Types of airport jobs and aviation careers


There are many types of airport jobs in the aviation industry, which allows you to fill a wide variety of roles. Some of these roles include:

  • Pilot, co-pilot
  • Air traffic controller
  • Aeronautical and avionics mechanic
  • Airport manager
  • Transport security controller
  • Aerodrome operations specialist
  • Aeronautical engineer

Richard o’loughlin dreamed of being a pilot for as long as he can remember. While his friends were busy getting their driver’s licenses, O’Loughlin was earning his driver’s license. But after earning an aviation degree and commercial pilot certification in the 1990s, he discovered that there weren’t many pilot jobs available at that time.

Instead, O’Loughlin turned to aviation management jobs and quickly found work at Logan Airport in Boston. He started out as an assistant, but worked his way up through the management ranks during his 20-plus-year career, eventually becoming manager of Logan Airport.

Today, O’Loughlin is Administrator of Aviation Operations at the College of Engineering, Technology and Aeronautics at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).

“For every pilot there are 90 people who are under them and who support the pilot’s mission,” he said.

If you are passionate about flying and want to play a big role in the growing aviation industry, learn more about the types of jobs available at airports and get tips to prepare you for the careers of aviation management with SNHU aviation instructors.

What is aviation management?

With an aviation management degree, you could oversee the day-to-day operations of an airline, airport, or group of airport maintenance workers. Aviation managers may also work in the field of aeronautical engineering, overseeing the production of airplanes.

Aviation is a growing field, with a large number of opportunities that should become available in the years to come.

The need for private and commercial pilots, in particular, is expected to skyrocket over the next two decades, as many pilots today retire and airlines prepare to launch new planes.

Boeing has forecast that aviation will need 790,000 new pilots by 2037 to meet growing needs, according to a Article Forbes 2018. And pilots aren’t the only aviation management jobs in high demand.

According to a 2018 survey of more than 100 human resources professionals from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a high number of ground operations personnel, customer service personnel and cabin crew will also be required during the next decade.

The survey found that over the next 10 years, 81% of those surveyed expect ground operations jobs to grow, 70% expect customer service jobs to grow, and 70% expect customer service jobs to grow. growth in cabin crew jobs.

While much of this demand can be explained by the growth of the airline industry and air traffic passengers around the world, the IATA report also suggests that there is a lack of properly trained workers in many of these key aviation roles.

Obtaining an aviation management degree is a great first step in getting the education you need to see yourself succeed in one of the many in-demand aviation careers.

Types of jobs at the airport

If you are ready to enter the field of aviation, it is important to fully understand the jobs available in aviation management and the salary potential in aviation management.

  • Pilots, co-pilots and flight engineers: With a pilot’s license, you can work as a commercial pilot or an airline pilot, depending on the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A commercial pilot does not need a college degree and pilots unscheduled flights such as private, corporate or charter flights and may also be responsible for loading luggage and welcoming passengers. As an airline pilot, you might work for an airline that carries passengers and cargo on a set schedule. Airline pilots generally need a bachelor’s degree and the Airline Pilot’s Certificate (ATP) issued by the FAA, according to the BLS. The median salary of commercial pilots was $ 78,740 in 2017, while airline pilots earned a median salary of $ 137,330 in 2017, BLS data shows. The aviation industry projects a sharp increase in pilot jobs available over the next 20 years.
  • Air traffic controller: As an air traffic controller, you can help monitor and direct the movement of aircraft on the ground and in the air, giving landing and take-off instructions to pilots and communicating with flight crews and emergency response. BLS data predicts that air traffic control will remain a competitive field, with only 3% job growth expected by 2026. In 2017, air traffic controllers obtained a median salary of $ 124,540, according to BLS data.
  • Aeronautical and avionics mechanics: As an Aircraft Mechanic, you will play a key role in the safety of the aircraft crew and passengers by examining, diagnosing and repairing electrical and mechanical problems. Aircraft mechanic jobs are is expected to grow by 5% by 2026, and earned a median salary of $ 61,020 in 2017, according to BLS data.
  • Airport managers: As an Airport Manager, you will be responsible for overseeing the behind-the-scenes work of an airport, including aerodrome maintenance and security, airport and airspace capacity management and airline planning. According to BLS data, general and operational managers earned a median salary of $ 100,410 in 2017.
  • Transport security controller: Interested in aviation safety? You could work for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) which screens passengers, baggage, or cargo to ensure compliance with safety regulations. According to the BLS, there were 42,470 transportation safety jobs in 2017, with screening officers earning a median salary of $ 40,580. In July 2018, the TSA announced plans to encourage career progression for current TSA workers, opening up new opportunities across the country.
  • Aerodrome operations specialists: As an aerodrome operations specialist, you can help ensure the safe take-off and landing of aircraft, coordinating between air traffic control and maintenance personnel to implement safety procedures. the airfield. According to BLS data, there were approximately 8,760 aerodrome operations specialist jobs in 2017, earning a median salary of $ 48,910.
  • Aeronautical engineer: What is aeronautics? With a job as an aeronautical engineer, you can play a key role in the design, analysis, development and manufacture of airplanes. Aviation and aerospace engineers earned a median salary of $ 113,030 in May 2017, according to BLS. BLS Data Projects Aeronautical Engineering Jobs To Grow 6% by 2026 as airlines strive to produce quieter and more efficient planes.

Getting into aviation careers

Are you curious about what it takes to start a career in aviation? While the training needed for airline management jobs and other aviation careers can vary widely, there are some basic personality traits that are important in the industry, O’Loughlin said.

“Communication is very important,” he said. “You need to have good communication skills and work well with others. There is no choice in this business, and no room for people who cannot communicate effectively, quickly and securely. Communication is at the heart of what makes this business work. “

The ability to think critically and rationally and exercise strong leadership – especially in an emergency – is also important in aviation, said Major Larowe, assistant professor of aviation management with over 30 years of experience in piloting and managing aviation.

Developing these skills in an aviation degree program and through practical work experience is essential to prepare for a career in aviation and aeronautics.

If you want to become an air traffic controller, a bachelor’s degree in air traffic management can give you the skills you need to earn your air traffic controller certification. An aeronautical engineering degree provides a great start to a job in the design and production of aircraft. An aviation management degree prepares you to oversee operations at an airport or for an airline, while an aviation operations degree prepares you to become a pilot.

While your degree is a great first step towards a career in aviation management, it is also important to seek opportunities to advance your knowledge of the industry and your real-world aviation experiences.

Peter Wyman, as an assistant professor of aviation management, said having previous experience in operating an aircraft or around an aircraft can be particularly beneficial when seeking employment in the industry of aviation.

Attending aviation conferences, joining trade and professional associations, and finding internships can also help you network in the field and gain first-hand experience, Larowe said.

Whatever career path you hope to take in aviation, it’s important to always focus on deepening your knowledge and honing your leadership skills.

“Aviation doesn’t have a pause button,” Larowe said. “Aviation doesn’t have a shoulder to stop on when something goes wrong. Aviation has to think through the whole situation well before a plane takes off to be successful and safe.”

Danielle Gagnon is a freelance writer and marketer with a focus on higher education. Connect with her on LinkedIn.


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