2023-2024 Catalog

Certification in Unmanned Aerial Systems Operations

11-12 credits

Program Description

The Aviation Unmanned Aerial Systems Operations (UAS) program trains individuals to work as professional UAS operators. Students will learn to operate UAS to include  skills such as conducting mission/preflight planning, actual UAS operations, and utilize data obtained through UAS operations. Students will be taught to perform limited UAS and ground support equipment testing, troubleshooting, and maintenance. The UAS certification is intended to prepare students for a fast growing industry with many civilian applications including agriculture, search and rescue, monitoring environment and wildlife, fire mapping, surveying structures after natural disasters, and real estate photography.

Career Opportunities

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International projected more than 100,000 new jobs in the United States by 2025 in unmanned aircraft by 2025.


The current national salary range for individuals licensed and with experience in UAS Operations averages $20,000-$80,000 average salary. Individuals may earn up to $100,000 if they own their own company.

Occupational Requirements

Students must be at least 16 years old and pass TSA vetting to earn a Remote Pilot Airman Certificate to work as a Drone Pilot.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the required courses for the Workforce Certification, students will be able to:

  • Explain the integration of the National Airspace System and the integration of Unmanned Aerial Systems.
  • Work within a crew environment to plan, implement, and analyze UAS operations.
  • Safely pilot multi-copters and fixed wings in normal and emergency flight operations.
  • Successfully apply and utilize Federal Aviation Administration airspace waivers
  • Apply technology to transmit, receive, and report data obtained from UAS operations.
  • Identify safety and legal considerations for UAS operations, including regulations for operations and restricted airspace.


Many of the courses for this certification are offered as compact courses (e.g. one Friday/Saturday) or as a hybrid course with both online and face-to-face components.


Certification Requirements

Required Courses

NATR239Geospatial Data Management


UASO101Remote Pilot Ground School


UASO103Unmanned Aerial Systems Basic Flight Operations


UASO110Unmanned Aerial Systems in Emergency Management



NATR471Remote Sensing & Image Analysis


Students may choose to take GEOG 280 in place of UASO 110 or GEOG 341.