Interested in a career in aviation? Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) offers a number of affordable aviation career programs, including Aviation Management, Aviation Maintenance Technology, and Aviation Pilot Training. These programs have been designed to prepare students to jump right into their chosen field upon completion of their coursework. “Our biggest focus is for students to be comfortable, as well as successful, in the airline training environment by the end of a two to four-year program,” says Keith Mueller, Coordinator of Aviation Flight Management at SWIC.
When SWIC aviation instructors want to show their students how their work in the classroom relates to their future careers, they bring their students to our corporate headquarters in St. Louis, for a behind-the-scenes look at the skills required to land a job at a commercial airline.
A typical visit includes a tour of the Trans States maintenance hangar and a demonstration of the state-of-the-art simulators that our pilots use during training. Students also have the opportunity to meet company leadership, as well as talk with our various training departments about what a commercial airline will expect of them.
“These visits are incredibly valuable because they allow students to make a connection between what they’re learning in class and the skills that will be required in their chosen field,” explains Keith Stamper, Director of Flight Operations at Trans States. For example, when touring our maintenance hangar, students in SWIC’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program can actually see Trans States mechanics utilizing the skills that they’re studying in school.
These visits are also valuable to SWIC faculty, as they help ensure that the skills taught in class are consistent with current industry standards. Aviation is an ever-changing industry, which means that aviation training programs must be able to quickly change with the times. SWIC’s relationship with Trans States ensures that SWIC instructors are always up-to-speed on the latest training and skills that airlines will expect of their graduates, allowing them to adapt their courses accordingly.
SWIC Academic Advisors also get the same behind-the-scene tour as students and instructors. Academic Advisors are usually a student’s first point of contact with the school, and are responsible for helping students navigate the different program offerings. “Our Academic Advisors tour Trans States so that they can better understand how our aviation programs will prepare students for the airline industry,” Mueller explains. “We feel that these tours have been tremendously successful.”
SWIC’s partnership with Trans States couldn’t have come at a better time. Demand for aviation careers, especially pilots and mechanics, is at an all-time high, and that demand is expected to rise even higher in the coming years. Boeing estimates that to keep up with demand, the aviation industry will need to generate over 600,000 commercial pilots and 679,000 aircraft maintenance technicians before the year 2035.
There’s never been a better time to launch a career in aviation. If you’re looking for an affordable aviation training program that will prepare you for an exciting and in-demand career, contact SWIC today. We’re looking forward to hiring you when you finish.