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Download the Aviation BrochureImagine a cockpit as your classroom, and the adrenaline rush you’ll feel during that very first ascent. Think of how exciting it will be to rise and soar across the sky, piloting an actual airplane. At Lakeland University, you don’t have to imagine flying, because you can actually do it. Yes, with our innovative aviation-as-a-minor strategy, you can earn full certification while completing a four-year degree. So when you leave Lakeland, you are leaving with two potential career paths, including becoming a professional pilot.

Take to the sky

Lakeland is the only four-year college in Wisconsin with a professional flight training program, offering private pilot certification through multi-engine commercial pilot certification. Lakeland offers aviation as a minor program, and students can earn full flight certification while completing a four-year degree in another discipline.

Students will take most of the 31 credit hours in the air. Students begin learning visual flight skills in Cirrus SR-20s.

Aviation at Lakeland

Industry experts are predicting pilots will be in high demand in coming years:

  • USA Today recently reported that aircraft maker Boeing forecasts a need for 466,660 pilots by 2029 – an average of 23,300 new pilots a year.
  • From the USA Today article: “The demand for pilots will be so great that the industry could ultimately face a shortage, sparking fierce competition among airlines across the globe vying for candidates qualified to fill their cockpits.”
  • Quoted was Sherry Carbary, vice president of flight services for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle, who said: “It’s a global marketplace for pilots, and … we’ll not have enough if that growth trend continues over the next few years … Where is our pipeline of new pilots going to come from, and how are we going to finance them?”
  • Experts say thousands of existing pilots will soon hit the mandatory retirement age of 65.
  • Kelly Murphy, a spokesperson for the Regional Airline Association, said during an interview that regional airports will have the greatest need for pilots, because larger airlines will hire qualified pilots away from the regional airlines.

To view specific costs associated with this program click here


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