Best Online Aviation Management Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Aviation Management programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Aviation management is the process of running an aviation business. It includes all of the activities that are necessary to keep an aviation business running, such as planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. Aviation management degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in aviation, including management, marketing, and flight operations.

Aviation management degrees offer a broad overview of aviation, covering topics such as aviation law, aviation safety, and aviation security. Students in aviation management degree programs learn about the different aspects of running an aviation business, and how to manage and motivate employees. They also learn about the legal and regulatory environment in which aviation businesses operate.

How to Choose the Right Aviation Management Program

When it comes to choosing the right aviation management program, there are a few key factors that prospective students need to keep in mind. The first is cost. Aviation management programs can be expensive, so it is important to research the tuition rates of different schools before making a decision. The second factor is location. Many aviation management programs are located in major cities, so students need to consider the cost of living in their chosen city. The third factor is time to degree. Aviation management programs typically take four years to complete, but some schools offer accelerated tracks for students who want to graduate sooner. Finally, students need to make sure that their chosen program is accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Aviation Management Programs

The best online programs for Aviation Management ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion
Marion, IN

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management, Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management degree from Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion is a four-year program that prepares students to become professional pilots or aviation industry leaders through management roles. The program includes flight training early on so that students can build flight hours while completing their bachelor’s-level courses online. Upon completion of the program, students will have an FAA Private Pilot Certificate, FAA Commercial Certificate with a Single or Multi-Engine Land Class Rating, FAA Instrument Rating, and FAA Certified Flight Instructor.

Rank 2
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS

The Bachelor of Science in Professional Aviation at Kansas State University is an online degree program designed for students with previous experience in the aviation industry. The program combines business and leadership courses with an aviation area of concentration, such as air traffic control, aviation maintenance, or professional piloting. Up to 60 credits can be transferred into the program, and students can complete the degree in as little as two years.

Rank 3
Lynn University
Boca Raton, FL

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management, Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management degree from Lynn University provides students with a foundation in both the business and piloting sides of the aviation industry. The program can be completed 100% online, or students can use their elective courses to obtain their license and ratings. Flight training takes place at the Burton D. Morgan College of Aeronautics facility in the Boca Raton Airport in Florida.

Rank 4
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Oshkosh, WI

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh is a 100% online and accelerated degree program that can be completed in as little as two years. The program is designed for students with previous aviation experience and focuses on developing advanced skills in leadership and administration. Coursework integrates aviation law, airline production management and analysis methods for aviation and aerospace systems.

Rank 5
Hampton University
Hampton, VA

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management (Airport Administration) from Hampton University is a 122-credit hour online program designed to prepare students for managerial positions at airports. The program emphasizes developing a sound philosophy, strong sense of ethics, and effective problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Rank 6
Central Washington University
Ellensburg, WA

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management from Central Washington University is designed for students with a passion for the combined art and science of aviation. The program provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary for a variety of administrative and management positions in the aviation community, including maintenance management positions. The program is fully accredited and students have access to the most up-to-date flight simulation equipment on the West Coast.

Rank 7
University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, ND

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Studies at University of North Dakota is an online program that is perfect for students who need a flexible schedule. The asynchronous classes mean that students do not have to attend class at a set time, and can learn anywhere at any time. The program is also very affordable, with in-state tuition rates regardless of your legal residency.

Rank 8
Purdue University Global
West Lafayette, IN

Purdue University Global’s Bachelor of Science in Aviation is a degree designed in collaboration with Purdue’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology. The degree provides students with a broad perspective of the aviation industry, from understanding aircraft to managing aviation operations. All of the degree’s required courses in aviation and general education are 100% online, giving students the flexibility to balance their studies and flight training with their life.

Rank 9
Middle Georgia State University
Macon, GA

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Science and Management from Middle Georgia State University is designed to prepare students for careers in aviation and airport management. The program combines coursework in aviation business with a strong foundation in aviation science. Students in the program will take courses in aviation meteorology, safety, regulations, and law, as well as airport planning and construction, and airport operations and security.

Rank 10
Liberty University
Lynchburg, VA

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management from Liberty University is designed for students who want to enter or continue in the field of aviation, but are unable to meet flight credential requirements. The 100% online program allows students to transfer in more of their aviation training and develop a working knowledge of aircraft regulations, aviation technologies, aviation safety programs, and aviation management concepts. The program also includes a capstone project that allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills to solve real-world aviation business problems.

What to Expect From an Online Bachelor’s in Aviation Management Program

In an online aviation management bachelor’s degree program, students can expect to learn about the business and technical aspects of the aviation industry. The curriculum covers topics such as airport management, aviation law, and aviation safety. Most programs also include an internship component, giving students the opportunity to gain real-world experience in the field.

To succeed in an online aviation management program, students need to be organized and detail-oriented. They should also have strong problem-solving skills. Most programs require students to have at least some experience with aviation, either through work or previous coursework.

