Whenever people think of working for an airline, the first thing that comes to mind is the possibility of either working as a pilot or as a steward/stewardess. In the real sense though, the airline industry is broad, and there are numerous other opportunities for work within the industry. You certainly don’t need to be a pilot or an air hostess to work in an airline. In fact, we dare say, regardless of your professional background, you can get a job in an airline! To buttress that argument, we will be looking at 10 types of jobs you can apply for in an airline:
- Engineering jobs: airlines tend to have robust engineering departments, with opportunities for many people to be hired. The first (and rather obvious) category of engineers who are hired by the airlines is that of aeronautical engineers. These are the folks who are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the airplanes flown by the airlines are in good mechanical condition. Now aeronautical engineering is a sub-branch of mechanical engineering. But airlines also tend to have opportunities for other types of engineers – especially electrical/electronic engineers and civil engineers. So, in a nutshell, if you have engineering qualifications, and you want to work for an airline, there may be opportunities waiting for you. You just need to visit any airline’s website, specifically the ‘careers’ page, to see the opportunities that are currently available.
- Legal jobs: airlines tend to have legal departments that deal with the various legal issues that arise on a day to day basis. This means that if you have studied the law, and you have always wanted to work for an airline, there may be opportunities for you. Even if you are not an attorney, but you have paralegal qualifications, you may still be able to find a job within the legal department of an airline.
- Marketing jobs: pretty much every airline worth its salt has a vibrant marketing department. Airlines tend to go to great lengths, to lure the best marketers into their marketing departments. So this means that if you have solid marketing skills, and you have always yearned to work for an airline, there may be an opening for you somewhere.
- HR management jobs: like all other types of organizations, airlines usually have HR departments. These departments are run by folks who have qualifications in human resource management. And this, by inference, means that if you are a qualified HR practitioner, and you wish to work for an airline, there may be a vacancy for you somewhere.
- Accountancy jobs: a typical airline will tend to have a finance/accounting department, and this department can only be staffed with folks who have finance/accounting qualifications. Thus, if you studied accountancy/finance at college, yet you had always wanted to work for an airline, you don’t have to lose hope. With the right finance/accounting qualifications, it should be possible for you to soon or later find a job in an airline.
- IT jobs: airlines have, over the years, embraced information technology in all their operations. They therefore tend to have very vibrant IT departments, where you can apply for a position if you have the right qualifications. Then you can go ahead to work as a systems analyst, programmer, database administrator, data entry staff, IT support staff… or anything else for an airline.
- Medical jobs: if, for instance, you studied nursing or some other related medical course, you can find an opportunity to work for an airline. Remember, most airlines endeavor to have nurses in all their flights, and if you have requisite training in that area, an airline may want to hire you as part of the flight crew.
- Clerical jobs: just like all other organizations, airlines tend to hire various types of clerks in their departments. You may find yourself working as a ticketing clerk, HR clerk, stores clerk, dispatch clerk… and so on. Therefore if you have the basic qualifications required to be a clerk (which nowadays include superb computer skills), it may be possible for you to get a clerical job in an airline.
- Driver jobs: not all airline jobs require you to have a college degree. It may be possible for you to get a job at an airline with your driving license as the only qualification! This may, for instance, be a position where you get hired to be driving the airline’s executives to and from work! Or it may be one where – with a little additional training, you are hired to drive the airline’s ground support equipment.
- Manual jobs: even if you have absolutely no skills, it is still possible for you to find a manual job at an airline. For instance, airlines often have positions for porters, and these need no other skills, other than the ability to lift, load and unload stuff from carts. Therefore, if you have always wanted to work for an airline, but you have absolutely no skills, there may be still be an opportunity for you to take up such a basic/unskilled position within the airline.
Of course, on top of these ‘support’ jobs, there are core aviation jobs that can be applied for – including the piloting and air steward/stewardess jobs we made reference to earlier. The problem tends to be in the fact that only so many people have what it takes to become pilots and air stewards/stewardesses. With regard to the pilot jobs, one of the challenges is usually in that one has to pass rather challenging aptitude, psychometric and medical tests, to get those jobs. It also doesn’t help that the fees for flying courses tend to be so hefty. On the part of air stewards/stewardesses, the challenge tends to be in the fact that only the most attractive people (physically) are offered those opportunities. Yet most people out there are ‘average-looking’, to put it mildly… Therefore if the airline industry was limited to pilots and stewards/stewardesses, very few people would manage to work in the industry. But, thankfully, as we have seen in this article, there are numerous other opportunities to work in the aviation industry. And this means that pretty much anybody who wants to work in the aviation industry can apply for a job there – especially in those other ‘support’ positions.