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Unmanned Aerial Systems (WATC)

Program Location: Peak Innovation Center
Options: Morning and afternoon

Much more than toys or hobbies, unmanned aerial systems (popularly known as drones) have become a vital tool for industry and a lucrative career option. A 2019 study by Research and Markets predicts the global drone service market will grow 51.1 percent by 2027. Licensed operators are sought after by employers in a variety of industries including real estate, agriculture, manufacturing, oil and gas, and much more. Our program has been selected by the Federal Aviation Administration for inclusion in its Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Collegiate Training Initiative. This UAS-CTI designation ensures graduates stand out from competitors in the workforce. The relatively recent availability of this career field limits historical salary ranges but according to PayScale, drone operators make a median salary of $48,000.

Career Titles: UAV Pilot - Drone Pilot, Drone Operator, GIS Data Analyst 
Industry: Oil & Gas, Construction, Agriculture, City/State Government, Law Enforcement, Self-Employed Contractor Outlook: 100,000+ jobs by 2025
National Average Pay: $51,000 - $70,000 (varies by certification/experience)

Get Started 


Fall Semester
First Year
Spring Semester
First Year
Fall Semester
Second Year
Spring Semester
Second Year

Intro to UAS

UAS Pilot Flight Operations

Intro to Programming

UAS Remote Sensing

Intro to GIS

GPS & GNSS Fundamentals

Computer Hardware

Land Surveying



Multi-Rotor Flight Lab



Sample schedule only. Actual schedules may vary.

Credentials students can potentially earn while in WATC:

  • Certificate of Proficiency in Unmanned Aerial Systems
  • FAA Part 107 licensure (students must successfully complete national exam to earn credential)

Degree options to complete at UAFS:

  • Technical Certificate in Unmanned Aerial Systems
  • Associate of Science in Unmanned Aerial Systems