Top Aviation Trade Schools to Get Your License

Aviation is a fast-growing global industry. As more people and products fly to their destinations all over the globe, the demand for pilots, technicians, mechanics, and other highly trained specialists is growing.

Most industry experts believe that the rising demand combined with the imminent retirement of many of the existing pilots and maintenance personnel has already created a notable shortage that will only grow in the coming decade.

While aviation companies, trade organizations, and even the United States Congress are taking steps to recruit and help train candidates, the shortage problem will not be resolved until more people acquire the training and certification to perform the many functions of aviation.

Also, because males currently fill many of the technical positions, recruiters are increasing efforts to entice more females to become pilots and mechanics.

The certifications required to enter the field of aviation demand substantial commitment in time and resources. Many top schools have high success rates in training and placement of qualified individuals into aviation.

Top Aviation Trade Schools

Many schools offer the training and hours needed to learn to pilot an aircraft. However, there are also many trade schools that provide the opportunity to learn onsite and online to become certified in such fascinating fields as:

  • Aviation maintenance technology
  • Aviation management
  • Advanced aircraft systems
  • Avionics
  • Air Traffic Control
  • Airport and airline management
  • Weather Science and aerospace engineering

Here is a shortlist of schools with top-notch aviation trades programs:

  • Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology

Vaughn College in Flushing, NY, offers a complete Aviation Training Institute. In as little as 16 months, this program can prepare you to become a certified A&P technician. The College also partners with Delta Airlines to enhance the overall training program and provide a potential avenue of employment for the most successful graduates.

  • San Joaquin Valley College: Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT)

San Joaquin Valley College prepares students with skills, experience, and technology training to qualify for the all-important Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Maintenance certification.  With hands-on training in the hangars, students work with many situations and equipment to service, troubleshoot, and repair. Approved by the FAA, this program includes engine and airframe repair, propeller and engine systems maintenance, electricity and electronics, and turbine and jet engine systems expertise.

  • The Ohio State University

With one of the highest graduation rates, OSU’s Center for Aviation Studies in Columbus, Ohio, offers a course of study that is accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (ABBI). The University conducts programs that offer Bachelor of Science and Arts Degrees in the fields of Aviation in Engineering, Air Transport, Airport Management, and Professional Pilot specialization.

  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle, located in Dayton Beach, FL, and Prescott, AZ, has a global online presence, as well. The school offers training, certification, and degrees in just about every phase of aviation. Some programs include Aerospace Engineering, Aeronautics, Air Traffic Management, Aircraft Dispatch, Airworthiness Engineering, and more.

  • Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology


Headquartered in Tulsa OK, Spartan College is focused on creating top-notch maintenance and technology candidates. Heavily focused on maintenance and testing, the program aims toward creating certified A&P technicians for all phases of aviation. The school’s programs include Aviation Maintenance Technology, Aviation Electronics, Technical Management, and Quality Control. Spartan has branches also in Denver, Los Angeles, and Riverside CA.

Spartan offers an Airframe & Powerplant diploma at their LAX location.

  • Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Institute of Technology offers degrees and certifications in many fields of aviation. These include Aviation Sciences, Aviation Meteorology with Flight, Aerospace Engineering, Aeronautical Science, Aviation Safety, and Air Traffic Control. Programs provide hands-on technical training.