Looking for an aviation career—but not one that involves flight school? You have plenty of options. The commercial aviation industry needs a wide range of professionals to support the 100,000 flights[i] that take off daily around the world.
Here are a few ideas for your aviation job hunt:
Air Traffic Control
Air traffic controllers help guide aircraft during take-off, landing, and in flight. With thousands of lives in their hands, their job is one of the highest-pressure jobs outside of combat or emergency services. If you’re an American citizen under 31 years of age, you can become an air traffic controller if you hold a bachelor’s degree, pass the FAA’s exams, including a medical, and complete ATC Academy training. Having an educational background in aviation can help.[ii]
Airport managers are responsible for controlling the myriad processes of an airport– from the management of the food court to the environmental and noise abatement compliance of the facility. They need to be focused, first and foremost, on the safety of passengers and crew, and need to understand everything from economics to public relations. At large airports, managers may oversee one area of operation, while managers at smaller airports may oversee everything, up to and including the sale of aviation fuel. Most employers will recruit entry-level managers with a degree in business or aviation management.
Marketing professionals who work with airlines may help promote the airline itself, through advertising and the development of promotional programs such as frequent flyer plans or air miles plans. They may also work with other brands to make licensing deals with the airline to promote their products– for instance, offering a company’s products as part of duty-free sales on board international flights.
If you’re an experienced aircraft mechanic or avionics technician, the time may be right to move up to management by completing a bachelor’s in aviation management. As a maintenance manager, you will oversee the mechanics and engineers who keep your airport’s planes in flying condition. AMMs need to understand finance, including budgeting, and human resource management. They will act as the liaison between their airport and the FAA for anything related to maintenance or repair.
The loadmaster is a member of the aircrew who ensures the aircraft is balanced for flight. He or she ensures that passengers and cargo are situated in such a way that the airplane can land and take-off safely. Additionally, loadmasters make sure that baggage and cargo are loaded according to regulations, with dangerous or sensitive cargo placed separate from other baggage.[i] http://skift.com/2014/10/14/3-biggest-challenges-facing-the-global-aviation-industry/ [ii] https://www.faa.gov/jobs/career_fields/aviation_careers/