Types of Airport Jobs and Aviation Careers

There are many types of airport jobs in the aviation industry allowing you to work in a wide variety of roles. Some of these roles include:

  • Pilot, co-pilot
  • air traffic controller
  • Aircraft and avionics mechanic
  • airport manager
  • Transportation Security Controller
  • Airfield Operations Specialist
  • Aeronautical engineer

Richard O’Loughlin dreamed of being a pilot as long as he can remember. While his friends were busy getting their driver’s license, O’Loughlin was getting his pilot’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 soon found work at Boston’s Logan Airport. He started as an assistant, but rose through the management ranks over his 20+ year career, eventually becoming manager of Logan Airport.

Today, O’Loughlin is an aviation operations administrator at Southern New Hampshire University’s (SNHU) College of Engineering, Technology and Aeronautics and said her experience is an important reminder that there are many points entry into aeronautical careers beyond pilot work.

“For every pilot, there are 90 people who report to them and support the mission the pilot is doing,” he said.

If you’re passionate about flying and want to play an important role in the growing field of aviation, learn more about the types of airport jobs available and get tips to prepare for careers in flight management. aviation with SNHU aviation instructors.

What is Aviation Management?

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

Aviation is a growing field, with a large number of opportunities expected to become available in the coming years.

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

Boeing projects aviation will need 790,000 new pilots by 2037 to meet growing needs, according to a 2018 Forbes Story. And pilots aren’t the only high-demand aviation management jobs.

According to a survey 2018 of more than 100 International Air Transport Association (IATA) human resources professionals, a large number of ground operations staff, 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 respondents expect growth in ground jobs, 70% expect growth in customer service jobs, and 70% expect growth in cabin crew jobs.

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

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

Types of Airport Jobs

If you are ready to enter the aviation field, it is important to have a good understanding of the aviation management jobs available and the salary potential of 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 US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A commercial pilot does not need a college degree and flies non-scheduled flights such as private, corporate or charter flights and may also be responsible for loading baggage and greeting passengers. As an airline pilot, you might work for an airline that flies passengers and cargo on a fixed schedule. Airline pilots generally require a bachelor’s degree and the Airline Pilot Certificate (ATP) issued by the FAA, according to the BLS. The median salary for 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 takeoff 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 won a median salary of $124,540, according to BLS data.
  • Aeronautical and Avionic Mechanics: As an aircraft mechanic, you will play a key role in the safety of aircraft crew and passengers by examining, diagnosing and repairing electrical and mechanical problems. Aircraft mechanic jobs are 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 airfield maintenance and security, airport capacity and space management airline and airline programming. According to BLS data, general and operations managers earned a median salary of $100,410 in 2017.
  • Transportation Security Controller: Interested in air safety? You could work for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening passengers, baggage, or cargo to ensure compliance with security regulations. According to the BLS, there were 42,470 jobs in transportation security in 2017, with screening officers earning a median salary of $40,580. In July 2018, the The TSA announced plans to encourage the career progression of current TSA workers, opening up new opportunities across the country.
  • Airfield Operations Specialists: As an airfield operations specialist, you can help ensure the safe takeoff and landing of aircraft, by coordinating air traffic control and maintenance personnel to implement aircraft safety procedures. ‘aerodrome. According to BLS data, there were approximately 8,760 airfield operations specialist jobs in 2017, gaining 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 manufacturing of aircraft. Aeronautical and aerospace engineers earned a median salary of $113,030 in May 2017, according to the BLS. BLS data projects will increase jobs in aeronautical engineering 6% by 2026 as airlines strive to produce quieter and more efficient aircraft.

Getting started in aviation careers

Are you curious about what it takes to start a career in aviation? While the education needed for airline management positions and other aviation careers can vary widely, some basic personality traits 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 are no choices in this business, and there is no place for people who cannot communicate effectively, quickly and in Communication is at the heart of what runs this business.”

The ability to think critically and rationally and practice 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 aviation management.

Developing these skills in an aviation degree program and through hands-on work experience is essential to preparing 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 good start toward employment in aircraft design and production. 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’s also important to look for opportunities to advance your industry knowledge and real-world aviation experiences.

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

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

Whatever career path in aviation you want to follow, it is important to always focus on deepening your knowledge and honing your leadership skills.

“Aviation doesn’t have a pause button,” Larowe said. “Aviation has no shoulder to pull over when something is wrong. Aviation needs to think through the whole situation long before a plane takes off in order to be successful and safe. “

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