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Air Transportation Major

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Air Transportation

4,535 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
768 Master's Degrees Annually
#83 in Popularity
$96,530 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Air Transportation Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many air transportation graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 4,541
Associate’s Degree 1,739
Basic Certificate 1,222
Master’s Degree 768
Undergraduate Certificate 168
Doctor’s Degree 10
Graduate Certificate 1

What Air Transportation Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to air transport and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Air Transport Majors

Air Transport majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills for Air Transport Majors

When studying air transport, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Abilities for Air Transport Majors

As you progress with your air transport degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What Can You Do With a Air Transportation Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with air transport:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Air Traffic Controllers 3.6% $124,540
Airfield Operations Specialists 9.0% $52,200
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers 3.5% $140,340
Commercial Pilots 3.7% $82,240
Flight Attendants 10.2% $56,000
Logistics Managers 6.8% $94,730
Storage and Distribution Managers 6.8% $94,730
Transportation Managers 6.8% $94,730

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Air Transportation?

4,541 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
13% Percent Women
24% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 4,535 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in air transportation in 2019, making it rank #83 in popularity. This major tends to be male dominated. About 87% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of air transport majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Air Transport Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 176
Black or African American 294
Hispanic or Latino 461
White 2,841
International Students 373
Other Races/Ethnicities 396

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Air Transport, too. About 8.2% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Korea
  • Turkey
  • Japan

How Much Do Air Transportation Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median early-career salary of air transportation students with a bachelor’s degree is $39,300 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $37,200 (25th percentile) and $42,250 (75th percentile).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to air transport.

Salaries According to BLS

Air Transport majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $56,760 to $120,830 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for an Air Transportation Major  ( 56760 to 120830 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with air transport may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for air transport careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.7%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 22.4%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 11.8%
Some College Courses 7.6%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 15.8%
Bachelor’s Degree 35.0%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 2.8%
Master’s Degree 3.2%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.2%

Online Air Transportation Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 221 schools offered some type of air transportation program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 86 4
Certificate (1-2 years) 46 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 2 0
Associate’s Degree 177 10
Bachelor’s Degree 4 0
Post-Baccalaureate 86 4
Master’s Degree 21 12
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 4 2
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Air Transportation Worth It?

The median salary for a air transport grad is $96,530 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 142% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,132,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to air transport.

Major Number of Grads
Ground Transportation 18,786
Marine Transportation 1,520
Other Transportation & Materials Moving 11

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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