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The Education Needed to Become A Helicopter Pilot

Posted: May 12, 2020 | Author: Jaidyn Crookston | Read Time: 5 minutes

Helicopter EducationIf you've thought about becoming a helicopter pilot, or the idea of seeing cool places every day and getting paid for it appeals to you, then you've come to the right place. The helicopter industry is booming and more and more helicopter pilot jobs are becoming available every year.

If you want to be a part of this industry, it's important to know the details about becoming a pilot before you take the leap to flight school. One important thing to know before making your dream a reality is how much education is needed to be a helicopter pilot. 

Today's world puts a lot of emphasis on getting an education. It's a common idea that you need an education to be successful, but is that true when it comes to helicopter pilots?

The answer to this question depends largely on what you aim to do with a helicopter pilot's license. If your goal is simply to have your pilot's license and you don't plan to get a job flying helicopters, then no, you won't need to seek a formal education or get a degree. All you'll need to do is go to flight school and get your license, possibly in as little as a few months.

If you want to get paid to fly helicopters you'll need to attend a flight school and possibly get either an associate or a bachelor's degree. Not all helicopter jobs will require formal education or a degree, and not all flight schools will offer a degree with your license. However, as the aviation industry grows, it's becoming more common for potential employers to favor a degree, especially for management positions. Not only will having a degree put you above the competition when it comes time to find a job, you'll also have more experience and flight hours than someone who didn't earn a degree with their license.

The benefits of getting a university degree:

  • You'll be above the competition when applying for a job
  • You'll have a degree, which looks great on resumes and applications
  • You'll have better chances for promotion and more job opportunities
  • In the end, you'll probably make more money than you would without a university degree

Benefits of getting an education for helicopter pilots

In order to earn a degree with your license, you'll need to attend a flight school that's attached to a university. By attending a university flight school, you'll graduate with your helicopter pilot's license and multiple certifications, as well as an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree.

Many university flight schools offer only an associate degree. If the flight school you're attending offers more than an associate degree, like a bachelor's or even a master's, then you'll need to decide whether you're going to continue your education and get a higher degree or stop with an associate degree.

There are lots of benefits to continuing your education and getting a higher degree. Some of those benefits are:

  • More flight hours
  • Chance of a CFI job
  • Advanced training
  • More experience

If you continue on to earn a bachelor's degree, then you may be able to get a job as a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) while still in school. This means that you could be teaching others to fly and earning money while still building flight hours yourself. Plus, since you'll still be a student, you'll be eligible for continued financial aid and won't have to pay your loans back until after you graduate, giving you more time to earn money and become financially stable. Being a CFI is a great way to earn more flight hours and gain experience and is a common first job for new helicopter pilots.

Education needed to be a helicopter pilotMany flight schools that offer a bachelor's degree also offer advanced training. Having advanced training in areas like external load, night vision goggles, mountain operations, and turbine transition will prepare you for the industry and qualify you to fly in any situation. Employers love to see advanced training on a resume and it may help you get a high paying job.

By earning a degree now, you're setting yourself up for more success in the future. If you ever want to hold a management position for a helicopter company, having a degree will help you get those positions.

By taking the time now to earn a degree and build your flight hours, you'll be able to jump into the aviation industry quicker and more successfully than a pilot without a degree. This is because getting a degree will uniquely prepare you for the challenges and obstacles that many new pilots face when they enter the industry. These challenges include finding your first job, building your resume, getting your flight hours, and finding a high paying helicopter pilot job, not to mention all the flight-specific challenges you'll face.

If getting a degree sounds right to you, then consider SUU Aviation. SUU Aviation is part of Southern Utah University, a four year accredited university. When you train with SUU Aviation, you'll come away with an Associate of Applied Science degree (with an emphasis on either rotor or fixed wing) or a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) degree. This BIS degree allows you to customize your degree by declaring two emphases, one in aviation and one in another field of your choice. You can also get a master's degree at SUU Aviation, which is the only university flight school to offer a flight emphasis as part of a master's degree program.

With your bachelor's degree, you'll graduate with over 200 flight hours and advanced training that will prepare you to fly in any situation. This will put you above the competition and help you land those coveted high paying aviation jobs. SUU Aviation is the biggest university helicopter program, and it's the perfect place for you to learn to fly.


Produced by SUU Aviation

Contact SUU Aviation today to come in for a tour of our hangar and see our fleet. If you have any questions about getting a university degree or about aviation training in general, feel free to request information. Take a step towards earning your degree and becoming a pilot by applying to SUU Aviation today!

Tags: Aviation

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