare you to launch a thrilling career flying UAS (drones) for fields including law enforcement, infrastructure, film, construction, search and rescue, and many more. 

Drones help professionals approach their work safely and with greater clarity across a wide variety of fields and industries, including:

  • Fire scene investigators
  • Film producers
  • Construction managers
  • Municipalities
  • Law enforcement
  • Infrastructure inspection
  • Precision agriculture
  • Insurance claims
  • Search and rescue

24.7% annual UAS jobs growth
$80k average salary
100k new UAS jobs by 2025

Take A Tour of UAS's Drone Education Labs and Flight Spaces

UAS Program Marketing Video

Current UAS student Ben Marushack showcases the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Sciences’ classrooms, labs and flight spaces.

Student UAS Operations Workforce Development Program

Aims UAS degree students have the opportunity to join the exciting Aims UAS Operations (Ops) team. This program is more than a club - it’s an hourly work-study and paid internship program designed for enrolled UAS students to conduct paid industry-related contract work. These types of opportunities are ideal for resume-building and networking. 

Flight-trained FAA Part 107 UAS Ops students are involved in projects that include:

  • Regional Toyota car commercials
  • Weld County inspection and construction projects
  • Small business innovation research collaboration projects with local industry
  • Program research and design projects
  • UAS maintenance through program and industry partnerships 
  • Program community outreach and aviation-related events

For more information and to learn about open spots on the team, contact

Check Out Aims UAS Ops Students in Action

Gain Crucial Skills to Become a Professional Drone Pilot

The Aims unmanned aircraft systems degree (UAS) program gives you many hours of hands-on practice and training during which you will learn:

  • Engaging with the National Airspace System 
  • Aviation Meteorology
  • Mission setup
  • Federal regulations
  • Creating operations and pre-flight checklists
  • Human factors affecting UAS
  • Crew resource management
  • Interpreting sectional charts
  • Safety training
  • UAS maintenance 

This degree is designed for people who really want to get into the UAS industry. Students have the opportunity here to learn how to fly, engineer and apply skills in UAS. Aims is the only two-year program in the state that can say that!

Jake Marshall
Aims Chief UAS Instructor Pilot
Two people sit at a table examining a camera on a UAS

Earn a UAS Sciences Certificate at Aims

Aims offers three unmanned aircraft system sciences certificates, which together form the associate degree program. If you prefer to get your commercial Remote Pilot Certificate and jump right into your career, you can earn your Basic Operator Certificate and then build onto your career with the other certificates later. 

  • UAS Basic Operator Certificate
  • UAS Design and Fabrication Certificate
  • UAS Professional Operator Certificate

Aims UAS Program: In the Lab and In the Field

Promising Drone Pilot Job and Salary Outlook

If you love aviation and enjoy working outdoors and managing highly technical data, a career as an unmanned aircraft system pilot might be a perfect fit. UAS systems and applications are rapidly expanding, and skilled certified pilots are already in demand. 

According to the FAA, the commercial, small non-model UAS fleet is forecast to nearly triple from 277,386 in 2018 to 835,211 in 2023, an average annual growth rate of 24.7 percent. 

The Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) 2018 report notes that the global construction industry is projected to grow by 85% and is expected to reach USD 15.5 trillion up to 2030. Approximately 57% of the UAS growth will include key countries such as the U.S., China, and India, making it a highly desirable career with a wide variety of employment options. 

Earning an affordable UAS associate degree at Aims is a great first step to launching a successful career piloting, maintaining or designing drones.

Drones help professionals approach their work safely and with greater clarity in a wide variety of fields and industries, including:

  • Applied technology
  • Aviation
  • Construction 
  • Criminal justice
  • Engineering
  • Fire scene investigation
  • GIS mapping
  • Infrastructure inspection
  • Insurance claims
  • Law enforcement
  • Media, film and photography
  • Mining
  • Municipalities
  • Oil, gas and power technologies
  • Precision agriculture
  • Public safety
  • Real estate marketing and management
  • Search and rescue

Aims UAS Sciences Faculty and Staff

Learn from experienced faculty who will support you in achieving your unique goals for working with drones. Get support in determining how drones are used in a given industry and how to develop skills that will make you a valuable asset to companies or to start your own business. 

  • Headshot of Eric Himler

    Eric Himler

    Director of Aviation
  • Portrait of Jake Marshall

    Jacob Marshall

    UAS Chief Instructor Pilot
  • Norma Keeney headshot

    Norma Keeney

    Staff Associate, Aviation