Careers in aviation jobs comprise a broad genre of sub-fields
Of the total positions included in the field of aviation, reservationists positions are expected to grow the most slowly, perhaps even declining in the coming years.
While air flight attendants and pilots are the positions that generally come to mind in regards to aviation jobs, those that are on the ground are much more prevalent.
Employment prospects are expected to remain favorable for pilots and flight attendants. Pilots and flight attendants make up only about 25% of the total aviation jobs. The remaining majority positions include mechanics, engineers, reservationists and air traffic controllers.
Employment Prospects for Aviation Jobs
Employment prospects vary considerably according to the position applied for:
Air Traffic Controllers – There are actually three types of air traffic controllers; those who work in towers based at airports; those who work in en-route control centers and those who work as flight service station specialists.
Airport based traffic controllers are responsible for directing planes during departure and landing. Once the plane is in the air they are directed by en-route controllers, who are based in 20+ control centers located at strategic points throughout the United States. Their job involves monitoring and directing the plane throughout its destination.
Flight service station specialists have no responsibility regarding direction of the plane’s flight pattern, but are equipped to respond in case of emergency and in the event a plane is overdue at its destination.
Aviation Jobs for Pilots – While commercial pilots are the positions most easily recognized; this career field also includes charter pilots, cargo pilots, helicopter pilots, crop dusters and those pilots who are engaged in activities such as search and rescue, firefighting and traffic observations.
Mechanics and Service Technicians – Aircraft mechanics and service technicians are responsible for inspecting each plan before it leaves the runway and making any necessary repairs. Mechanics may restrict their specialty to a specific type of airplane or part of the plane.
Aviation Jobs for Engineers are responsible for the production of an aircraft from its design, development and the final tests that are performed in order to deem it safe and worthy of air travel.
Job Search for Aviation Jobs
Job search in the field of aviation varies greatly depending on the area the candidate wants to work in. Commercial related aviation jobs may be required to go through the FAA; such as is the case with air traffic controllers.
Unions may also prove to be of benefit for person searching for work in the aviation industry. Persons interested in working as pilots or mechanics for large commercial airlines will find that networking and applying directly with airlines to be good resources for job openings.
Aviation Jobs – Cover Letters
The cover letter is an excellent opportunity for persons seeking aviation jobs to mention their commitment to safety and their safety record. The job applicant should use the cover letter as a way to explain hour their decision-making abilities, safety record and leadership style can benefit the employer.
Aviation Jobs – Resumes
Aviation resumes must be very specific and include all information relevant to the position such as number of flight hours logged, type of license held, number of years experience in the industry and any aircraft or aircraft parts related specialties. Chronological resumes work well for this type of position.
Training & Qualifications for Aviation Jobs
The amount of training required for a career in aviation largely depends on the position that interests an individual:
Pilots are required to possess a license, which at a very minimum includes the logging of at least 250 flight hours, successfully pass both a physical and vision examination as well as a written test and flight test.
There are varying degrees of a commercial pilot’s license
Commercial airline pilots must pass even more rigorous requirements, including 1500 hours of flight time and must be deemed ready to fly at night and by using instruments only.
Vision and physical examination requirements apply as well as aptitude and psychological evaluations. Additionally, most airlines require 2 years of college at a minimum; and a great majority of airlines require a Bachelor’s degree. Pilots’ licenses must be renewed and continuing education courses are required.
Mechanics and service technicians must usually be certified by the FAA. The certification process involves anywhere between 18 months to 36 months experience working with a trained certified mechanic. This type of experience is usually gained through education at a trade school with the student attending either a 2 year or 4 year course of study.
Once the certificate is trained, the mechanic or technician must stay on top of continuing education and ongoing experience requirements in order for their certificate to remain valid.
Engineers are required to have a degree in Aerospace Engineering.
Due to the fact that air traffic controllers are directly responsible for the safe arrival and landing of hundreds of thousands of aircrafts, the training requirements and qualifications are especially rigorous.
An individual interested in pursing a career in this field must first obtain 4 years of college and then enroll in a further education program that is approved by the FAA.
Following that enrollment they must pass a pre-employment test with the FAA as well as physical exam, drug screening and security clearance.
Provided the candidate is successful in all of these pre-employment requirements, they must them attend 3 months of additional training at the FAA Academy.
Following completion of the training program at the Academy they will work in the industry for several years before becoming eligible to receive a full certification.
As with most other aviation related careers, air traffic controllers must pass physical and performance examinations on a continuous basis in order to remain eligible for employment.