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Think Outside the Plane: Interesting Jobs in the Aviation Industry

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Interested in a career in the airline industry? If you're like most people, your first thoughts were probably becoming a pilot or a flight attendant. But did you know there are a slew of fascinating job opportunities beyond the obvious ones? Take a look at some of them, and you'll realize that the sky's the limit when it comes to making your livelihood in aviation.

Keeping It All Operating Smoothly

Are you friendly, persuasive, and calm under pressure? If so, you might be perfectly suited to work as a sales representative for an airline. This critical role brings business and financial success to their employer while providing professional service to customers. If you've never considered this type of career, take a look at a sales operations job description to see if you can imagine yourself working in this fast-paced and rewarding field.

If you like the idea of helping an airline run smoothly but would prefer to work behind-the-scenes rather than directly with customers, take a look at one of the many administrative jobs such as mail clerks, administrative assistants, and data entry operators. These positions may not be in the public spotlight, but they are essential for the airline's smooth and safe operation.

Getting Everything Onboard Securely

If the idea of working a sedentary job in an office setting makes you cringe, consider a career in ground operations. These labor-intensive positions often involve loading and unloading baggage and other cargo as well as cleaning and deicing the aircraft. The physical nature of these jobs means you'll likely get a physical workout while ensuring the plane is properly loaded and prepared for flight. The use of specialized equipment like forklifts, as well as time spent outdoors in all types of weather, means you'll have to be mentally and physically prepared for each shift.

Guiding Aircraft Through Flight Safely

Did you know that airlines rely on highly trained aviation meteorologists to interpret critical weather conditions such as cloud cover, precipitation, and expected turbulence? This challenging career carries a huge amount of responsibility. Still, it can be gratifying for those who love analyzing weather data and transforming it into informative and vitally important reports to keep pilots up-to-date on the latest conditions. Another aviation career well-suited to those with a detail-oriented, scientific mind is that of a flight dispatcher. Often, this key team member rides along in the cockpit with the flight crew but sometimes is based on a control center on the ground. Either way, this navigator prepares the flight plan and monitors all data in order to resolve any unexpected problems that arise quickly.

Engineering Improvements Creatively

Some jobs in the aviation industry don't take place anywhere near the airport. If you have experience in software engineering, you could put your expertise to work by developing flight-training devices FTD) to help pilots of airplanes and helicopters keep their skills sharp. Advances in technology mean that FTD are becoming increasingly lifelike and effective in simulating the look and feel of flight. A wide variety of engineers are needed to keep the airline industry aloft, including those specializing in systems, mechanics, and of course, avionics. Efforts are continuously underway to make aircraft more energy-efficient and cheaper to operate, and engineers of all types contribute to these important projects.

Looking To the Future Strategically

If you're concerned about how the pandemic has affected the aviation industry and what lies ahead, do some research on what air travel experts predict the next trends will be, which can help frame your thinking as you consider your own future.

There are literally hundreds of different types of jobs related to the aviation industry. No matter your current experience or skill set, you're likely to find a position that matches, from entry-level to highly specialized. And, because there are so many opportunities within this dynamic field, you'll have plenty of options to choose from as you build your aviation career.

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