Aviation Pilot Program

Upcoming Information Sessions

Join us for the next Open House/Information Session on April 23, 2020 to learn more about the program, experience the flight simulator and visit our new facility.

  • Open House: 5:00 – 7:00 (Facility Tour, Simulator Showcase, General Aviation Career Information)
  • Information Session 6:00 – 7:00 (RCTC Aviation Pilot Program and Application and Program Acceptance Information)

All sessions run from 5pm-7pm at the RCTC Aviation Pilot Training Center at the Rochester International Airport–7300 Brataas Drive, SW, Rochester

See Aviation Program open houses and 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.

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.

Program Options

Aviation Pilot AAS

The Aviation Pilot program is designed to educate students who plan a career as a pilot in commercial aviation. The Associate in Applied Science in Aviation Pilot program is designed to prepare students with the technical knowledge and skills to prepare them for the required Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) written and practical examinations for Commercial Pilot Certificate with Single Engine Airplane Land Rating; Instrument Rating; and the Flight Instructor Single Engine Airplane Certificate with Single Engine Airplane Land Rating for initial employment as aircraft pilots in a variety of entry-level, flight-related occupations


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)





Nate Smith, Aviation Program Advisor

SS 138 | nate.smith@rctc.edu | 507-280-5005

Current Students
New Students