Study aviation in the USA: Guide on how to become a pilot in the USA !

Study aviation in the USA - Guide on how to become a pilot in the USA !

Studying aviation is one of the best educational and career paths you may ever take! Choosing your aviation study destination to become a pilot is also very important to your learning quality and future opportunities. That is why studying aviation courses in the USA is an endless door of possibilities and advantages for international students who would like to become a pilot in the USA or any other country around the world.   

In this article, we are going to provide you with all necessary information to study aviation in the USA as an international student. From the requirements, cost, aviation schools in the US and aviation courses, to scholarships that can help you to finance your studies and get closer to your dream.

Reasons to study aviation in the USA

Are you an international student seeking high-quality aviation courses? The United States of America is considered as one of the greatest aviation study destinations.

Would you like  to know why? Here are the 5 main reasons why studying aviation and becoming a pilot in the USA  is a significant advantage over studying elsewhere:

1. High-quality education

Most of the aviation schools in the US only hire the best competent professors and instructors. They are usually either retired aviation professionals or mechanics who have always made aviation their specialty. 

In addition, The United States has some of the oldest and best flight schools in the world. As a result, it’s considered as number one destination for international students to become pilots, 

2. Latest aircraft equipment

The majority of aviation schools in the US have high-quality training aircraft. They are well-known for their maintaining a functional and safe fleet that can guarantee you quality resources and safety during your flight training.

Not to mention that all US aviation schools are globally recognized following high standards. In addtion, they are accredited by the majority of flight schools worldwide.

3. Successful career path

Owning an aviation certificate from the USA is a winning card! With a worldwide recognized aviation certificates, most airlines companies would consider your application over other applicants. Why! Because they are aware that the student has received extensive and proper training in all aviation fields.

4. Mastering the English Communications 

When it comes to becoming a successful pilot, Communication is one of the most important skills. As pilots have to communicate with the control tower and other pilots, and English language is the de facto international language of civil aviation. Therefore, becoming a pilot in the US will help you to master the language of aviation!

5. Networking

Professors and flight instructors at flight schools and universities in the USA are experts with a rich history of working in this field. This will help you benefit from their experience and networking to work for the best airlines around the world.

Check also: Study Aviation in Canada: pilot license requirements, cost, and more! 

Requirements to study aviation in the USA

Requirements to study aviation in the USA

If you wish to study aviation in the USA as an international student, there are some requirements and conditions to be fulfilled before: 

  • You must be at least 17 years old.
  • Have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • Securing an FAA medical certificate. It is a basic physical examination to determine your health and fitness.
  • A copy of your passport.
  • You need to have sufficient funds since studying aviation in the US is quite expensive.
  • Some US universities may require other tests like SAT or ACT scores. 
  • If you would like to enroll in an aviation degree, you need an English proficiency test, either the IELTS or TOEFL.

Note: No probelm if the student does not have an English certificate. As we can either provide him a conditional acceptance or be given the option to study English in the US before starting his/her training to become a pilot.  

Check: Ultimate Guide to Study at The University Of South Florida USF

What is the cost of studying aviation in the USA?

The cost of studying aviation in the USA totally depends on the flight school or university and the program chosen. 

On average, the total cost of studying aviation in the USA for international students ranges from $40,000 to $60,000. This cost usually includes flight training for private pilot license, instrument rating, Commercial pilot license and multi-engine rating. 

Getting the previous licenses will put you on the right path to become a pilot in the USA. 

Aviation Degree Programs for international students to become a pilot in the USA

Aviation Degree Programs for international students to become a pilot in the USA

It is true that becoming a pilot in the USA is never simple since it requires a lot of hard work and extensive ground and flight training. However, being a pilot is an extremely fulfilling career choice that may catapult your professional dreams to new heights.

To start your path, here is a list of the top aviation courses in the USA: 

1. Bachelor of Aviation

It is the most common aviation degree and often involves studies in engineering, electronics, and flying aircraft. This degree often lasts 4-6 years and might include additional flying instruction and other activities if needed.

