The Associate of Applied Science degree in Professional Pilot is designed to prepare the individual for a career as a commercial pilot to earn the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) Private Pilot, Commercial, Certified Flight Instructor-Airplane (CFI-A) and Certified Flight Instructor-Instrument (CFI-I) along with the instrument and multi-engine ratings. The degree is awarded to students upon successful completion of a common core of general education courses and a preset selection of aviation classes closely mapped to the needs and demands of the aviation industry. The curriculum is sequenced with FAA ground and flight classes scheduled in the first semesters of program so a student is prepared for employment as a Certified Flight Instructor while completing the general education requirements for the degree and prepare for further FAA certifications necessary to fly commercial flight operations. The general education requirements provide the foundation for students who want to continue their education to a bachelor's degree.
Upon completing the Associate of Applied Science degree, students become eligible for a wide variety of aviation jobs, including corporate pilot, freight operations, and crop dusting. With additional certifications, pilots may work for mainline commercial carriers, who offer estimated median salaries of $160,000 and more. Students enrolled in the Commercial Pilot or Professional Pilot AAS
degree must pay liability insurance during all their semesters of study. Fees for flight courses are exempt from the Hazelwood Act. All flight courses are subject to FAA rules and regulations (CFR Title 14). Possession of current FAA medical certification is required for all flight courses. Students must meet the requirements of Texas Success Initiative (TSI) (Compliant) to enroll in program. Student must attend mandatory, scheduled information and orientations session prior to enrollment and must be approved by department representatives to register in any AIRP course.