Unmanned Aerial Systems

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Unmanned Aerial Systems at College of Western Idaho

Exciting career opportunities.

From 2015-2025 "UAS integration is expected to contribute $82.1 billion to the nation’s economy by agriculture, public safety, and other activities; 103,776 new jobs will be created." according to AUVSI.

The Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) program at CWI will train you to work as a UAS Operations Specialists. The UAS program is designed to meet the rapidly growing workforce demands that many civilian industries are experiencing including agriculture, search and rescue, environmental and wildlife monitoring, border security, fire mapping, surveying and civil engineering, real estate photography, education, as well as, emergency and public services.

Program Highlights:

Emphasis will be placed on developing your ability to plan and implement UAS missions to capture data and digital imagery while taking into consideration mission security and the privacy of others. You will also learn how to process UAS data and digital Imagery using GIS, Photogrammetry, and digital image editing software.

  • GIS Fundamentals
  • Remote Sensing/GIS Integrations
  • Digital Imagery Fundamentals
  • Privacy & Security
  • Flight Theory - Ground School
  • Flight Labs
  • Mission Planning

Program Benefits:

  • Acquisition of the FAA Commercial Remote Pilot license (Part 107)
  • Ground school concepts - Airspace, Aerodynamics, Weather
  • Multi-rotor & fixed wing UAS operation skills
  • UAS mission skills
  • UAS problem evaluation, analysis, solution application
  • Digital imagery fundamentals
  • Mission security & privacy concerns
  • GIS - Data & imagery applications


The mission of the CWI Unmanned Aerial Systems Program is to provide educational opportunities for students that will allow them to obtain excellent Unmanned Aerial Systems technical abilities, collaborate effectively in a team environment, adapt to change, seek life-long learning, effectively utilize technology and have an appreciation for the multiple perspectives, cultures, and contexts found in the scientific, government, corporate, educational, and municipal worlds that UAS exists and operates in.

Why This Program

UAS operations are growing at a tremendous rate. The Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International estimates the UAS industry will create 100,000 jobs and have an economic impact of $82 billion through 2025. This program will give you hands on experience with the latest, industry-leading platforms and software. There is an emphasis on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) integration, a rapidly growing use of UAS.

Respectful Community

College of Western Idaho is committed to maintaining a Respectful Community by providing equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate in services, benefits, or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status.  More on Title IX

News and Blogs

CWI students and alumni working together to set up drones

CWI students and graduates used their skills to put on a drone light show at the 2022 Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic’s Night Glow Spectacular.