Troy University is offering students a quicker path to becoming a commercial pilot.
The University’s Aviation Operations (Flight) minor gives flight school students the ability to simultaneously earn credits toward their TROY academic degrees, allowing students to earn up to 18 equivalent hours of credit by completing flight classes and earning Federal Aviation Administration certification.
“This is a great opportunity for interested students to receive academic credit for their flight training,” said Dr. Hal Fulmer, Associate Provost and Dean of first-year and undergraduate studies. “The current consensus among industry individuals is that there is now, and will continue to be, a need for trained pilots. The Av Ops (Flight) minor pairs well with most, if not all, of the Troy University undergraduate degree programs that require an academic major paired with an academic minor.”
The minor can be used for any bachelor’s degree that requires a minor for completion.
Flight classes can also be used to create an emphasis within an associate’s degree.
“The University Registrar and I work with the flight school and the student to determine the needed flight classes which will be accepted by the University as equivalent credit,” Fulmer said.
“Aviation is a no-brainer choice for a career right now,” said Greg Sigler, Sky Warrior vice president. “There are projected to be about 780,000 aviation jobs over next 20 to 25 years. A lot of traditional aviation schools are maxed out right now. As long as you’re doing the right things and have earned the right rating, it’s not that you might get hired, you absolutely will get hired and be an airline pilot.”
Sigler explained that an aging generation of pilots has created a need that must be addressed.
“These are high-paying jobs, and aviation has exploded around the world, with not enough pilots to match that growth,” Sigler said.
Most airlines require four-year college degrees in order to become pilots, Sigler said, making TROY’s arrangement a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.
Students can use their flight classes to earn credits toward their bachelor’s degree.
Furthermore, upper classmen can make money as flight instructors at Sky Warrior.
“Your junior and senior year, you’ll still maybe work for a rating or two, but we’ll pay you $20 to $25 an hour to teach the undergrad classes,” Sigler said. “You’re working toward a rating and getting paid to do it.”
Fulmer said students can complete the Av Ops minor or emphasis in fixed wing (airplanes) or rotary (helicopters) but not in combination. Both flight areas require specific training to complete the Av Ops minor or emphasis.
“It does take a level of dedication, but if anyone’s had a thought of being an airline pilot, they can achieve that,” Sigler said.