Directory of Aviation Schools

Approved training - good, but not the only way

When it comes to training for careers such as a pilot, aircraft mechanic or flight attendant, the employment options are somewhat more straightforward than in other careers. But that doesn't necessarily mean the process of choosing an aviation school is simple. Some schools simply offer better programs, instructors and training equipment. They may also have the added benefit of being approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. Either way you'll want to do some research on the program and find out what your certificate, diploma or degree will allow you to do after graduation.

Pilot training, for instance, can be taken through schools or airports that offer flying schools or personal flight instructors. Schools may have more flexible scheduling, specialized facilities and training aids. Some will be FAA-approved (Federal Aviation Administration) and some won't. The facilities, equipment, staff and curriculum in FAA-approved schools must meet certain standards of quality. The main difference is that students won't be required to log as many flight hours. Approved schools offer increased assurance of high quality training, although many non-approved schools are just as good.

Flight attendants don't actually need any advanced training. Most airlines will provide it to applicants who pass the first interview and testing steps. Some people who aspire to become flight attendants take vocational school training before applying to the airlines because they feel the extra knowledge will come in handy and give them an edge over the competition - which is true if they've chosen a reputable course.

Aircraft mechanics can learn under a licensed aircraft mechanic or in a trade school. While both streams have the same outcome, a professional education is generally advantageous down the road, when it comes to income and career advancement.