Each year, millions of people enroll in education programs — whether that be through traditional channels like university or community college, or through career training such as aviation courses. And if you find yourself about to join the growing number of people enrolling in the latter, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing a program that’s the right fit for you. So how do you know what are is best aviation school for you? We’ve put together a guide to help you know what to look for!
Compare program costs
The cost of attending a flight school can cost up to $80,000, while receiving an aviation major from a four-year university can cost over $100,000. Though it may be in your best interest to pay more money for the right program, you might also be better served to opt for the less expensive one; ultimately, you’ll want to examine how much you’re willing to invest in your training and what you think you’ll get from each individual program.
Additionally, it’s also a good idea to look into financial aid options such as scholarships or loans to help ease the burden of any cost, and to make sure to check school websites for what they offer!
Consider the location
Where you are (and where you’d like to go) could also have a big impact on your decision. Should you travel to the other side of the country, or would you rather attend a program that’s a 15 minute drive from your home? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the states with the highest employment of airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers are California, Texas, Illinois, New York, and Florida, respectively — while the states with the highest mean wage are Michigan ($248,770), Nevada ($236,260), Florida ($229,730), California ($229,110), and Washington ($221,570). Are the cost, program value, and proximity to potential employers worth a move?
Before choosing a campus, you might be well-served to take into account where you want to end up and any factors which might make you want to stay in your current location.
Get to know the instructors
Learning from the right teacher can have a huge impact on someone’s success, so we suggest learning all you can about who will be teaching your potential courses. See if they’ve done any well-known work or have written anything online, and check out what past students have said about them.
By researching who’ll be running the programs, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not they have the right level of experience and if their teaching style will fit your learning style, both of which can impact if any institutions are the best aviation school for you.
Read course reviews
Another helpful method of finding out if a program and its instructors are right for you is reading online reviews. Whether by searching online lists of top aviation schools, or reading through reviews by graduates on sites like Yelp or Quora, you can check to see if a school is likely to deliver on what it’s promising.
Both official rankings, like those on GradReports.com, or user assessments like the ones written in Google reviews will give you a good picture of the value of each program.
Visit the school, if possible
Of course, if you’re able, you might also want to visit the school location in person before committing. Both employees and students emphasize the importance of seeing the classrooms and meeting the staff face-to-face before you sign on. Attend events and open houses being held by the school, or just visit on your own to take a look at where you’ll be learning.
In actually seeing where the program will take place, you can gain personal insight you might otherwise miss online and from secondhand information.