How to Get Started on a Career in Aviation

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With 2020 ringing in the new decade, the time is ripe for making a change. All over the globe, every industry is gearing up to make new changes and take full advantage of the decade’s fresh start. Counted among these is the aviation industry, which has been showing signs of consistent growth over the past decade. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), present trends in air travel make it likely that passenger numbers could boom to 8.2 billion yearly in 2037. An increased number of passengers means a greater need for aviation staff both in the air and on the ground. If you want to take advantage of this growth, here are a few tips to starting a career in aviation.

Decide on Your Career Track

When talking about aviation, the first jobs that may come to mind are piloting and being a flight attendant. However, the reality is that the industry is full of a diverse range of work. There’s a variety of roles that are needed to transport passengers or cargo safely, from machine maintenance to piloting the plane. Aerospace Technology has put together a list of the highest-paying aviation jobs in 2019, ranging from air traffic controllers to aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians. Doing research on the type of work you want to do is an important first step in landing a job in the industry, and you might be surprised at the range of work available.

Prepare Yourself

The aviation industry can be highly specialized, and while it can be very forgiving in terms of your background, you may have to do specialized training courses depending on the line of work you want to do. For example, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires pilots to hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate. An ATP certificate states pilots must be at least 23 years old, hold a commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating, have at least 1500 hours recorded flight time, and at least 50 hours recorded in a multi-engine airplane, among other requirements. Other work, like avionics technicians, may also require specific certification from the FAA or other bodies.

Be Well-Rounded

While technical know-how and the appropriate training background are of course pluses, the modern aviation industry also requires prospective applicants to be well-rounded. Aviation JobNet predicts that hiring trends in aviation may soon veer more towards ‘soft skills’, such as adaptability, collaboration, teamwork, and critical thinking. Although developing your practical background is essential, the industry is a complex union of work with humans and machines, so being able to handle both sides of the equation is definitely a plus.

Stand Out from the Crowd

The boom in the aviation industry won’t go unnoticed, and you may find yourself going up against hundreds of other candidates for the same position. As machine-learning and AI become essential parts of the hiring process, it’s more important than ever that you learn to stand out from the crowd. Business News Daily has several tips that can help you make a mark on potential employers during your job search, including focusing on your target job, networking and making connections, and sending thank you notes. Remember, you’re not just looking for a job— you’re hoping to build a career, and you need to do everything in your power to make sure that your first step is successful.