Searching for Aviation Jobs

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Aviation jobs may be facing a tough battle in the coming years as the travel industry takes a huge hit thanks to increased gas prices and other economic problems. However, the job outlook is not as bleak as you might imagine and plenty of good paying aviation jobs are still available for those with the right qualifications. You just need to know where to look. You might also want to be willing to relocate.

Given below is the information on some of the top aviation jobs in different locations throughout the country. Use this information to find out what would be the best direction for your job search.

Aviation Mechanics

In California and other major markets, including New York and Texas, the job of aviation mechanic is one of the most in-demand aviation jobs despite budget cuts and other problems faced by the airlines. That's because no matter what happens as long as planes are leaving the airports someone needs to make sure they are capable of a safe trip.

Whether you are a mechanic, a technician, or an inspector, you will probably be working primarily in the hangar area of the airport. Because of the pressures of airport schedules and tight deadlines, this aviation job can sometimes be very stressful. Besides requiring a great deal of technical knowledge, these aviation jobs can also be quite physically demanding. The work is typically a forty- hour a week position. Nonetheless you are expected to put in a lot of overtime, especially during heavy air traffic times, and even on holidays.

Working on airplanes requires specific training and education. There are about 170 schools in the United States with training programs for aviation mechanics. The FAA has certified these schools to qualify graduates for this type of work. To graduate from one of these schools, you'll need to complete at least 1,900 hours of coursework, which is usually spread over no more than 24 months. You will also need to be licensed by the FAA, which requires either the completion of one of these training programs or at least 18 months of supervised work experience. Once you obtain a license, you'll need to go back for 16 hours of training every two years.

In addition to the technical aspects of the job, mechanics must also have good communication skills. They need to be able to write reports and explain problems in a clear, accurate way.

Job opportunities are expected to increase by about 10% by 2016 thanks to the growing number of mechanics who will be retiring or who will be leaving their positions for less stressful jobs in similar industries. Despite this growth, the most lucrative positions at the largest airports are still going to be in demand and competition for them will be fierce.

In terms of pay, most of these aviation jobs pay around $25 per hour; of course starting salaries could be lower.

Airline Pilots

While many people are happy being an airline mechanic or technician there are others who want aviation jobs that are going to take them off the ground and send them soaring through the friendly skies. Unfortunately, those jobs are going to be more difficult to come by in the big markets. However, if you're willing to relocate and build your experience at a smaller terminal in states such as Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, or Kentucky, you may have a better shot at securing a job as a pilot.

Although piloting a commercial aircraft might seem glamorous, the job does have plenty of disadvantages. For one, pilots spend most of their time away from home because their flights require spending the night in other cities. That may not seem too bad since the airline foots the bill for the expenses during the stay but the jet lag and fatigue associated with flying so much can actually make traveling around the world less enjoyable than one might think.

Like most aviation jobs, pilots face plenty of mental stress because of the massive responsibility they are undertaking daily. If they make a mistake, they could end up losing their lives and the lives of hundreds of passengers. This kind of pressure can be exhausting in itself.

Most pilots are limited to 100 hours of flight time each month but have additional non-flying duties to attend to as well. Generally, these types of aviation jobs don't have set Monday through Friday work schedules either. You may find yourself working for several days straight then having a few days off. You may also have to work on holidays because these are often hectic times for airports.

Pilots have to undergo a rigorous training before they are given this important responsibility of piloting an aircraft. You will need a commercial pilot's license and an FAA-issued instrument rating before you can fly. To get that license, you'll need to attend classes at an FAA-approved flight school. The training takes several weeks and includes at least 25 hours of flight training in the air. To get the FAA's license, you must complete all of the coursework, as well as 250 hours of flight experience.

Most airlines hire college graduates with engineering background. Your eyesight and hearing need to be excellent, and you'll be required to pass examinations showing you understand all the aspects of your job. To work for an airline, you'll also need at least 1,5000 hours of flight experience. You will be given a battery of tests to make sure you are physically, mentally, and emotionally capable of handling the job.

The good news is that pilots will continue to be needed in solid numbers throughout up to 2016. Plus, if you don't mind the drawbacks of the profession, the pay is quite lucrative. The average salary for airline pilots in 2006 was $141,000.


Depending on the type of aviation job you want, you may need to focus your search on different sized markets to increase your odds of getting hired and gaining the experience you need.
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