Add to this the glamour typically associated with high flying aviation jobs and its easy to understand why several professionals across the world vie for positions in this sector. Here is a look at the various opportunities offered by the aviation industry, the qualifications required for these jobs and the average pay.
The cockpit crew not only enjoys the thrill of living one of man's oldest dreams, which is to conquer the skies, but also these positions pay handsomely. Professionals who are interested in pilot jobs will need to start with a bachelor's degree while some airlines may require their cockpit crew to have a master's degree although the companies are not too stringent about the discipline in which the professional has earned his/her degrees. It is recommended that you start taking flying lessons while in college so that you will have just the right number of hours by the time you are done with your education.
Prospective pilots start with a CPL (Commercial Pilots License) issued by the FAA which requires 250 hours of flight time. This is followed by the highest license that is held by the cockpit crew, the ATPL (Airline Transport Pilots License), and 1500 hours of flight time are required to be eligible for this license. The licensing procedure involves a computer based theory exam and a flight test.
However, the licenses will merely get you in the corridors of an airline; if you are interested in getting into the pilot’s seat of a jet aircraft, you will need to work hard at increasing your flight time. Most airlines will not even look at the resume of a pilot with less than 3000 hours of flight time. Although it is possible to collect the experience by renting aircrafts; this can be an extremely expensive pursuit. So, most pilots prefer to work as flight instructors until they earn their ALTP, followed by a stint in a small cargo carriers or charter airlines to gather enough experience.
It is also essential to understand that you will also need to get a type rating on the type of aircraft that you are expected to fly. In the initial phases, you may have to invest to get a type rating for a small jet (Citation or Fokker) or a turbo prop aircraft (King Air). Once you join an airline, the company will foot the bill for your training on the type of aircrafts that they own. However, the money will eventually be deducted from your salary.
Most pilots will start in the position of a second officer, a trainee pilot who flies with the Captain and the first officer for a few months; before progressing to the position of a first officer. In order to get into the left seat of the airplane (Captain's position), you will need to have at least 10,000 to 15,000 hours of flight time or more.
Remuneration: Depending on the industry that a pilot works in and his experience, he/she can make $37,000 to $182,000 per year.
Aviation Mechanic Jobs:
People interested in aviation mechanic jobs will also need to earn their certification from the FAA by passing three tests. In order to be eligible to earn the FAA aviation mechanics certification, a professional will need at least 18 months of practical experience working on either airframes or power plants. If you have experience working on both, you will need a minimum of 30 months experience. There are two ways to obtain the practical experience needed for certification. You could either enroll in an Aviation Maintenance Technician School approved by the FAA or get your experience through work in the armed forces. If you choose to go to a technical school, you will find that most establishments offer training in both power plants as well as mainframes. There are several sites that offer nationwide school listings for interested candidates.
Once you graduate from the technical school, the certification process involves taking three tests: a written exam, an oral test and a practical exam. If you have obtained your experience through service in the armed forces, you will need to submit your documentation for review before receiving the credit.
People in aviation mechanic jobs are responsible for ensuring that the aircrafts are in top condition prior to every flight. The pay scale of these jobs is $23,000 to $67,000 depending on the amount of experience that the mechanic has.
Given the intense competition in the aviation sector, looking for information on aviation jobs online is one of the best ways to secure employment. Websites such as AviationCrossing.com have thousands of listings for people interested in pilot jobs as well as aviation mechanic jobs along with the other employment prospects that the industry offers. The best part is that you can sign up for a trial offer absolutely FREE, so try out the site today!