The opportunities are sky high when it comes to careers for graduates of FVTC’s aviation programs.
Elizabeth Amweg, 22, started taking flight lessons when she was 15. By the time she graduated high school, the Plymouth, Wis., native had already earned her private pilot’s certificate at a nearby airport. When she started shopping around for a flight school to continue her professional pilot education, she quickly chose Fox Valley Technical College.
“I started out looking at some four-year programs,” Amweg explains. “But they were expensive—and they didn’t offer as much as FVTC does in its two-year program.”
A visit to campus made Amweg’s decision even easier. “The people were all friendly,” she says. “The class sizes were small and I discovered I could transfer to a four-year program later on and earn a bachelor’s degree.”
For Amweg, things couldn’t have worked out better. After only two years at FVTC, she graduated with her associate degree in Aeronautics-Pilot Training in 2009. At the same time, she earned her commercial pilot’s certificate with airplane single-engine, multi-engine, and instrument ratings. She also earned a certified flight instructor certificate. What’s more noteworthy is that Amweg had accumulated more than 300 hours of flight time in only two years—a critical component of qualifying for employment as a pilot.
“If I had chosen a four-year school, it would have taken twice as long and I wouldn’t have acquired nearly as much flight experience or pilot certificates,” says Amweg.
Plus, she wouldn’t already have two years of experience working as a flight instructor. Like some FVTC program graduates, Amweg was hired as a flight instructor at the college after completing her degree. She now has more than 1,000 hours of flight time, and recently landed a job as a first officer with American Eagle Airlines, where she will be flying 70-passenger airplanes around the United States and the Caribbean.
“We keep our class sizes small [16 students] and really try to give our students as much one-on-one tailored instruction as possible,” says Jared Huss, lead instructor of FVTC’s Pilot Training program. “Elizabeth was the kind of student every instructor looks forward to teaching. She took full advantage of all the resources available to her, and always went above and beyond what was required. Elizabeth carried a tremendous work ethic with her while she worked for us as both a work study and as a flight instructor.”
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