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Air Transportation

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Air Transportation Major

6,727 yearly degrees
#116 in popularity
$97,000 median salary

Air transportation is a major that typically falls into the Transportation & Materials Moving category.

There are 176 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in air transport, 147 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 19 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 4 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting an Air Transport Degree?

Air transportation is one of the least chosen majors in the country, ranked #84 in popularity. About 4,300 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field in 2017. This major attracts more men than women. About 86.8% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial Distribution

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

  • Asian: 4.5%
  • Black or African American: 6.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 8.9%
  • White: 62.2%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 8.7%
  • Other Races: 9.6%
Air Transportation Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in air transport. About 8.7% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending air transport majors to the U.S. are China, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

What Will You Learn as an Air Transportation Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to air transport to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Air Transport Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Air Transportation Majors

Skills for Air Transport Majors

Air transport majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

Important Skills for Air Transportation Majors

Abilities for Air Transport Majors

Air transport majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

Important Abilities for air transport Majors

What Can You Do With an Air Transport Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with air transport:

Careers Related to Air Transportation
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

3.5%

$140,340

Airfield Operations Specialists

9%

$52,200

Air Traffic Controllers

3.6%

$124,540

Storage and Distribution Managers

6.8%

$94,730

Commercial Pilots

3.7%

$82,240

Transportation Managers

6.8%

$94,730

Flight Attendants

10.2%

$56,000

Logistics Managers

6.8%

$94,730

Air Transportation Major Salary

Air transport majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $57,000 to $121,000. 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, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for an Air Transport Major  ( 57000 to 121000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )
$0
$200k

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Air Transportation Major Jobs

Some careers 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.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Air Transportation
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma

0.7%

High School Diploma or Equivalent

22.4%

Post-Secondary Certificate

11.8%

Some College Courses

7.6%

Associate's Degree or Equivalent

15.8%

Bachelor's Degree

35%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

2.8%

Master's Degree

3.2%

Post-Master's Certificate

0%

First Professional Degree

0.2%

Doctoral Degree

0%

Post-Doctoral Training

0%

Online Air Transportation Programs

There are 147 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in air transportation, with 25 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Online learners benefit from being able to watch lectures remotely and complete coursework on their schedule, but they also take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to dropout.

Is an Air Transportation Major Worth It?

The median salary for an air transport grad is $97,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 148% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,152,600 after 20 years!

air transportation salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol via License

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