Caree Campbell - UVU Alumnus

Caree Campbell - UVU Alumnus

“My favorite part about being an airline pilot is having the flight deck be your office, hands down. Close second, when you are home, you’re home. Uninterrupted time. Work stays at work.”

Caree Campbell is a 2020 graduate of the Utah Valley University School of Aviation Sciences. She obtained her FAA Certified Flight Instructor certificate and shortly after was hired to fly cargo and passengers in the Northern Mariana Islands and territories in Guam. She was able to build flight time for six months and was then recruited by her sister to do sightseeing tours in Alaska. Currently, she is a First Officer at SkyWest Airlines, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she flies the CRJ 700 and 900, a 50-75 passenger regional jet.

Prior to her career in aviation, Caree attended BYU for 2 years, served an 18-month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and then returned to BYU. She transferred to Utah Valley University to study aviation. Caree credits her family, and in particular her pilot father as the biggest influence in her career choice. On a particular airline flight, Caree and her sister Abbee sat next to a pilot and talked to him about pursuing aviation as a career. While Abbee started the program before her, they both ended up transferring to UVU to begin the Professional Pilot Bachelor Degree program.

Many people wonder what working as an airline pilot is like. Caree described a typical flight day: “Go to the airport, get through security, verify gate, go to the airplane, complete preflight duties. Then do a walk-around of the aircraft to make sure it is ready to fly and looks okay. Run through checklists with the captain. I usually do anywhere from 2-6 flights. Every schedule is different, depending on what the airline needs.” She explained further that each on-duty period is about 1-4 days and she has at least 12 days off per month.

As far as family life for pilots, it varies depending on a number of factors, including seniority and family situation. “A lot of people shy away from being a pilot, because maybe it’s not conducive for a family. Maybe it’s just the family I came from, but it is something that has brought us closer together. It’s been a tremendous thrill and blessing”, she explained.

Caree has some valuable advice for future or current aviation students: “I think a lot of people get intimidated by the cost. You will be in a position to make the salary of someone with a master’s degree. Don’t be so intimidated by the cost. It is an investment in your skill set. Just stick with it. It is a job that literally anyone can learn how to do and enjoy. Totally doable if you come with the attitude to learn. If you mess up you can still learn from it. Just don’t quit trying and it pays off.”

When asked if she would recommend UVU to those interested in aviation, she responded “Oh absolutely! I totally recommend UVU.” She went on to explain that she has worked with pilots from around the world, and that UVU prepares aspiring pilots for a very rewarding and prestigious career.