Common Aviation Management Courses

The coursework for an aviation management degree will typically include a mix of business and aviation-specific classes. The following is a list of five courses that are often found in an aviation management degree program.

Governance of Aviation Organizations

This course examines the organizational and regulatory environment within which aviation organizations operate. Emphasis is placed on the impact of governmental policies and regulations on aviation organizations, as well as the role of aviation organizations in the formulation of governmental policies and regulations. Topics include the organizational structure of aviation organizations, the role of aviation trade associations, the political process, the economics of aviation, and global aspects of aviation. Upon completion, students should be able to analyze the impact of governmental policies and regulations on aviation organizations and the aviation industry.

Airline Management

This course covers the business aspects of the airline industry. Topics include the organization and operation of airlines, airline marketing, fares and ticketing, airline regulation, and airport management. Upon completion, students should be able to understand the business model of the airline industry and be familiar with the various business functions of an airline.

Air Transport Economics

This course covers economic principles applied to the air transport industry. Topics include demand, supply, and market equilibrium in the context of the airline industry; the impact of government regulation on the airline industry; game theory and its application to the airline industry; and the economic principles of pricing, yield management, and capacity planning. Upon completion, students should be able to apply economic principles to the airline industry and understand the impact of government regulation on the industry.

Aviation Safety

This course covers the study of aviation safety, including the history of aviation accidents and incidents, human factors in aviation safety, the aviation safety management system, and safety regulation and compliance. Emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of how to manage an aviation safety program and how to apply safety principles in the aviation industry. Upon completion, students should be able to apply aviation safety principles to real-world aviation scenarios and develop and implement an aviation safety program.

Airport Planning

This course covers the principles and practices of airport planning, development, and management. Topics include airport classification, site selection, land acquisition, layout and design, environmental impact, financing, and operation and maintenance. Upon completion, students should be able to identify the various types of airports, apply the principles of airport planning and design, and explain the impact of environmental regulations on airport development.

Career Options for Aviation Management Graduates

Graduates of aviation management programs work in a variety of industries, including aviation, transportation, and logistics. They may also work in fields such as customer service, sales, and marketing.

Airport Operations Manager

Airport operations managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of an airport. This can include managing personnel, overseeing security, handling customer service issues, and dealing with any operational problems that may arise. Airport operations managers must have a thorough understanding of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations and how they apply to the specific airport they are managing. They also need to be able to effectively communicate with a variety of people, including airport staff, airline representatives, and members of the public.

Director of Maintenance

The director of maintenance is responsible for the upkeep of a company’s facilities and equipment. This can include HVAC systems, electrical wiring, plumbing, and more. The director of maintenance works with a team of technicians to ensure that all systems are running smoothly and that any issues are fixed in a timely manner. In some cases, the director of maintenance may also be responsible for scheduled maintenance and repairs, as well as preventive maintenance.

Airport Manager

Airport managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of an airport. This can include everything from overseeing the maintenance of the facility to managing the security staff to working with airlines to ensure flights are on schedule. In larger airports, the manager may oversee a team of assistant managers who each have their own areas of responsibility. Airport managers typically have a background in aviation, business, or management.

Aviation Consultant

Aviation consultants work with clients in the aviation industry to help them improve their operations. This can include anything from developing new business strategies to streamlining processes to improving customer service. Aviation consultants typically have a background in aviation themselves, whether it’s working as a pilot, in airport management, or in another role in the industry. They use their knowledge of the industry to help their clients achieve their specific goals.

Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers work in air traffic control towers, approach control facilities, or route centers. They direct aircraft in and out of busy airspace, keeping planes a safe distance apart. Air traffic controllers use radar, radios, and computers to do their job. They must be able to think quickly and make decisions in an instant.

Insights From an Aviation Management Graduate

Emilee Tanner is an Air Traffic Controller at the Federal Aviation Administration. She has a bachelor’s degree in aviation management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Emilee has over 10 years of experience in air traffic control.

ClimbtheLadder: How did you make the most of your Aviation Management degree program so that it prepared you for post-graduation jobs?

Emilee Tanner: The most important thing I did was get involved in as many extracurricular activities as I could. I joined the student aviation association and the women in aviation club. I also did an internship every summer. My internships were in air traffic control, which was my eventual career path.

I would advise students to get involved in activities related to their desired career path. If you can’t find anything related to your desired career path, get involved in something that requires leadership. For example, I was president of the student aviation association. This showed employers that I had leadership experience.

ClimbtheLadder: What should students interested in Aviation Management be good at?

Emilee Tanner: Students interested in aviation management should be good at multitasking, have quick reflexes, and be able to think on their feet. They should also have a good understanding of aircraft and how they work.

ClimbtheLadder: Was there anything about your Aviation Management program that you didn’t expect or anticipate?

Emilee Tanner: I expected my Aviation Management program to be full of people who were passionate about aviation, and it was. I didn’t expect the program to be so challenging. I had to take classes in aviation law, air traffic control, aviation weather, and more. The program was very demanding, but it was also very rewarding.


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