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Aviation Curriculum Programs

Aviation Curriculum Programs


Overview of A-B Tech's aviation curriculum programs


For information about A-B Tech's aviation programs, go to abtech.edu/aviation.

Available Programs

A-B Tech offers the following aviation programs. For more information about one of these programs, click on the individual program below:

The A.A.S. programs are designed to be completed in two years (two Fall semesters, two Spring semesters, and one Summer semester). Certificate programs will be offered “a la carte,” meaning that Certificate program courses can be taken by students looking for a pilot refresher course or by students who only intend on obtaining on or more of the certificates.  

Program Description


The Aviation Management and Career Pilot Technology A.A.S. programs prepare individuals for a variety of aviation and aviation-related careers, including the commercial airlines, general aviation, the aerospace industry, the military, and state and federal aviation organizations.


Coursework includes fundamentals of flight, aerodynamics, aircraft performance, meteorology, navigation, federal regulations, aviation management, and instrument and commercial ground training. Optional coursework includes flight and simulator training or business management training.


Graduates will hold a commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating or specialize in aviation management. Graduates may find employment as commercial, corporate, and military pilots, fixed base operators and airport managers, flight instructors, and flight dispatcher.


The program will be FAA part 141 approved, meaning the program will meet and exceed minimum qualifications to offer strict, standardized, and nationally-accredited education.

Ground School vs. Flight School

A-B Tech will offer all ground school courses, and WNC Aviation (or the flight school of the student’s choice) will provide all flight training.  


These programs will be “open enrollment” programs, meaning that interested students should follow the general College enrollment process.


Students entering the A.A.S. program will be required to complete placement in both math and English.

Students will not be required to place into college-level courses on their placement tests. Rather, students placing into developmental courses may still be able to complete the degree in two years and take Aviation (AER) courses while completing developmental math and English courses.

FAA Requirements for Pilots

The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has certain requirements for becoming a pilot, which can be found on the FAA website.

Cost Estimate

Below is a breakdown of estimated costs associated with the Aviation Management and Career Pilot Technology A.A.S. program (Note: Students pursuing Aviation Management and not flight training will not need pilot supplies or have flight training costs.)

Type of Cost Estimated Cost Over Two Years
Tuition $4,719 (subject to change by State Legislature)

$237 (subject to change by State Legislature)

Pilot Supplies (headset, charts, flight computer, flight bag, etc.) $1,500
Books $1,200–$2,500
Flight Training $39,800
Total for Career Pilot Students $47,456–$48,756
Total for Aviation Management Students $6,156–$7,456


Financial Assistance

There will be three main types of financial assistance for the Aviation Management and Career Pilot Technology A.A.S. programs:

  • For courses at A-B Tech, students will likely have traditional financial aid options, such as Pell Grants, state grants, Federal Direct Loans, and scholarships (pending approval from the U.S. Dept. of Education).
  • Military veterans with the Post 9/11 GI Bill may be eligible to receive up to 100% of the costs covered for both Aviation Management and Career Pilot Technology (including flight training costs).
  • Civilian (non-military) flight students will have options for flight training loans through Pilot Finance, traditional student loans through most banks, and flight scholarships.

Why Pursue This Program

Below are some of the main reasons to pursue the Aviation Management and Career Pilot Technology A.A.S. program:

  • Between now and 2029, there will be a pilot shortage of approximately 35,000 jobs nationally and over 200,000 jobs world-wide. Therefore, aviation-related jobs will be plentiful for the next 15+ years.
  • As of 2012, the median annual salary was approximately $98,000 for airline/commercial pilots, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
  • The program has something to offer all interest levels, regardless if you are only seeking a private pilot license or wanting to pursue a career as a civilian or military pilot.
  • All Aviation (AER) courses will be taken at A-B Tech South on Airport Rd. in Arden, just minutes away from WNC Aviation at the Asheville Regional Airport.
  • Traditional face-to-face classes offer maximum attention and thorough understanding of knowledge while moving through the coursework at an appropriate pace.
  • For Career Pilot students, the cost of obtaining your private pilot, instrument rating, and commercial pilot license is significantly less than competing flight schools in the region and, in many cases, in the nation.

Additional Questions

For additional questions about aviation curriculum programs and courses, contact Timothy Anderson, Chair of Aviation Management and Career Pilot Technology, at (828) 782-2626 or timothypanderson@abtech.edu.

For aviation classes within our Continuing Education Division (Aerospace and Structural Composites classes), contact Andy McNeal at (828) 398-7931.


Key Words: aviation, flight, pilot, pilot's license, pilots, airplane, airplanes, private pilot, instrument rating, commercial pilot, AER, FAA
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