Scott Belford http://www.redstone.edu 4m 643
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
For people with a love for aviation, there is no greater feeling of freedom than soaring through the blue skies. However, for some who have a fear of flying a career in aviation may seem like a lost cause. But by doing some research and careful planning, those with a fear of flying can still have very successful careers in the aviation industry.
Become an Airplane Mechanic
People with technical and mechanical skills who wish to keep both feet on the ground can find employment as airplane mechanics and technical workers. This is a rapidly growing field. These jobs can be demanding, often requiring long hours and erratic schedules to keep aircraft flying. However, the pay is generally quite good, and the strong unions for these workers usually guarantee good pay and benefits. To get started in this field, it’s best to start working at a small airport servicing single-engine planes. For those wishing to work on the big commercial jets, they need to check into training at a technical school in aircraft maintenance. Some schools offer degrees in aviation maintenance, which is often required to work with major airliners. Those with military experience as flight mechanics can also find jobs with airlines, with many companies today very willing to hire veterans.
Work at an Airport
Many aviation jobs are available at airports helping people when they arrive for their flights. Airlines are always in need of workers to attend the check-in counters and to help people purchase tickets or process ones already purchased. For people who like jobs that are a bit more physical, baggage handlers work behind the scenes to make sure passenger’s luggage is carefully loaded onto the correct aircraft. These jobs require using special equipment such as forklifts, baggage carts and other equipment to safely and securely handle baggage, as most often it’s more than just suitcases that are being loaded onto aircraft.
Customer service positions are also readily available for those who don’t want to fly. In addition to ticket agents and baggage handlers, most airlines hire counter clerks and gate attendants to assist passengers with any questions or issues they may have. Customers who need information about a particular city, connecting flights, flight rules and so forth can often get their questions answered by these knowledgeable workers. These jobs are often thought of as the “one-stop source” for any and all customer concerns, so the workers in these jobs are usually a bit more experienced and able to handle most any situation with confidence and calmness. Many of these jobs can be obtained by simply having a high school diploma and previous customer service experience, and can be found by looking for postings in airports or visiting airline websites.
Become an Air Traffic Controller
Perhaps the most demanding, stressful and challenging aviation job not requiring flight is air traffic controller. These jobs have had their share of ups and downs over the years, but these men and women are what keep flights moving along at a steady and safe pace. The pay and benefits are excellent, but the schedules can be grueling, with some controllers working long shifts with little rest. However, in recent years scheduling has changed for the better, so the majority of controllers are now able to get adequate rest. A high school diploma is all that’s required, though college is often expected. Applicants must be under age 30 and be very articulate and decisive. Entry-level workers gradually move through a series of positions, being trained in such areas as ground control, departure and arrival control, emergency procedures and more before being allowed to solo in the control tower.
Scott Belford writes on topics related to business, technology, and vocational training – such as the career training programs offered by Redstone College, an aircraft mechanic school that helps prepare students for (well-grounded) careers in aviation.