The Instapinch has always been an aviation-centric blog, and my friend Philip Reed has asked me to host a short series of posts that address careers in Aviation. If you or a progeny are thinking of a career in aviation, these words may help!
There are many career options in modern aviation. So many that it is hard to decide which career to choose. The basic questions to answer are, “Which aspect of aviation holds the most interest?” and “Where do my natural talents lie?” For those who enjoy the idea of soaring in the air and visiting exotic countries, pilot or flight attendant may be the appropriate career. For the mechanically or mathematically inclined, there are many more career paths that will allow you to work in the aviation industry.
This is the dream job that most people who want to work with airplanes choose first. Standard requirements for a commercial pilot are a college degree and FAA-certified flight training. Non-commercial pilots still need FAA-certified flight training and perform essential functions such as rescue flights, test planes, monitor traffic, dust crops and fight fires.
Flight attendants do not simply tend to the needs and comfort of the passengers, they are also charged with the safety of those onboard. They perform detailed safety instruction before the flight and must provide first aid to passengers if the need arises. Flight attendants meet with the pilot and other members of the team before the flight to review the flight plan, schedule, weather conditions, and safety and security procedures and protocols.
An aircraft mechanic’s job does not just require them to repair airplanes. Aircraft mechanics perform preventative maintenance to ensure that nothing goes wrong while the plane is in flight, and they are also responsible for making sure the plane is in compliance with regulatory guidelines. Visit the FAA website to see the educational and training requirements for aircraft mechanics.
Air Traffic Controller
Typically, air traffic controllers only need an associate degree, but they need to have a great deal of mental focus. They are assisting planes with their maneuvering both on the ground and in the air. They also keep pilots updated on the latest weather conditions that could affect their flight plan. Because of the responsibility of making sure the planes are staying on their instructed course to avoid a collision, this can be a stressful job.
Aircraft Loadmaster/Load Planner
Many people do not realize that there is a person who plans where passengers sit and how to load the cargo on the plane so the plane can take off and land. They are responsible for calculating the weight and balance of the cargo and passengers to keep the plane in the air and flying without extra effort and recalculating from the pilots. Loadmaster is the military term, and the military position requires flying with the plane to perform the calculations for the next leg of the journey. Load Planner is the civilian title, and the position does not entail flying with the plane.
Aerospace engineers develop the various technologies used in aviation, whether it is passenger travel by plane, astronaut travel into space or military defense systems, these engineers specialize in creating communication, control and navigation systems as well as structural designs and production methods. This is mostly an office-type job, drafting schematics and other documents but has occasional opportunities to conduct testing outside.
Whether on the ground or in the air, there are many options for a career in aviation. Each one has its own educational requirements as well as skill set necessary to perform the functions of the job. Considering the need for people to travel from one end of the world to the other quickly, the industry will always need aviation professionals.