So, by pursuing an aviation bachelor degree, you will end up with full commercial pilot certification upon completion. Not to mention that it is the most required and favored aviation four-year degree by the majority of commercial airlines.

2. Bachelor of Science in Aviation Technology

Aviation technology programs involve a significant amount of flight training, aircraft maintenance, and aircraft systems operation. 

This degree will provide you with everything you need to become a pilot. However, the certificate that you can get from BS in aviation technology varies, so you have to choose a program that suits your ambitions the best.

3. Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering

BS in aerospace engineering does not prepare you directly to be a pilot. However, it is one of the favorable aviation degrees in the field.

It is a time-consuming path, but it will open up your potential career options more than any other aviation degree. Onve you finish your studies, you’ll still need to undergo extensive training before becoming a pilot in the US.

4. Bachelor of Aeronautical Science

If you choose this degree, you will learn how to construct entire aircraft. This degree is for those who want to work in aircraft maintenance, new airplane parts engineering, or even air traffic control.

So pursuing a degree in aeronautical science will not prepare you to be a pilot since it never physically teach you how to fly. However, it will offer up a range of new job opportunities that aviation students would not have access to.

5. Bachelor of Science in Air Traffic Management

BS in air traffic management is the right degree to take for those who want to be an air traffic controller. If you decide to switch and start piloting aircraft, you will receive preferential treatment over applicants with basic degrees in aviation.

6. Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management

The majority of those who pursue this degree end up working as aviation managers. However, you will be in the right place if you decide to change careers and become a pilot.

7. Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance

This degree is a primary way to master the fundamentals of aircraft operation. You can also switch your career to be a pilot later on if you want to.  

How long Does it Take to Become a Pilot in the USA?

The duration of the study of aviation in the USA for international students varies depending on the pilot license chosen. Technically, it will take:

  • Between 1-3 months of training to get a private pilot license.
  • 3-9 months of ground school and flight training to get the Commercial Pilot license.
  • 2-4 months to get an instrument rating license. 
  • 2-4 weeks to get a multi-engine rating license.
  • To become an airline pilot, it takes at least 3 years to finish your flight training and to gain the required 1,500 hours of flight experience. 
  • While aviation degrees (ex. bachelor’s degree in aviation) in the USA take between 3-4 years. 

Aviation schools to become a pilot in the USA

Deciding what aviation school you are going to is the second important step after choosing your program. Therefore, this section will provide you with the best list of aviation schools and universities in the USA for international students: 

  • Eastern Kentucky University.
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
  • Ohio State University.
  • University of North Dakota.
  • Utah State University.
  • ​​Florida Institute of Technology.

Check: Top College Majors in the US 

Study aviation at the Eastern Kentucky University in the USA

Study aviation at the Eastern Kentucky University in the USA

Eastern Kentucky University is one of the best aviation schools in the USA and it welcomes international students to be part of its aviation community. 

International students who earn an aviation license from EKU can look forward to a bright future. As EKU alumni are recognized for their consistent performance in their areas, whether as pilots or in other aviation corporate and commercial sectors.

Students can directly choose an aviation course when they apply to EKU. However, if you want to skip basic and developmental mathematics classes, make sure you have a minimum ACT score of 22. 

Here are the most important aviation courses that are offered at the Eastern Kentucky University in the USA for international students: 

  • B.S. in Aviation, Aerospace Management concentration.
  • Bachelor in Aviation, Professional Flight concentration.
  • B.S. in Aviation, Aerospace Technology concentration.

See also: How much does it cost to study in California?

The cost of studying aviation at Eastern Kentucky University

Studying a four-year aviation course at EKU will cost a total of $52,000. You will also need to complete certain flying training hours besides the academic curriculum.

Roughly, you will need to complete 1000 flying hours to get a commercial pilot license with either single or multi-engine with total expenses of $45,000 USD for full flying hours.

