Fixed Wing Professional Pilot

cockpit and instruments

USU Admissions

Cost Of Attendance

Fleet and Facilities

Internships and Careers

The Aviation Technology - Professional Pilot degree is designed for students who intend to pursue a career as an airline pilot, plan to fly for charter, commuter, or corporate airlines, or who wish to operate their own aviation-related business.

During freshman and sophomore years, students complete courses that develop general flying skills and provide a background in aviation. During junior and senior years, students spend the majority of their time focused on improving flight skills and preparing for careers by taking courses in commercial certification, airline management, aviation law, and more. Over the course of their studies, students will complete approximately 200-250 hours of flight time.

airplane fleet

Frequently Asked Questions

How is USU different from other flight schools?

  • History of Excellence:

Utah State University, then known as Utah State Agricultural College (USAC), began training pilots in 1939, as part of a Civilian Pilot Training program established by the Civil Aeronautics Administration. In 1942, the second Navy Training Station was established at USAC and on March 23 of that year, navy and marine recruits began flight training at the Logan/Cache airport. By 1946, training was offered to prepare civilian students for commercial certifications and both two-year and four-year degrees were offered in what was then called aeronautics. USU continues to meet the demand of the aviation industry while meeting the needs of our students. Read below to find out more about our training and academics.
  • Student Life:  

On campus or off students find a variety of activities to fill their time out of the classroom. Rather it be a loud night in the Spectrum taking in a basketball game, an intramural game on the legacy fields or a quiet hike in the national forest students can spend their time in a variety of ways. If sports and outdoor activities are not your thing, then USU and the city of Logan host a variety of artistic and cultural events including nationally touring productions. You can also find what else campus has to offer here.
  • Part 141 Flight School:

USU is a Part 141 Flight School, which means that it certifies through the FAA its programs. Part 141 sets the standard for the training and safety in USU’s flight program. It gives the student the most comprehensive and total training in the industry. It is also requires USU to comply with specific FAA rules when it comes to safety and preparation, making the Part 141training environment safe.    
  • Location:

USU is located in beautiful Cache Valley, in the city of Logan, UT. Ranked TOP 5 college towns in the U.S.,  Logan has plenty to offer USU students. Only minutes from the Cache National forest, students find many outdoor adventures year round. Logan is also ranked as one of the best places to find a job.
  • Regional Jet Program:  

USU has recently implemented it Regional Jet Program with a CRJ700 simulator. The program includes 2 semesters of ground school and a semester of flying in the CRJ700 simulator. The CRJ700 is same type of aircraft that SkyWest and other regional airlines use in the sky every day. With this advanced training you will be ahead of the game as you will have training in the systems, operating procedures, performance and flight planning of a typical regional airline operation.    

  • SkyWest Bridge Agreement:

 In August 2013, Utah State University Aviation announced a new partnership agreement withSkyWest Airlines, giving professional pilot students the opportunity to become a SkyWest Airlines first officer. Under the new program, professional pilot students who have been hired by USU as certified flight instructors are eligible to apply for the SkyWest Pilot Cadet Program. Students also have the opportunity to gain internships. For more information, click here.

What classes will I take?

Students will take a wide variety of classes. Not only will pilots complete ground schools for each certification, but they will also be required to take classes that will turn them into aviation professionals. Classes include an aviation law course, aviation marketing, aerodynamics, weather classes as well as systems classes. Pilot students sit side by side with maintenance students to get an in depth look at airplanes and how they work through various systems classes, such as hydraulics. These classes will give USU Aviation graduate an advantage during the interview process where they are expected to have extensive knowledge of the type of aircraft the company flies.
Through carefully selected courses, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) prepares students for careers in aviation by building experience and knowledge.

What is the employment outlook?

According to Boeing, the airline industry will need to hire more than one-million workers over the next 20 years to prepare for a wave of 30,000 new aircraft. They estimate that airlines will need to hire 466,650 pilots and 596,500 maintenance crew workers between 2010 and 2029. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts an 11 percent growth rate, as fast as the average growth rate for any occupation, in employment for pilots from 2010 to 2020.  

What is the typical career path of a graduate?

Students will leave USU with 200-250 flight hours. From there they can go on to be flight instructors, give aerial tours, fly skydivers, or light ferry work to build hours. After building the hours needed to obtain an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate many pilots will go on to fly with regional airlines similar to Sky West who, by law, require their new pilots to have 1500 hours. From there it is up to the pilot what they want to achieve: major airline, cargo, or corporate.     

What if I want to be a military pilot?

If you are looking to become a military pilot, USU has an excellent ROTC program. Students in either Army or Air Force ROTC programs will learn leadership and complete field training exercises to prepare them for life as an officer in their future branch of service. USU’s ROTC programs are a great way to get into the cockpit of the most advanced airplanes in the world. 

What organizations are available for students?

The pilot club and NIFA flight team at Utah State University provide students who have an interest in aviation with an environment to interact with fellow aviation enthusiasts. Activities range from social gatherings to professional development trips. There are also several clubs that are not aviation specific but are open to all students. You can find a list here.

What types of airplanes will you fly?

USU’s current fleet consists of Diamond Star 40s (DA40). Which will be flown during your private, instrument, and part of commercial ratings. Diamond Star 42 (DA42) will be used to earn you multi-engine land (MEL) as well as mulit-engine instructor (MEI). Our fleet of Piper Arrows will cover commercial rating; commercial flight instructor (CFI) and (CFII) and students will have an opportunity to get familiar with a Cessna 152 before completing their CFI rating. Flight simulators are also available such as our newly purchased CRJ 700 Ultra and Redbird SD simulator. For more information on our fleet, flight training devices, and facilities, click here.

What scholarships are available?

We have many different scholarships available to students, including aviation specific scholarships, through the College of Agriculture. These scholarships are awarded to all types of students; new undergraduate, transfer and continuing. A variety of academic scholarships are offered based on GPA, ACT or SAT scores. Also non-resident first time students may qualify for a waiver of the out of state fee, worth approximately $12,000. The College of Agriculture also handed out $440,000 in scholarships for the 2013-2014 school year. Finally there is an extensive network of aviation professionals that provide scholarships that want to help students succeed in every aviation related field. These scholarships can be found through an online search.

Where can I get more information?

For more information about the Aviation Technology--Professional Pilot program at Utah State University contact Kaylee Roholt