Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, A.A.S.

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Launch a New Career by Mastering Drones!

State-of-the-art technology and expert instructors enable Carroll’s AAS Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems program to take your career to new heights.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones, are changing the world. While the technology has existed since World War I, this past decade has seen a boom in UAS commercial applications, with the potential of becoming a $100+ billion industry, according to Goldman Sachs.

Carroll’s Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) program provides students with both the theoretical knowledge and practical skill necessary to safely operate and maintain small unmanned aircraft within the guidelines of the National Airspace System.

The coursework focuses on safe sUAS operation for aerial video production, the collection and analysis of aerial and geospatial data, as well as piloting and flight requirements. Students also learn the software and applications used to manipulate photos, video and data captured by the drones. As part of this program, students will prepare to earn their FAA Remote Pilot in Command Certificate. 

Why Carroll for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems: 

  • Carroll students are job-ready after completing the program and can begin their careers immediately upon graduation.
  • Gain hands-on experience flying a variety of professional drones, including the DJI Inspire and Mavic Pro, in scenario-based missions. (Drone will be provided.)
  • Curriculum developed and continuously reviewed by an advisory committee of industry leaders, ensuring the program meets current as well as future skill and knowledge requirements.


Carroll faculty members are scholars, researchers and distinguished leaders who are selected for their academic and industry credentials as well as for their teaching abilities. 

Josh Kohn

Josh has long been fascinated with technology and loves anything that has to do with flying. He earned his B.S. in Industrial Technology from University of Maryland, College Park. In addition to being a licensed private and drone pilot, he is the owner of Kohn Creative digital marketing agency and the publisher of Carroll Magazine. He has been teaching various areas of Technology Education for more than five years, and enjoys showing others how thing work. 

Luisa C. Winters

Luisa comes to Carroll with a diverse range of knowledge and skills. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from Johns Hopkins University in 1987. She later received her certifications as a private pilot, remote pilot and advanced ground school instructor. She has worked more than thirty years as a professional video editor, camerawoman and producer; more than twenty years as a teacher/professor; and more than eight years as a UAS pilot. In addition, she is also an Adobe Master Instructor (one of only twelve in the world) and an Apple Certified Trainer. 

What does this program cost?

Carroll’s Associate of Applied Science in Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems consists of four semesters of full-time study. You can complete an associate degree at Carroll for less than the cost of one year at a 4-year college or university.

Visit the Tuition and Fees page for the latest rates.

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Where can you go?

By 2023, the FAA predicts that the commercial drone market will consist of 835,000 aircraft—three times the number in 2018. Subsequently, demand for certified pilots will grow significantly, offering a wide variety of jobs as well as opportunities for students to start their own businesses in this rapidly evolving field.  

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) forecasts more than 100,000 drone-related jobs will be created by 2025 in such important industries as:

  • Infrastructure & Construction
  • Agriculture
  • Real Estate
  • Insurance
  • Media & Entertainment
  • Law Enforcement & Military

Starting pay for entry-level drone operator jobs (e.g., shooting photos/videos for realtors, hotel and resort ads) is about $35,000 per year, while more advanced applications such as power line inspections, aerial surveillance and disaster relief can earn individuals as much as $200,000 annually.

Students receiving an AAS degree in Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems at Carroll are also well equipped for transfer to a 4-year college or university.