When it comes to talking about work in the aviation industry, it’s more likely than not that the first jobs that come to mind are pilot and flight attendant. There’s good reason for that, of course— during the years after the Second World War, when the American middle class was slowly gaining enough disposable income to go traveling, the work of flight attendants and pilots captured the nation’s imagination. Condé Nast Traveler collected testimonials from women who worked as flight attendants during the Golden Age of Travel, and each painted an exciting and glamorous lifestyle full of fashion and adventure.
While the landscape of aviation has certainly changed, the mystique attached to these jobs still lingers. But aviation is a complex web of interactions that starts from the engineering drawing board to landing the plane, and requires far more work than most people may assume. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the number of passengers transported by airlines could reach 8.2 billion in 2037. This necessitates a demand for workers in all parts of the aviation industry. Here are a few of the jobs that the growing industry needs.
Pilots are in charge of operating an aircraft in order to transport passengers or goods from one point to another. If you’ve been paying attention to the aviation industry in the last couple of years, chances are you’ve heard of the pilot shortage. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg says that a growing shortage of pilots is one of the biggest challenges facing the industry, and aviation authorities and airlines alike are working to address this shortage quickly.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics describes flight attendants as individuals who provide routine services in an aircraft, as well as respond to emergencies and ensure the safety and comfort of passengers. Employment prospects for flight attendants are projected to grow 10% from 2018 to 2020, making it an especially attractive career path at the moment.
Aviation maintenance technicians (AMTs)
According to an article by Aviation JobNet, aviation maintenance technicians (AMTs) maintain, service, repair, and overhaul aviation instruments, including avionics, power plants, and airframes. AMTs are the unsung heroes of aviation, and you have them to thank for the maintenance and upkeep of aircraft. While the job itself may not be particularly glamorous, it certainly has a large role to play in the ecosystem of aviation. Aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing anticipates a high demand for AMTs in particular, estimating a need for around 754,000 AMTs in the next few years.
Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)
A certified flight instructors (CFIs) are in charge of teaching others how to operate aircraft. Working as a CFI is one way to gain experience as a pilot, and can help pilots gain the required number of hours before getting hired by a commercial airline. A report by the Washington Post found that they were just as in demand as pilots, with airlines raiding aviation schools for CFIs and in turn creating a shortage of instructors for aspiring pilots.