Aviation at Okanagan College

Okanagan College has something interesting that most colleges could only dream of offering. That program is called the Commercial Aviation Diploma, letting students follow their dreams of flying. 

A Brief Overview of Okanagan College

Located in British Columbia’s wine capital, Okanagan College (OC) is surrounded by rolling hills and beautiful lakes. The school has three campuses located in Penticton, Kelowna, and Vernon with the Kelowna campus being the main one. Every year, nearly 16,000 students attend the school, making the average class size 18 students. 

The school promotes community learning, providing quality education to a diverse group of students. Small classes are part of their vision, making their academic environment completely supportive. OC not only has the most qualified instructors for theoretical classes, but they offer Co-op programs and hands-on learning.

What’s Covered in Commercial Aviation

Commercial Aviation is considered a branch of OC’s business faculty. Students who are admitted into this program will have to take business courses each semester since their time at school can’t just be practice. Combined with aviation and business courses and practical experience with planes, the time it’ll take to finish the program is about two years. 

Why take Commercial Aviation?

If you want to become a part of the aviation industry, now is the perfect time to do so. The need for more people in the workforce is growing to accommodate travellers and online spending. As the world is recovering from the Covid pandemic, more people will be looking to hop on a plane once again. 

In addition to it being a high opportunity job, some of the best perks also come from working for an airline or airport. If you like travelling, you’ll be able to fly at discounted prices. You’ll get to meet people from around the world and learn about new cultures, even if it’s just at the airport you’re stationed at. 

Admission and Tuition

To qualify for OC’s aviation program, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Finish high school or equivalent
  • 60% on English 12 or meet OC’s English alternatives
  • Complete Math 11 with at least 70%
  • Category 1 Aviation Medical
  • Letter of recommendation from Southern Interior Flight Centre
  • Proof of ability to meet Transport Canada Aviation Language Requirements 

For the entire program, international students’ tuition will come to a total of $99,000CAD, but that’s just the base tuition. You can expect to pay more for school supplies and uniforms, or fees for aircraft rentals. 

The tuition may be changed by term, for the most accurate information, please visit their official website.

Career Opportunities

Aviation studies open opportunities for careers in the airline and aerospace industry. From customer service employees to pilots, the aviation industry has a wide variety of choices.

  • Aerospace engineers ($79,000CAD) – these people develop the aircraft that are seen in the sky today. Not always working with airplane parts, aerospace engineers would spend days studying to make the aircrafts safe and more efficient.
  • Aircraft maintenance engineers ($62,000CAD)  – For the planes to work the way they’re supposed to, they’ll need aircraft maintenance. These engineers simply inspect and test aircraft systems to ensure everything works smoothly.
  • Pilots ($108,000CAD) – perhaps one of the most common choices for people who take aviation studies is to become a pilot. Pilots are not limited to flying people across countries. Smaller pilots can also be firefighters, surveyors, and emergency staff.
  • Flight attendants ($54,000CAD) – flight attendants are the most versatile of all airline staff. They are adept in customer service, emergency response, and aircraft familiarization.
  • Air traffic controllers ($104,000CAD) – despite being on the ground, these people are important for the safety of those who are in the air. They provide information and have the authority over whether a plane lands or takes off.
  • Airport operations specialists ($65,000CAD) – These are people who specialize in the smoother operation of airports. Job responsibilities can vary between customer service to security.  

Sources: OK College Tuition Fees Careers in Aviation

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