This career studies certificate is designed to prepare students for a career as a small unmanned aircraft systems flight technician. Upon successful completion of the coursework, students will demonstrate advanced proficiency in a variety of sUAS areas. Topics covered include both theory and hands-on experience with mission planning, ground control operations, crew management, emergency procedures, safety, sensor selection, advanced maintenance, drone programming, flight data management, geospatial technology and systems, and manipulation of geospatial data for the purpose of analysis, presentation, and decision-making.
Students must complete the sUAS Flight Operator Career Studies Certificate prior to beginning the coursework in this certificate.
sUAS/Drone operators are in demand by a variety of industries with potential commercial uses in disaster response, police, fire, and EMS response and investigation, search and rescue, scientific research, agriculture, farming, ranching, land, livestock, and wildlife surveys, pipeline and power line inspection, industrial and residential inspection, delivery and transport, and aerial photography
Program Information and Curriculum
Explore Careers and Job Outlook
Tuition and Funding Options
An estimated $15.2 million dollars in grants, loans, work-study and scholarships are awarded to Laurel Ridge Community College students each year. We are committed to using all available funds to help you gain access to a college education.
Payment plans are offered to break down tuition payments.
View all financial aid, payment options, and more HERE.
Virginia Space Grant Consortium
The College under the leadership of Dr. Melissa Stange has been awarded an Innovative Project Grant UAS grant from the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) to bring unmanned aircraft systems to students and community.
The College will be hosting a Females Take Flight program to include webinars on Females in STEM and UAS, summer camps for K-12 females for high school girls, 10 grants for female college students to take a drone class (UMS107) during the Fall 2022 semester to prepare to take their Part 107 exam, and an engaging UAS community fair this summer.
The College is excited to have the support of VSGC to bring our UAS program to the College’s service region, along with in several other drone activities. Through Dr. Stange’s participation in the GeoTEd-UAS Institute, she will spend a week in May at Virginia Tech learning more about drones and how to expand the program at the College.
Drone Related Links
- FAA DroneZone – Register your drone
- The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) – All recreational flyers must pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test and provide proof of test passage (the TRUST completion certificate) to the FAA or law enforcement upon request
- AUVSI – Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International
- Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation – is a source for information, grants, partnerships, and seed funding for UxS in the Commonwealth
- Virginia Drone Laws – General rules for flying drones in Virginia
- VABA – Virginia Aviation Business Association
- Unmanned Systems Association of Virginia
- AOPA – Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
- Commercial Drone Alliance – Shaping the future of the commercial drone industry
- World Drone Association
- Global Drone Pilots Association
- International Drone Operators Association
Have a Question?
Do you have a specific question about this program or how to get started at Laurel Ridge? Please use the form below and a member of our staff will respond as soon as possible.
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