Those who are bound to the sky should consider entering a career in aviation. World travelers, mechanics, engineers, and people simply interested in the inner workings of aircrafts are welcome into the world of aeronautics. Currently, there is a shortage of both pilots and mechanics in the aviation industry which has opened up several jobs for newcomers. However, there are countless other career opportunities to explore within aviation, if those two do not strike your interest. Read on below for 7 elite aviation careers.
#7 Commercial Pilot
Ever since the 2009 mandate stating that first officers of commercial airlines must posses an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, there has been a shortage in airline pilots. The education to obtain this certificate is can be costly and takes extra time to achieve which has deterred many from a career in aviation. As a large portion of our aviation workforce reaches the age of retirement, we now more than ever, need newcomers to fill these required positions. To become an airline pilot one must attain a bachelor's degree, Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, and commercial pilotís license. Once hired commercial pilots will undergo on-the-job training comprised of 6-8 weeks of ground school and 25 hours of flight time. Starting salaries for pilots consist of $38,000 annually and can raise anywhere between $73,000 - $135,000.
#6 Aircraft & Avionics Technician or Equipment Mechanic
Aircraft mechanics and avionics technicians take care of aircraft maintenance and repairs. These well educated individuals get to evaluate flight data, diagnose aircraft issues, repair/replace components, and inspect all completed work. In order to become an aircraft mechanic or avionics technician you must attend Aviation Maintenance Technician School. At school you may obtain several different licenses and certificates to determine the exact position you would like to hold as a mechanic or technician. It has been predicted that more than 600,000 employees will be needed in this field by the year 2031. Starting salaries for aircraft mechanics and avionics technicians begin at $35,000 annually, but can raise to anywhere between $55,000 to $75,000 and above.
#5 Commercial Air Traffic Controller
The main object of an air traffic controller is to coordinate air traffic by issuing takeoff and landing instructions, providing pilots with all necessary information, and quickly responding to aircraft emergencies. Air traffic controllers are aware of all weather updates, runway closures, aircraft flight times, and charted routes. The paramount concern of air traffic controllers is flight safety but they also must strive to maintain efficiency within the world of aviation. In order to become an air traffic controller one must complete the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (in either its two or four year degree program) and pass the 8 hour Air Traffic Standardized Aptitude Test. Air traffic controller wages begin at $65,000 annually, but can raise to anywhere in between $125,000 to $170,000 and above. This highly lucrative job is also highly competitive.
#4 Aerospace Program Manager
Aerospace and Aviation program managers make sure that airports and airlines meet all required rules and regulations, maintain and ensure company efficiency, as well as oversee all hiring processes. Aerospace and Aviation program manager applicants must have a bachelorís degree in aviation management and an American Association of Airport Executives Certification OR National Business Aviation Association Certification. The median salary of an Aviation and Aerospace program manager consists of $100,000 annually.
#3 Aviation Safety Inspector
Aviation safety inspectors usually work in one of two specialities, operations or airworthiness. Operations safety inspectors examine airmen for certification, evaluate air carriersí operational programs, and inspect air training programs. Airworthiness safety inspectors evaluate aircraft mechanics as well as flight safety equipment, oversee training programs for mechanics, and access repair facilities. Only an Associateís Degree is required to become an aviation inspector. However, previous experience as a navigator repairman, pilot, or other aviation professional is paramount when applying. It is highly unlikely for a newcomers to land this job early on in their career. Aviation inspectors earn between $40,000 to $60,000 annually. FAA aviation inspectors salaries begin at $127,000.
#2 Flight Instructor
The career as an aviation flight instructor is reserved for aviation professionals who have accumulated a great deal of air time. Flight instructors have total control of their schedule and decide for themselves how many hours they will work and how many students they take on at a time. A flight instructor will provide students with lessons both in the air and on the ground. To become a flight instructor you must have pilot training as well as an instructor certification. The main goal of a flight instructor is to prepare students to pass a written aviation test and attain the required number of flight hours for a pilotís license. The average salary of a flight instructor is $115,000 annually.
#1 Flight Attendant
The main objectives of a flight attendant are to aid the pilot as well as the passengers. Flight attendants keep everything in ordering during flight, hence the title. Plus, as a flight attendant you get to travel the world. It takes minimal education to become a flight attendant as no degree is required. It is one of the rarest, well paying jobs where all of the training takes place after hiring. Flight attendant training typically lasts up to six weeks but depends on the airline. Once training is completed, flight attendants will receive a FAA Certification of Demonstrated Proficiency. The starting salary of a flight attendant is around $27,00 and can raise to anywhere in between $35,000 - $65,000.