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



Additional cost may apply.

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

  • Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technologists and Technicians

    Operate, install, adjust, and maintain integrated computer/communications systems, consoles, simulators, and other data acquisition, test, and measurement instruments and equipment, which are used to launch, track, position, and evaluate air and space vehicles. May record and interpret test data.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    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.


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

  • Attend an Unmanned Aerial Systems Program Exploration event prior to registering for classes. Contact robertnovak@cwi.edu for future event details.

Academic Calendar New Student Checklist


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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