Helicopter flight training at the Helicopter Institute, Prescott, Arizona, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Photographer, Connor McShane, 2022

Bachelor of Science in
Aeronautical Science - Helicopter

The demand for professional pilots is not slowing, and helicopter pilots are no exception. This program prepares the next generation of aviation leaders.

About the B.S. in Aeronautical Science – Helicopter Specialty

According to the 2021 Pilot Outlook Report published by the Boeing Company, nearly four times as many helicopter pilots will be needed by 2038 than are working right now. That’s a shortage of about 61,000 helicopter pilots. The Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science – Helicopter from Embry-Riddle prepares graduates to fill these upcoming positions by combining a four-year technical degree with flight training.

At Embry-Riddle, students can get their degree and helicopter training as part of an integrated professional program. Entering the aviation job market with a degree from Embry-Riddle will ensure you are considered for the top jobs in the industry.

The program emphasizes the following skills in the education of our helicopter pilots:

  • Leadership ability as demanded by today's leading aviation companies
  • Decision-making aptitude to assess situations and manage risk accurately and quickly
  • Knowledge of effective resource management, human factors and safety awareness that can be applied to many endeavors
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking skills applicable to small and large-scale challenges

Helicopter faculty come from both military and civilian sectors.  These varied experiences give students a well-rounded and comprehensive education in helicopter flight. Academic curriculum includes aeronautics, aerodynamics, flight physiology, high altitude training and more.

Helicopter Pilot Jobs and Salary

Helicopter students can complete their Certified Flight Instructor certificate within the first two years of the program, allowing them to start their careers instructing other students while completing their degree.

Currently, 100% of our certified flight instructor graduates have secured a job upon graduating from our helicopter flight training program. Some students have secured conditional job offers as early as their junior year due to industry partnerships and connections.

Top employers of Embry-Riddle’s B.S. in Aeronautical Science – Helicopter graduates include Petroleum Helicopters Incorporated, Air Methods, Papillon Helicopters, Sikorsky Helicopters and the U.S. military.

With career paths in firefighting, tourism, emergency medical services, law enforcement, news coverage and the military, becoming a helicopter pilot offers a wide array of possibilities.

Median annual salary for all commercial pilots in 2021 was $99,641, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Helicopter pilots, specifically, earn a median salary of $103,517, as stated by Salary.com.


About Aeronautical Science - Helicopter at the Prescott, AZ Campus

The B.S. in Aeronautical Science – Helicopter degree at the Prescott Campus combines a four-year academic degree with flight training to prepare graduates for a career as a professional helicopter pilot. With some of the best flying weather in the country and mountainous terrain, Prescott is a great place to fly.

Embry-Riddle Prescott is one of the very few facilities in the world offering training for both fixed-wing and helicopter pilots. Through our partnership with Helicopter Institute Inc. (HI), students in the helicopter program receive flight training at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University flight line at Prescott Regional Airport (PRC). 

We utilize HI’s helicopter fleet, which includes the popular Robinson R22 and R44 helicopters, with access to industry-leading equipment such as the MD 500, Bell 407, Airbus H125 and night vision goggles. 

Students have an opportunity to choose either the Professional Pilot Track or Flight Education Track.

Courses are FAA-approved, certified under Part 141 and teach students about aerodynamics, safety awareness, flight maneuvers, aeronautical charts, aviation weather, flight planning and beyond. Lab instruction enhances classroom lessons, and topics include operations, flight planning, electronic navigation, performance, and aeronautical decision-making.

The Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science – Helicopter degree is housed in the Department of Aeronautical Science in the College of Aviation.

Learn more about the Prescott, AZ Campus


120 Credits

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