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Certification in Unmanned Aerial Systems Operations

10-11 credits


Program Description

The Aviation Unmanned Aerial Systems Operations (UAS) program trains individuals to work as professional UAS operators. Students will learn to operate UAS to include skills such as conducting mission/preflight planning, actual UAS operations, and utilize data obtained through UAS operations. Students will be taught to perform limited UAS and ground support equipment testing, troubleshooting, and maintenance. The UAS certification is intended to prepare students for a fast growing industry with many civilian applications including agriculture, search and rescue, monitoring environment and wildlife, fire mapping, surveying structures after natural disasters, and real estate photography.

Career Opportunities

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International projected more than 100,000 new jobs in the United States by 2025 in unmanned aircraft by 2025.

The current national salary range for individuals licensed and with experience in UAS Operations averages $20,000-$80,000 average salary. Individuals may earn up to $100,000 if they own their own company.

Occupational Requirements

Students must be at least 16 years old and pass TSA vetting to earn a Remote Pilot Airman Certificate to work as a Drone Pilot.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the required courses for the Workforce Certification, students will be able to:

  • Explain the integration of the National Airspace System and the integration of Unmanned Aerial Systems.
  • Work within a crew environment to plan, implement, and analyze UAS operations.
  • Safely pilot multi-copters and fixed wings in normal and emergency flight operations.
  • Successfully apply and utilize Federal Aviation Administration airspace waivers
  • Apply technology to transmit, receive, and report data obtained from UAS operations.
  • Identify safety and legal considerations for UAS operations, including regulations for operations and restricted airspace.


Many of the courses for this certification are offered as compact courses (e.g. one Friday/Saturday) or as a hybrid course with both online and face-to-face components.

Space is limited in this program.  All students who want to register for either UASO 101 or UASO 103 MUST complete the program application found at:

Students may register for courses in two ways:

  1. As a regularly enrolled student at SKC. Apply to SKC at

Regular tuition costs apply.


  1. As a Continuing Education student follow the steps below.  You can add all 4 classes into your cart and only have to check out once.

Cost:  $100.00/credit + $15 fee/course

Class 1

UASO 110   Unmanned Aerial Systems in Emergency Management

September 20 8-5 and an additional day in October to be determined

2 credits

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are an emerging technology that will likely revolutionize disaster management. This course is an introduction to UAS use in disaster management, from mitigation and preparedness to response and recovery.

Class 2

UASO 101   Remote Pilot Ground School

Online Course Starts September 23

3 credits

Remote Pilot Ground School covers the principles of aviation weather, aeronautical charts, FAA Airspace regulations, and FAA Unmanned Aerial Systems regulations and prepares the student for the FAA Remote Pilot certificate exam.

Class 3

UASO 103 Unmanned Aerial Systems Basic Flight Operations

Enrollment limited to 10 students

Course to be scheduled for a Friday/Saturday in October weather permitting

3 credits

The prerequisite to take UASO 103 is successful completion of UASO 101.

Unmanned Aerial Systems Basic Flight Operations introduces students to the basic principles of flight for unmanned aerial vehicles including quadcopters and fixed winged vehicles. The student will gain hands-on experience with preflight inspection, takeoff procedures, operations in various flight regimes, landing operations, and logging. Flights will be both manual and preprogrammed. This course provides for approximately 10 hours of supervised flight experience.

Class 4

UASO 105   UAS Imagery Management

Course Date to be Scheduled in Winter Quarter

2 credits

UAS Imagery Management prepares students to collect UAS imagery after flight operations and perform basic preparations for further image processing. Students will learn basic image manipulation and apply skills through hands-on case studies.