Unmanned Aerial Systems

Harness the Power of Today's Expanding UAV Technology for an In-Demand Career

Unmanned Aerial Systems students working on a drone

Program Overview

Are you fascinated by drones and the technology behind unmanned flight? The Unmanned Aerial Systems program at College of Western Idaho (CWI) offers an excellent opportunity for you. This program provides comprehensive training in the operation, application, and management of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or drones. You will explore various aspects of UAV technology, such as aerial imaging, data collection, and flight operations. A key outcome of this program is preparing you for the FAA remote pilot certification, setting you up for success in this rapidly evolving field.

Our program melds theoretical instruction with practical flight training. You will learn from experienced professionals and operate UAVs in real-world scenarios. Whether your interest lies in commercial, agricultural, or environmental applications, this program equips you with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in the world of unmanned aerial systems.

Degree or Certificate Type

Basic Technical Certificate

Time to Complete

1 year

Primary Location

Unmanned Aerial Systems at College of Western Idaho

Learning Opportunities

  • UAV Operation Skills: Gain proficiency in operating unmanned aerial vehicles in various conditions and environments.
  • Data Collection & Analysis: Learn how to collect and analyze data using UAV technology for practical applications.
  • Flight Safety & Regulations: Understand the legal and safety aspects of UAV operation to ensure compliant and responsible use.
  • Technological Expertise: Stay updated with the latest advancements in UAV technology and its applications.
  • Career Pathways: Explore diverse career opportunities in industries such as agriculture, real estate, environmental monitoring, and more.

Area of Study

Degrees & Certificates

Unmanned Aerial Systems – Basic Technical Certificate

Person operating a drone with a digital screen at a construction site

Career Opportunities

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologists and Technicians

    Apply electrical and electronic theory and related knowledge, usually under the direction of engineering staff, to design, build, repair, adjust, and modify electrical components, circuitry, controls, and machinery for subsequent evaluation and use by engineering staff in making engineering design decisions. Excludes “Broadcast Technicians” (27-4012).

    26

    Annual Openings*

    $29.05

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $60,424

    Annual Median Salary

    4.46%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Computer Occupations, All Other

    All computer occupations not listed separately. Excludes “Computer and Information Systems Managers” (11-3021), “Computer Hardware Engineers” (17-2061), “Electrical and Electronics Engineers” (17-2070), “Computer Science Teachers, Postsecondary” (25-1021), “Special Effects Artists and Animators” (27-1014), “Graphic Designers” (27-1024), “Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars” (29-9021), and “Computer, Automated Teller, and Office Machine Repairers” (49-2011).

    20

    Annual Openings*

    $29.70

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $61,776

    Annual Median Salary

    35.64%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Computer Systems Analysts

    Analyze science, engineering, business, and other data processing problems to develop and implement solutions to complex applications problems, system administration issues, or network concerns. Perform systems management and integration functions, improve existing computer systems, and review computer system capabilities, workflow, and schedule limitations. May analyze or recommend commercially available software.

    18

    Annual Openings*

    $37.88

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $78,790

    Annual Median Salary

    30.14%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Surveying and Mapping Technicians

    Perform surveying and mapping duties, usually under the direction of an engineer, surveyor, cartographer, or photogrammetrist, to obtain data used for construction, mapmaking, boundary location, mining, or other purposes. May calculate mapmaking information and create maps from source data, such as surveying notes, aerial photography, satellite data, or other maps to show topographical features, political boundaries, and other features. May verify accuracy and completeness of maps. Excludes “Cartographers and Photogrammetrists” (17-1021), “Surveyors" (17-1022), and “Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers” (19-2042).

    16

    Annual Openings*

    $22.83

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $47,486

    Annual Median Salary

    14.54%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Engineering Technologists and Technicians, Except Drafters, All Other

    All engineering technologists and technicians, except drafters, not listed separately.

    10

    Annual Openings*

    $37.77

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $78,562

    Annual Median Salary

    5.49%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other

    All life, physical, and social science technicians not listed separately.

    7

    Annual Openings*

    $18.20

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $37,856

    Annual Median Salary

    20.05%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators

    Conduct investigations related to suspected violations of federal, state, or local laws to prevent or solve crimes. Excludes “Private Detectives and Investigators” (33-9021).

    5

    Annual Openings*

    $31.06

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $64,605

    Annual Median Salary

    2.36%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Avionics Technicians

    Install, inspect, test, adjust, or repair avionics equipment, such as radar, radio, navigation, and missile control systems in aircraft or space vehicles.

    3

    Annual Openings*

    $29.62

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $61,610

    Annual Median Salary

    7.94%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Cartographers and Photogrammetrists

    Research, study, and prepare maps and other spatial data in digital or graphic form for one or more purposes, such as legal, social, political, educational, and design purposes. May work with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). May design and evaluate algorithms, data structures, and user interfaces for GIS and mapping systems. May collect, analyze, and interpret geographic information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite data.

    2

    Annual Openings*

    $29.13

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $60,590

    Annual Median Salary

    8.94%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Physical Scientists, All Other

    All physical scientists not listed separately.

    0

    Annual Openings*

    $35.45

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $73,736

    Annual Median Salary

    0%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers, Transportation Equipment

    Install, adjust, or maintain mobile electronics communication equipment, including sound, sonar, security, navigation, and surveillance systems on trains, watercraft, or other mobile equipment. Excludes “Avionics Technicians” (49-2091) and “Electronic Equipment Installers and Repairers, Motor Vehicles” (49-2096).

    N/A

    Annual Openings*

    $33.93

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $70,574

    Annual Median Salary

    N/A

    Growth (2021 - 2031)*

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*Data sourced from Lightcast™ (2023), a global leader in labor market analytics, and limited to the state of Idaho. Contact CWI Institutional Research for questions regarding this data.

Admissions

Step 1

  • Apply to CWI.
  • Choose Unmanned Aerial Systems as your major.

Step 2

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Step 3

Academic Calendar New Student Checklist

News

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.

Read more about CTE Students and Alumni Help Light Up the Sky During Spirit of Boise Drone Light Show
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