Check this table for more information:

  Training  Cost  Total Cost 
Private Pilot   Private Pilot- SEL Ground  $ 375, Curriculum  Total: $ 8,435 
Private Pilot-SEL Flight I  $ 3,640, 20 Flight Hrs 
Private Pilot- SEL Flight II  $ 4,420, 1 Sim Hrs/25 Flight Hrs 
Instrument rating  Instrument Pilot-SEL Ground  $ 825, 5 Sim Hrs/Curriculum  Total: $ 8,435 
Instrument Pilot- SEL Flight I  $ 2,836, 5 Sim Hrs/13 Flight Hrs 
Instrument Pilot-SEL Flight II  $ 4,858, 5 Sim Hrs/24 Flight Hrs 
Commercial Pilot  Commercial Pilot-Ground  $ 375, Curriclum  Total: $ 8,519 
Commercial Pilot-SEL Flight I  $ 5,124, 32 Flight Hrs 
Commercial Pilot-SEL Flight II  $ 3,970, 25 Flight Hrs 
Commercial Pilot-SEL Flight III  $ 4,636, 28 Flight Hrs 
Commercial Pilot-SEL Flight IV  $ 6,518, 39 Flight Hrs 
Multi-engine Rating  Multi-Engine Ground  $ 690, 6 Sim Hrs/Curriculum  Total: $ 9,980 
Commercial Pilot Multi-Engine Flight  $ 690, 6 Sim Hrs/Curriculum 
Certified flight instructor  CFI Ground  $ 300, Curriculum  Total: $ 4,244 
Certified Flight Instructor  $ 3,944, 5 Sim Hrs/17 Flight Hrs 
Total flight fee costs to meet EKU Graduation & FAA Restricted-ATP 1,000 Hour Requirements  Flight Fee Total: $ 51,801 

Additionally, the yearly cost of resident fees, housing, and living expenditures in the US state of Kentucky is around $10,000.

Check: Becoming a doctor in the US: How long is medical school in the US?

Scholarships to study aviation in the USA

There are some aviation awards scholarships every year offered by Eastern Kentucky University. However, the scholarships may not all be open to applicants at the same time. So you will need to check the deadline for each before they close.  

  • AirMart Non-Endowed Aviation Scholarship.
  • H. Lee Moore Jr. Scholarship.
  • Patricia Eidson Memorial Scholarship.
  • Robert L. “Bob” Erekson Scholarship in Aviation.
  • Tag Veal Memorial Scholarship.

There are also other scholarships and financial aid for international students.with their study costs or even with general aviation school expenses. We will list some of them here and you can also refer to SCHOLARSHIPS.COM to search for more other opportunities. 

1. AAAE Native Americans Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 27th of February. 
  • Amount: $1,500.

2. Air Line Pilots Association Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 1st of May.
  • Amount: $12,000.

3. Alaska Airmen Scholarships

  • Application Deadline: 1st of February
  • Amount: Varies

4. Austin McWhite Foundation Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 2nd of April.
  • Amount: Varies

5. National Aviation Explorer Scholarships

  • Application Deadline: 31th of May.
  • Amount: $10,000.

6. Zonta International Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 31th of March.
  • Amount: $10,000.

Aviation career paths in the US

If you would like to study aviation in the USA, graduates of the professional aviation program in the US work in a variety of fields, including:

  • Airline and Commercial Pilot.
  • Flight Attendant.
  • Air Traffic Controller.
  • Engineer.
  • Aviation Maintenance Technician.
  • Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians.
  • Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians.

How can I get admission to flight school in the USA?

If you are interested in achieving your dream by joining an American aviation university and becoming a pilot in the US, we are here to help! We can ensure your seat in one of the best aviation schools in the USA and Eastern Kentucky University is on the top of our recommendations.

All you have to do is to fill up your request now by clicking on the box below. Later on, one of our advisors will contact you within 24 hours to guide you and assist you in all procedures!

Send us your request now and let us help you plan and prepare for your dream university.

Check: FAQ about studying in the USA for international students

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