Aviation Pilot Program

Fall 2020 Information Sessions

TBD- please check back in September 2019 for information regarding Fall 2020 information sessions.

Aviation Pilot Associate’s Degree

Learn the basic and advanced skills required to pursue a commercial pilot license in this immersive program. Gain industry knowledge with ground school classes taught by RCTC instructors. Then, take to the skies with Great Planes Aviation. Trained Great Planes pilots will help get you off the ground with one-on-one flight lessons at an innovative facility, located at 7300 Brataas Drive SW in Rochester

Classes include World of Aviation, Aviation Weather, Instrument Ground, Aviation Safety, Commercial Pilot Flight Lab and more. Upon completion, students receive an Associate of Applied Science degree in Aviation Pilot and will have a private pilot’s license, instrument rating, and an airplane single-engine land commercial pilot’s license.

Completion of this program is the initial step in becoming a commercial airline pilot and will prepare students to transfer for completion of a bachelor’s degree. Aspiring airline pilots can elect to use their Flight Instructor Certificate to build flight time in an economical manner.

Program Learning Outcomes

See the comprehensive list of program learning outcomes.

Career Outlook

The RCTC Aviation program will take to the skies beginning in fall 2019. Due to its recent program launch, RCTC currently does not have data for a graduate survey or gainful employment related to the RCTC Aviation Pilot program. A graduate survey for those who have completed the program will be conducted in 2021.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides data relevant to the Aviation program:

  • Average (median) salary: $111,930. (Source: Bureau of Labor and Statistics )
  • Careers associated with the Aviation program:
    • Commercial Pilots
    • Airline Pilots, Copilots and Flight Engineers
    • Careers in the aviation industry include more than airline commercial pilots
  • Future Demand: Boeing (an industry leader) forecasts a 20 year demand for 790,000 pilots with over 200,000 in North America alone. (Source: Boeing Pilot Outlook 2018-2037)


Apply Now

Begin your general application for admission by visiting www.rctc.edu/apply.  Please be patient as our system updates the application to reflect this new program.  If the Aviation Pilot program is not listed at the time of your application, submit your application with a different major and call 507-285-7557 to notify us of your interest in Aviation Pilot.

Students wishing to apply and enroll in the Aviation Pilot program MUST have a completed high school diploma or equivalent at the time of registration/enrollment.  The Aviation Pilot program is NOT eligible for PSEO.