Aviation offers a diverse opportunity to a variety of careers, both on the ground as well as in flight. The most appealing thing about working in aviation is the ability to travel to all corners of the world. Here are five careers in aviation to explore:
Private pilots obtain their license through ground school as well as flight training. A private pilot has achieved a certain amount of flight hours through training with an instructor as well as solo flights. Having the license obtained during private pilot flight training is one step to becoming a commercial pilot.
Commercial pilots fly for airlines and cargo companies on a fixed schedule. A commercial pilot must have a CPL (commercial pilot’s license) and an instrument rating. The instrument rating is a qualification on a certain aircraft, like an Airbus 300 or a Boeing 767. A commercial pilot must also pass a rigorous physical exam with certain requirements for vision and hearing. The majority of pilots learn to fly in the military, but growing number gain flight hours while receiving a bachelor’s or associate’s degree from a civilian flight school. While a four-year degree isn’t required for the smaller regional airlines, having one is a requirement for the major US airlines. Commercial pilots must attend recurrent training every year to retain their rights to fly.
Flight attendants can be either private or commercial. Flight attendants have two distinct roles; the first is to enforce FAA regulations and safety procedures, and the second is to serve the passengers, making their flight an enjoyable experience. Training to be a flight attendant is similar to that of a pilot’s. They must attend ground school for several weeks, where they learn FAA regulations and service standards. After passing a written exam, a flight attendant must then successfully complete a check flight before they can start working for an airline. A flight attendant may also perform ground duties, such as pulling tickets for boarding.
A flight mechanic is similar to a car mechanic, except the flight mechanic works on aircraft. Flight mechanics must have a certain number of hours working with power plants or airframes, or they must graduate from an FAA-approved aviation maintenance technician school. After receiving these qualifications, they must then pass both a written and oral test, and a practical test that shows their proficiency to fix an airplane.
Flight dispatchers are ground positions at the airline operations center of an airport. A flight dispatcher works in tandem with the captain to ensure safe flight operations. Flight dispatchers furnish a flight plan that calculates the amount of fuel, passengers and cargo to board according to the airline’s standard operating procedures. The dispatcher then signs off on the flight plan, releasing the aircraft to the captain to take flight.