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Guide To Building A Career In The Aviation Industry

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Careers in the Aviation Industry

With technology evolving, the Aviation Industry has experienced a great deal of development and is currently one of the fastest-growing industries in the world.

The need for pilots and other professionals in the Aviation Industry is predicted to experience a surge in the coming years. The Aviation Industry is particularly attractive to people who are passionate about flying an aircraft, airport operations, aircraft manufacturing, engineering and mechanics, and other service aspects in the Aviation field.

This article would serve as a comprehensive guide to building a career in the Aviation Industry, you’d find skills needed to succeed in this field, career opportunities available and the career growth potential in this industry.

Aviation industry

Skills needed for roles in the Aviation Industry

Jobs in the Aviation Industry have different requirements and also require different training. Some roles are highly technical and require in-depth knowledge in math, engineering and other sciences while others are more aligned towards hospitality management.

Though the careers in this industry may vary, the skills and personality traits listed below are necessary to become a professional in all roles across the industry:

  • Teamwork and leadership skills: Professionals in the Aviation industry are expected to be able to work as a part of a team with engineers and other professionals in the field and also function in leadership roles when the need arises.
  • Communication and problem-solving skills: Careers in Aviation are most demanding of impressive listening, writing and speaking skills for effective communication. Professionals in this field would have to work in teams or communicate with customers at different times in their job. For this reason, they need to have strong communication skills along with knowledge of a variety of technical issues to allow them to employ tact in managing conflicts and communication.
  • Attention to detail: Professionals in this industry are typically skilled with strong attention to detail and the ability to operate with set rules and protocols in their line of duty. This skill is necessary for professionals in the different careers of the aviation industry.

Aviation industry

Careers in the Aviation Industry

The Aviation Industry has an innumerable number of career opportunities to explore. Generally, the activities of the industry are concerned with designing, repairing and flying various aircraft, handling airport operations, and aircraft maintenance.

These jobs mostly require at least a Bachelor’s degree and, in some cases, work experience. On-the-job training is common in this industry to provide the employees with in-depth knowledge on the standard processes and procedures operated.

Some of the different career pathways one can explore in the industry include the following:

Aircraft Maintenance Engineer: This role involves conducting inspections, troubleshooting equipment and existing systems, making repairs and suggesting upgrades for existing facilities. These engineers perform inspection and safety checks in line with existing standards. Professionals in this field are typically graduates of engineering.

Aircraft Manufacturing Engineer: Specialists in this field are responsible for designing and setting up different types of manufacturing systems to fit specific functions of aircraft, spacecraft, and satellites This role is highly technical and requires extensive on-the-job training, as it involves creating prototypes to test if they function according to design. An Aeronautical Engineering degree provides a solid base in starting a career in the design and production of aircraft.

Airline Pilot: Professionals in this role are primarily responsible for flying different types of aircraft. They go through the required training to learn how to operate an aircraft, the safety protocol to be followed when flying an aircraft. Graduates who intend to pursue a career in aviation as an airline pilot must first meet the licensing requirements of their state then work towards accumulating a certain amount of flight hours to advance in their career.

Air Traffic Controller: These airport professionals are responsible for regulating the whole air traffic system. They manage all communications with the pilots, including directions on takeoff and landing, keeping them updated on the weather condition, runway closure or any other information that would be useful to them. Professionals in this role are required to undergo training to develop strong decision-making skills and sound judgement. These specialists learn the required skills during a Bachelor’s degree in Air Traffic Management then, work towards their Air Traffic Controller certification.

Quality Control Officer: The Quality Control Officer is primarily responsible for checking that materials and tools to be used in manufacturing an aircraft, meets the safety and quality standards. These professionals should have a keen eye for detail and in-depth knowledge of the required materials used in manufacturing, to allow them to perform detailed tests and produce accurate reports on the quality of materials used.

Cabin Crew: The Airline Cabin Crew have different job roles under its title. They are responsible for the comfort, safety and welfare of passengers travelling on aircraft. The flight attendants, who form a part of the cabin crew, inform passengers on the rules they need to adhere to and ensure their safety and comfort throughout the flight. Professionals in this field are required to have great communication and problem-solving skills, a neat appearance and a friendly personality.

Aviation Manager: With the evolution of technology, the Aviation industry is constantly changing in its operations. The Aviation Managers are responsible for understanding the industry and its changes to handle all operation of the airport. This job role involves overseeing airport operations, business and personnel management, as well as public relations. Professionals in this role are required to have at least a Bachelor’s degree, typically in Aviation Management.

Aviation industry

Studying a course in the Aviation Industry

As the Aviation Industry continues to expand, more training institutions offering a wide range of Aviation courses are emerging. Some of these institutions offer specialized training courses for applicants pursuing a career as a commercial pilot, aircraft manager, or flight attendant.

Courses that are more inclined towards engineering, like Aircraft Maintenance Engineering or Aviation Engineering, would require a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in a related field to advance as a professional. Typically, a Bachelor’s degree in aviation courses takes three to four years to complete. If you are interested in studying a course in the Aviation Industry in the UK, here are some colleges you could explore:

Brunel University London: Brunel University offers three aviation and aeronautics courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. These aviation courses are; Aviation Engineering, aimed at students seeking senior operational engineering roles without flying; Aviation Engineering with Pilot Studies, a specialist degree for aspiring pilots that enables students to obtain their private pilot license; and Aerospace Engineering, which teaches technical, analytical and professional skills.

Kingston University London: Kingston University offers two undergraduate courses for students seeking accreditation in aviation and aeronautics: Aviation Operations with Commercial Pilot Training and Aviation Operations and Technology. These courses would provide students with hands-on learning and allow them to conduct aeronautical experiments.

The University of Sheffield: The University of Sheffield offers an Aerospace Engineering course at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. These programmes are aimed at providing students seeking a career as a professional engineer with the analytical, business and project management skills needed to deliver economic benefits to the Aviation industry.

University of Leeds: The University’s Aviation and Aeronautical courses prepare Aviation graduates for the future with a curriculum that covers theoretical concepts in managing Aviation operations such as finance, engineering materials and aircraft safety as well as the Aviation knowledge required to fly professionally.

University of Hertfordshire: The University of Hertfordshire offers students two Aviation and Aeronautical courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Aerospace Technology with Management, educates students on aspects such as design, production, management and business studies while Aerospace Technology with Pilot Studies focuses more on teaching practical piloting skills at internationally recognized flight centres.

The University of the West of England: With two undergraduate courses for Aviation and Aeronautical students, the University of West of England equips students with the necessary skills and engineering knowledge to design, build and manufacture aerospace vehicles as well as becoming certified pilots.


If you need further guidance on degree options and career paths in the aviation industry or counselling regarding schools to apply to for your degree, please click here to chat with our counsellors. 


You may also like: How to Become a Flight Attendant

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