The AAS Aviation Airplane and Helicopter programs train students to work as professional pilots in the air transportation industry. Career paths with this degree include the following: commercial pilot, pilot for a private corporation, charter pilot, and flight instructor to new student pilots.

The AAS Aviation Airplane and Helicopter programs are designed to produce high-quality graduates who are prepared to enter the industry as aviation pilots. This field offers high-wage careers that are global in scope. The AAS Aviation Airplane or Helicopter degree provides students with the mandatory flight hours along with industry-specified instruction.

Instruction takes place primarily in a one-to-one student-to-instructor learning environment to ensure that students acquire the academic knowledge necessary to be a safe pilot and to pass the FAA knowledge exams. Federal Aviation Regulations 14 CFR parts 61 and 141 set forth the qualifications, testing, and certification requirements for pilots, flight instructors, and ground instructors.

For more information regarding credentialing and accreditation please see the Accreditation page.

This program may provide prior learning credit and extended learning opportunities for persons previously or currently employed in related professions.

For more information see the Credit for Prior Learning page.

Available Degrees and Certificates with Curriculum Maps

Associate of Applied Science


What are the program admission requirements?

Candidates considering the Aviation program should contact the Aviation Program Director at 541-880-2263. The program has special admission requirements, and the Aviation Program Director will forward the application to interested candidates. The application has a number of requirements that must be satisfied before the candidate will be admitted into the program. If some of the requirements are not completed, a prospective aviation student may start introductory aviation classes, but a student must be accepted into the aviation program before they can begin ground and flight courses. All applicants who are accepted into the program will receive an orientation.

What are the flight/ground hours per course?


What is the difference between a commercial and a private pilot?

Commercial pilots get paid for the flying they do. This could be with an airline or as a charter pilot. Private pilots fly more as a hobby. There are far more restrictions on where and when a private pilot can fly, but commercial pilots have far more regulations to follow.

What kind of pilot certificates are there?

The FAA lists several types of pilot certificates:
  • Recreational pilot: Recreational pilots can only fly less than 50 nautical miles from their departure airport, during the day, and must stay clear of controlled airports.
  • Private pilot: Private pilots can fly any aircraft in their allowed category. They are allowed to fly at night and at controlled airports.
  • Student pilot: Student pilots must be at least 16 years old. They are allowed to fly solo.
  • Sport pilot: Sport pilots can only fly light aircraft at low altitudes in their local area.
  • Commercial pilot: Commercial pilots are allowed to be paid for flying services. There are additional regulations for commercial pilots.
  • Flight instructor: Flight instructors learn more in depth information about aviation. They are allowed to teach others.
  • Airline transport pilot: This certification allows pilots to fly commercial airliners. It is the most advanced pilot certification that one can earn.

Careers in Aviation

Median Annual Salary

  • United States:
  • Oregon State:
  • Klamath  Region:

2021-2031 Employment Projection

21.2% Growth

Entry Level Educational Requirements:

Associate Degree

Prospective Jobs

Commercial pilot Helicopter pilot Pilot for a private corporation
Charter pilot Flight instructor EMS pilot

All data was gathered from the State of Oregon Employment Department and Bureau of Labor Statistics
Data is provided for a commercial pilot position. For a different employment forecast please visit the State of Oregon Employment Department.

Contact Aviation

Anddrea Postma
Aviation Program Director