When preparing for the future and considering a career path, the aviation industry offers a wide variety of occupational opportunities and an abundant number of training courses to choose from. Many of these courses are just the right start to provide a student with the skills needed for an entry-level position and a well-paying job. Other programs may advance him or her to a more senior role in the aviation field. From trade schools and colleges to airlines and manufacturers; from the growing need for pilots and Aviation Maintenance Technicians/A & P Mechanics, the sectors that play a major role in the aviation industry are civil, commercial and military aviation, including aircraft manufacturers and a variety of other companies. In raising student awareness toward aviation as a strong, viable career choice, the collective efforts of parents, technical schools, educational institutions, and industry stakeholders, along with primary schools, high school administrators, and counselors can effectively be the formula that launches a successful, lifelong career in the aviation industry.
Aviation High School (AHS)
Located in Long Island City, is a uniquely specialized, co-educational high school that provides a challenging and supportive environment for students of every background. AHS’ well-rounded academic program includes the arts, language, physical education, science, and rigorous technical instruction and access to Federal Administration curricula that prepares students to successfully earn an FAA certification as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician, as well as college or other aviation-related careers.
Industry partnerships include Delta, the FAA, Federal Express, Jet Blue, Mach II, Panasonic, Vaughn College, Port Authority of NY & NJ, and Rockwell Collins. Aviation High School has been recognized as one of the best high schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Western Suffolk BOCES
Western Suffolk BOCES school of Aviation Maintenance Technology is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and offers a 1,910 Hour AMT program that helps students to become an FAA-certified Airframe and Powerplant Technician. BOCES offers small classes, state-of-the-art equipment and highly qualified instructors. Those who satisfactorily complete the AMT course are eligible to take the FAA exam for FAA licenses in Airframe and Powerplant. The school is located at Wilson Tech’s Republic Airport Campus in Farmingdale, NY.
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Ranking among the country’s Top 2022 U.S. News & World Report Regional Colleges and Universities in the North, Vaughn College, located in Flushing, New York, is one of only four colleges with an ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology)-approved Mechatronic Engineering program in the United States. Vaughn offers Associate, Bachelor, and Master’s Degrees in Engineering and Technology, Management and Aviation, as well as Certificate and Programs that offer students the opportunity to explore new fields of interest, or that take their current education and experience to the next level. Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology also supports students from middle school through high school graduation via its pre-college Opportunity Program, leading into college and through their graduation at Vaughn.
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Fairleigh Dickinson University
For those interested in administrative careers in the aviation industry, New Jersey’s Fairleigh Dickinson University, School of Public and Global Affairs offers a 39-42 credit graduate program leading to an MPA (Master of Public Administration) that is tailored to furnish graduates with managerial, analytical and conceptual skills for government, transportation, nonprofits, and public service sectors. Expanded course options include security, terrorism, and crisis management. A specialization in Global Transportation Management is also offered at FDU’s off-campus Newark and JFK International Airport sites.
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Global Aviation Training Academy
Global Aviation Training Academy, located at Long Island MacArthur Airport, Ronkonkoma, NY, offers a 200-hour FAA-approved Aircraft Dispatcher Certification training course. Aircraft dispatchers are employed by major airlines to exercise operational control for all scheduled flights and they work with many departments and personnel in an airline to manage a flight’s safe, on-time departure and arrival. Upon course completion, students are fully prepared for the FAA Aircraft Dispatcher Certification exam.
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York College CUNY Aviation Institute
York College CUNY Aviation Institute offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management and a Master in Aviation management program that prepares graduates for mid and upper-level executive positions and FAA Dispatcher Certification. The curriculum is informed by recommendations from the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI).
According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), from 2020 to 2030 the employment of commercial pilots is forecast to grow approximately 13 percent, faster than the average for all occupations. Yet, a pilot shortage looms on the horizon due to the exit of an aging pilot population with mandatory retirement at age 65, early pilot retirement as a result of the pandemic, fewer new pilots out of the military and a decline of interest in the career. While sharp declines in business and leisure travel occurred because of COVID-19 restrictions and its impact on the airline industry’s massive staff furloughs and reductions, the demand for air travel is expected to be strong in the coming years due to a surge in post-pandemic air travel. The demand for pilots is alarming and has led flight schools and major airlines to vigorously recruit and train a new generation of commercial pilots to fill the shortage.
There are many flight training resources in the Greater NY/NJ area. Flight Safety International, located at the Teterboro Learning Center in New Jersey, has training programs comprised of business and commercial pilot training, and government and military training using full flight simulators and immersive technology in specially designed training environments developed through the expertise of professional and EASA qualified instructors. Amongst Flight Safety’s several non-pilot training programs, is in-depth corporate cabin attendant crewmember training. This training utilizes scenario-based cabin safety exercises in a classroom with special training devices to equip crewmembers with the knowledge and skills needed to efficiently manage any situation, routine, or emergency.
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Flying Helicopters Made Easy
Flying Helicopters Made Easy, located at Republic Airport, Farmingdale, New York offers professional and private helicopter training and services led by professional flight instructors who take their students from ground school, to Private Pilot Rotorcraft and Commercial Pilot Certificates- all the way to becoming a Certified Flight Instructor. Farmingdale Aviation, also located at Republic Airport, offers affordable flight training in order to obtain Private and Commercial licenses, as well as an Instrument Rating.
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ATP Flight Schools
With over 70 training centers across the U.S., ATP Flight Schools offers an Airline Career Pilot Program that provides the training, resources, and airline partnerships needed to become an airline pilot. Starting with zero time, this fixed cost, fast-track program can be completed in seven months and will have you flying as an airline pilot in two years. Locations in the Metro NY/NJ vicinity are at Long Island MacArthur Airport, NY; Morristown Municipal and Trenton Mercer County Airports in New Jersey.
Additionally, many employers have their own training programs for those who make it through their hiring process. The Federal Aviation Administration offers several entry-level careers, training and development programs, and also full-time and internship opportunities for students and college graduates. JetBlue’s Gateway Select program is an innovative talent pathway for those seeking to become pilots with their airline. The Gateway Program is a unique, accessible and cost-effective, competency-based approach to becoming a professional pilot with JetBlue.
Other agencies, such as the Regional Alliance for Small Contractors provide free or low-cost training for communities that may lead to employment with companies inside the airports and train business owners and their employees to become successful in the construction industry.
Whatever the choice for a career in the aviation industry, training resources are aplenty and from there, the sky is the limit. For more information on admissions to these programs see the links below.
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