5 Career Options for Graduates With an MBA in Aviation Management

The aviation industry accounts for 7.3 million jobs in North America, which amounts to 4.3% of all jobs and 4.2% of the GDP for the United States and Canada. The outlook spells opportunities for those interested in aviation careers. With roles beyond those of pilots and flight attendants, this industry offers jobs in all aspects of the aviation business.

An advanced degree in aviation management can help job seekers differentiate themselves for management and leadership roles. Henderson State University (HSU) offers an online MBA with a Concentration in Aviation Management. Online degree programs offer the flexibility that working professionals need to fit studies into their lives. HSU’s School of Business holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), ensuring a standard of education offered by less than 5% of B-schools around the world.

What Will I Learn in an MBA in Aviation Management?

Coursework in HSU’s online MBA focused on aviation management offers the broad base of business fundamentals along with coverage of methods for airport management, aviation legislation and trending topics in the aviation industry. Students in this program will have opportunities to develop skills related to oral communication, ethical reasoning, strategic decision-making and leadership.

Some of the concentration courses in the online MBA program are:

  • Airport Operations and Administration
  • Aviation and Aerospace Law
  • Airport Management
  • Aviation Legislation

5 Career Options for Graduates

Here’s a sampling of career possibilities, with salary information sourced in June 2021:

  • The Aviation Operations Manager interviews and hires staff and crew. Scheduling flights — as well as the shifts of the pilots, flight attendants and the crew — are typical responsibilities. Airport and runway modifications often fall under the purview of this role. Median salary: $174,600/year (Salary.com)
  • The Director of Airport Operations is responsible for negotiations, budgeting and purchasing. Job responsibilities include developing long-term operational strategies and overseeing modifications to airport facilities. Average salary: $73,295/year (ZipRecruiter)
  • The Chief Operations Officer (COO) oversees an airline business’s day-to-day administrative and operational functions. The person in this role reports to the chief executive officer (CEO) and is second in command. Sample salary: $636,200 (com)
  • The Aviation Project Manager plans, organizes and directs the completion of specific projects while ensuring they are on time, on budget and within scope. Examples of projects include the construction of airport facilities and passenger terminal enhancements. Average salary: $92,405/year (ZipRecruiter)
  • The Aviation Business Consultant analyzes organizational practices, identifies weaknesses and recommends solutions. Median salary: $93,388/year (Salary.com)

More Positions in Aviation Management

Here is MBA salary information from PayScale for a few additional roles in aviation management.

Job Average Yearly Salary
Quality Assurance Manager $75,559
Project Manager, Information Technology (IT) $138,953
Program Manager, Aviation/Aerospace $81,026
Operations Director $101,640
Maintenance Director $112,119
Information Technology (IT) Director $162,820
Executive Director $153,085
Business Manager $85,633


Completion of Henderson State University’s online MBA with a Concentration in Aviation Management program opens up a variety of career options. The program’s 7-week courses and multiple entry points a year make it a practical choice for working professionals. Students can earn the degree in as few as 14 months to explore career paths that provide an exciting work life with a high salary potential.

Learn more about HSU’s online MBA program with a Concentration in Aviation Management.


Aviation Benefits: Executive Summary: Key Facts and Figures from the World of Air Transport

Chron: Jobs and Careers for People With Aviation Management Degrees

PayScale: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Aviation Management Degree

RevFine: Aviation Management: A Great Guide to Start Your Career in Aviation Management



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