If you are interested in working in or on a plane, you may be considering attending aviation school. However, the schools are not all the same. This is not to say that one school is better than another, but one school may be better suited for you, depending on what your needs are. Learning what factors differentiate schools from one another will help you know what to look for as you seek out a school. Here are some of the factors you must consider when selecting an aviation school.
What Programs the School Offers
When you think of aviation school, you are likely thinking of a flight training school. However, while this is a common course offered at schools like Parkland College, it isn't the only one. Aviation schools may offer many different courses depending on the certification or degree you are trying to achieve. You can take courses that will teach you how to fly a plane, be a plane mechanic, work as a flight dispatcher, obtain traffic controller training, obtain an airport management degree or even work as a flight instructor. Take the time to research various fields related to aviation and learn about the various jobs in these fields. Then find a school that offers a program that will allow you to get into the job or field that most appeals to you.
What the Aircraft and Instructors are Like
When selecting an aviation school, take the time to visit the school. Ask to sit in on a class or meet with a flight instructor. You will be working with the instructors for many hours and may be enclosed in an aircraft with them. If your personalities clash, it may make training harder on the both of you. Make sure you get along with the instructor and that they seem to teach in a way that you respond well to. While you are at the school, take the time to look at the aircraft you will be learning on. Do they look well-maintained? Are they old? You want to look for a school that has planes that look well-maintained and in good condition.
What the School Requires of You
The last factor you will need to keep in mind as you look for an aviation school is what the school requires from you. Some schools offer courses in the evening and weekends, allowing you to train around your existing work schedule. Other schools only offer day courses, which is perfect if you go to school full time and want to get your courses done quicker. Additionally, the amount of time you have to put into getting your certificate or license varies based on the program you select and who certifies it. For example, a part 61 school requires you to log at least 250 hours to receive a commercial pilot's license, whereas a part 141 school requires only 190 hours. A part 141 school has been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration and follows strict coursework approved by the FAA. As such, they require less training but are more rigid when it comes to the courses and the length of time you have to complete the course in. Always carefully research what the school requires you to do and how that will work with your current schedule and family life. Finding a school that meets your needs sets you up for success.
If you are looking to attend an aviation school, there are many factors you need to consider. Obviously, the cost of the school and how convenient the school is for you to get to are important. However, there are also many other factors that you need to consider that are often overlooked. Considering what types of courses the school offers, what the aircraft and instructors are like and what the school requires of you will help you find a school that is right for you and your needs.