How to Find a Crop Dusting School

Crop dusting involves flying an agricultural aircraft, or a small plane, over fields and crops to apply fertilizers, pesticides or insecticides. Becoming a pilot on a crop duster requires extensive training and education, particularly when it comes to matters of safety. The most reputable training facilities will offer a comprehensive curriculum which includes classroom learning and study, as well as flying time and training in the field. Find a crop dusting school that will provide a solid foundation for life-long learning in the field of agricultural aviation.


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    Research available schools. There are crop dusting schools in most agricultural areas, and the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) maintains listings of the top schools. Check with local community colleges and any published information directories or telephone books to obtain a list of local options. Perform a search online to see if any schools in the area have websites with information.
    • Check school accreditation. A good crop dusting school will be accredited by local, state and national authorities and agencies. Ask for answers if the school does not feel accreditation is necessary, or if its license has been suspended or revoked.
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    Visit the schools. The best way to get a feel for the teaching style and learning structure is to visit a crop dusting school. Make an appointment to speak with anyone who manages the admissions process, as well as instructors and students. Ask about the teaching methodology, the training that the teachers have received, and the amount of classroom time versus air time used for flying crop dusters. Check out the equipment and the planes that are used, and ask to see a typical schedule of courses.
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    Evaluate the school's curriculum. It would be a waste of time and money to attend a school that did not cover all the basics of crop dusting and the details needed to understand specific types of crops, chemicals and planes. Make sure the course will include training on GPS technology, entomology, chemical applications, weather patterns, and flying.
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    Talk to professionals in the field. Find out where crop dusters in the area attended school. Ask what they liked about their training and what they thought might be missing. Talk to members of agribusiness management or the people who run local farms and find out how they hire crop dusters.
    • Ask about job placement resources. Find out if there is help with finding a job when students are prepared to graduate from crop dusting schools. Check into starting salaries, benefits, and how graduates keep up with changing technologies and professional learning once they are certified crop dusters.


  • After the September 11th terrorists were found to have sought training at crop dusting schools, security in the United States has increased at these institutions. Be prepared to prove your identity and demonstrate your reasons for learning how to fly a crop duster.
  • Prepare for the cost. Attending crop dusting school can cost anywhere from $8,000, for someone who already has a pilot's license to $40,000, or more for a student who has to learn how to fly as well as dust crops.

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