Although not necessary to get a job as an aviation maintenance technician, getting a college degree may be something you’ve considered. While all it takes is a FAA certified trade school to start out your career in aviation maintenance, there are certain steps you can take afterwards to further your education. One of these things is getting your A&P certification. However, if you’ve already gotten your certification, you may be searching for other ways to get ahead in your field. A college degree- whether an associates or bachelor- could be your next step.
Do Your Research
The first step you need to take before coming to any kind of decision is doing your research. There are plenty of jobs in the aviation field that you will be able to get without any higher education beyond aviation maintenance technician (AMT) school. There are also many options for you if you have gotten your A&P certification. From freight and cargo shipping to working on historic and vintage aircraft, your A&P certification can open a great many doors for you without the need for college.
If you find an aviation career you think you’d be interested in, do your research! See if a college degree is really a requitement before you put in all of your time and effort. If you’re finding you’re more interested in management positions or want to get ahead and stand out from everyone else applying for jobs currently, a college degree could be the way to go.
How to Choose Your Degree/Major
Alright, so you’ve found a potential career that does require a college degree. How do you find the degree or major that’s right for not only you but your career? First determine the appropriate level of education you’ll need. Your options include:
- Associate degree (2 years)
- Bachelor’s degree (4 years)
You can choose to just get your 2-year associate degree, or you can even begin with it and then later choose to transition it to a 4-year bachelor’s degree with more difficult courses. However, you can also choose to just jump right into the 4-year bachelor’s.
Whichever route you decide, you will most likely want a science degree. Whether it is an Associate of Science (AS), Associate of Applied Science (AAS), or a Bachelor of Science (BS), science degrees will emphasize math, science, and the technical know-how of performing a job. An Associate of Science degree is usually used as an educational foundation for those who want to transfer on to 4-year colleges. However, an Associate of Applied Science prepares students to immediately enter a career after their graduation.
Another degree option for those seeking higher education is a Bachelors in General Studies (BGS). Instead of having a focus on science and math like a AS, AAS, or BS, a BGS incorporates the liberal arts and sciences to help students learn problem-solving skills, tactful communication, and how to form supported and persuasive arguments.
No matter what degree path you choose, make sure it is the best choice for not only you but the career path you wish to follow. Similar to getting you A&P certification, different career paths will require different education levels from you.
Advantages of a Degree
Beyond just being able to add a college degree to your resume, there are many advantages to continuing your education.
Enhance your professional skills
What you learn in college can also help to enhance your professional skills: from writing papers to interacting with the higher-ups.
Grow your ability to manage responsibilities
Especially if you are going to school and working at the same time, college offers you the chance to become better at managing your time and your responsibilities.
Increased chance of management roles
Management opportunities are more likely to be offered to someone with a higher level of education. The papers and presentations required of you in college will also help to prepare you for the amount of paperwork management positions often entail.
Help you stand out
In a growing field like aviation maintenance, a college degree can help you stand out from the crowd. However, if you’re not looking to go to college but still want to stand out, getting your A&P certification (if you haven’t already) can do this as well.
Increase your value and earning potential
Because you have committed yourself to furthering your education, this increases your value to companies. It shows that you are dedicated to your work.
College isn’t for everyone and it isn’t even required for many of the positions that airlines are trying to fill in the aircraft maintenance sector. However, if you’re looking for an associate’s degree to get you ahead of the crowd, NCI may be able to help! We offer an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Aviation Technology. This is a 2-year program that provides students with a general undergraduate education with a foundation in aviation. It will also help students qualify for a wide variety of careers in the Aviation/Aerospace industry right after graduation. If you’re looking to get ahead and be competitive for advancement or promotion, contact NCI today!