Fixed Wing - Professional Pilot

This degree is perfect for those looking to work in the aviation industry behind the controls of a fixed-wing aircraft or airframe. The degree is deigned to be completed in four years.

Each emphasis involves different required courses. Check out our suggested four year degree plan for fixed-wing to get a picture of what classes you will take during your college career.


4 Year Plan 2022 Summer Private Pilot Courses

Cole Testimonial

Cole Godfrey

Flight Instructor

"I love the family culture we have out here. Its been an awesome experience all the way around"

Professional Pilot Internships

USU pilot students have done internships at the following companies:

Plane at airport
  • Envoy Air
  • Skywest Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Jet Blue Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Schweitzer Engineering
  • Valero
  • USU Flight Operations

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Frequently Asked Questions

What classes will I take?

Students will take a wide variety of classes. Not only will pilots complete ground schools for each certification, but they will also be required to take classes that will turn them into aviation professionals. Classes include an aviation law course, aviation marketing, aerodynamics, weather classes as well as systems classes. Pilot students sit side by side with maintenance students to get an in depth look at airplanes and how they work through various systems classes, such as hydraulics. These classes will give USU Aviation graduate an advantage during the interview process where they are expected to have extensive knowledge of the type of aircraft the company flies.

Through carefully selected courses, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) prepares students for careers in aviation by building experience and knowledge.

What types of airplanes will I fly?

USU’s current fleet consists of Diamond Star 40s (DA40). Which will be flown during your private, instrument, and part of commercial ratings. Diamond Star 42 (DA42) will be used to earn your commercial multi-engine land (MEL) as well as multi-engine instructor (MEI). Our fleet of Piper Arrows will cover your Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and (CFII) and students will have an opportunity to get familiar with a Cessna 152 before completing their CFI rating. Flight simulators are also available such as our newly purchased CRJ 700 Ultra and Redbird SD simulator.

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What is the employment outlook?

According to Boeing, the airline industry will need to hire more than one-million workers over the next 20 years to prepare for a wave of 30,000 new aircraft. They estimate that airlines will need to hire 466,650 pilots and 596,500 maintenance crew workers between 2010 and 2029. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts an 11 percent growth rate, as fast as the average growth rate for any occupation, in employment for pilots from 2010 to 2020.

What is the typical career path of a graduate?

Students will leave USU with 200-250 flight hours. From there they can go on to be flight instructors, give aerial tours, fly skydivers, or light ferry work to build hours. After building the hours needed to obtain an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate many pilots will go on to fly with regional airlines similar to SkyWest who, by law, require their new pilots to have 1500 hours. From there it is up to the pilot what they want to achieve: major airline, cargo, or corporate.

What is the employment outlook?

According to Boeing, the airline industry will need to hire more than one-million workers over the next 20 years to prepare for a wave of 30,000 new aircraft. They estimate that airlines will need to hire 466,650 pilots and 596,500 maintenance crew workers between 2010 and 2029. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts an 11 percent growth rate, as fast as the average growth rate for any occupation, in employment for pilots from 2010 to 2020.

What is the typical career path of a graduate?

Students will leave USU with 200-250 flight hours. From there they can go on to be flight instructors, give aerial tours, fly skydivers, or light ferry work to build hours. After building the hours needed to obtain an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate many pilots will go on to fly with regional airlines similar to SkyWest who, by law, require their new pilots to have 1500 hours. From there it is up to the pilot what they want to achieve: major airline, cargo, or corporate.

What organizations are available for students?

The pilot club and NIFA flight team at Utah State University provide students who have an interest in aviation with an environment to interact with fellow aviation enthusiasts. Activities range from social gatherings to professional development trips. There are also several clubs that are not aviation specific but are open to all students.

View Clubs

What scholarships are available?

There are many scholarships for aviation students. Most will require initiative on behalf of the student, but you can find them if you look! We hope that new freshman will be served by the Utah State University Admissions Office. For continuing students, there are many different scholarships available, including aviation specific scholarships, through the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences (CAAS). CAAS awarded over $500,000 in scholarships for the 2016-2017 school year! Program staff receive notice of many private aviation scholarships throughout the school year. Watch for their announcements about those. Keep in mind that most scholarships will have a requirement based on merit (grades). Be mindful of your GPA as you begin your academic journey.

How do I use VA Benefits?

Students can use VA Benefits to complete any aviation program at Utah State University. If you are 100% certified on the Post 9/11 *GI Bill®, it can cover 100% of the cost of the program. Please work closely with the USU Veterans Resource Office if you have specific questions about the benefits.

*GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at 
https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill

Why is Utah State the right place for you?

Breathtaking. That’s the view from Cache Valley, Utah, nestled between the Wellsville mountains and the Bear River range, at the western edge of the Rockies. A view that is even more spectacular when seen from the cockpit of a DA-40 airplane, as you…

…read the winds and pick your path above Logan Canyon

…watch the expanse of the Great Salt Lake unfold before you, on your way to fly into Salt Lake City International Airport

…experience the natural beauty and wildlife of the valley as you perform a touch-and-go off the tarmac at the Logan-Cache Airport

These are just a few of the experiences that Utah State Fixed Wing offers you on your path to become a professional pilot.

What brings people like you to Utah State Fixed Wing? We offer training in a challenging environment that will prepare you to fly in a broad spectrum of conditions. Coaxing a fully loaded DA-42 into the thin air on a hot summer day teaches power management, a skill that future employers know will keep expensive turbine engines safely within their limits. Winter in northern Utah brings clouds, snow, and limited visibility, developing strong flight planning skills. Busy airports with control towers are within easy reach, providing experience communicating with air traffic control.

A restricted ATP program, USU aviation allows pilots to enter the industry at a lower minimum hour requirement than other programs. The program has its own staff of Certified Flight Instructors, here to help students get the hands-on training they need to pass their checkride. Class fees integrate flying into coursework, allowing students to gain flight and credit hours simultaneously.

Of course, there are reasons to choose Utah State Fixed Wing beyond the outstanding professional pilot program. Northeastern Utah offers some of the best outdoor recreational opportunities in the country, with trails for hiking, mountain biking, and dirt bike riding, plus rock climbing, skiing, and snowboarding. Two resorts serve Cache Valley, and Park City offers world-class destination resorts only a few hours away. Closer to home, Utah State University and Logan offer a cosmopolitan atmosphere in an affordable, small-town community. Logan offers something for everyone.

Come discover for yourself why Utah State Fixed Wing is the right choice for you!

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