Waco aviation drone pilot certification

(WACO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Aviation Division will begin offering a certificate of completion in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle at the Waco campus this fall.

The certificate program will be part of the Aircraft Pilot Training Technology program. The one-semester program will include classes such as Aviation Safety and Private Pilot Ground School, as well as a capstone course covering regulatory requirements and the opportunity to obtain a Federal Aviation Administration-certified Part 107 license.

The certificate can be used by itself or to complement an associate degree at TSTC.

“It gives folks an opportunity in one semester to get a good-paying job,” said Angel Newhart, lead instructor in TSTC’s Aircraft Pilot Training Technology program.

TSTC will provide the drones for students to work with. Students will not pay piloting fees.

“Our Electrical Lineworker Technology and Building Construction Technology students should seriously consider adding this to their goals while at TSTC,” said Kelly Filgo, lead instructor in TSTC’s Aviation Maintenance program. “Those careers have a high level of opportunity to use small drones as tools in their careers, and completing this program would enhance their marketability in their careers.”

Jobs related to drones that are open now in Texas include one for an inspector/drone operator in the solar energy industry in San Antonio with the potential to earn more than $46,000 a year, and one for a real estate photographer and drone operator in Houston offering more than $40,000 a year, according to Indeed.com.

Newhart said the Aircraft Pilot Training Technology program has been receiving calls from companies seeking drone pilots. After talking to the program’s advisory board, it was decided that there was a big enough demand to start the program.

The certificate program will accept students every semester, Newhart said.

Registration continues for the fall semester. For more information, go to tstc.edu

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