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Aviation Career Advice  
User currently offlineAviationbuff08 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 346 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2411 times:

I am a big aviation enthusiast and would like a career in aviation. I am currently looking into either a Dispatcher or an Air traffic controller. I have noticed that there are a lot of aviation professionals on this site and figured this is a good place to start looking for advice. I am also interested in any aviation related career so feel free to tell me about your job if you enjoy it.

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer.

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFuturePilot16 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2035 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2399 times:

Go ATC, they make money, if you can handle the stress of a couple thousand lives in your hand every day. You might also try flight attendant, not a bad job just on your feet a lot.


"The brave don't live forever, but the cautious don't live at all."
User currently offlineAlaska737 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1063 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2367 times:



Quoting FuturePilot16 (Reply 1):
Go ATC, they make money, if you can handle the stress of a couple thousand lives in your hand every day. You might also try flight attendant, not a bad job just on your feet a lot.

Read the recent article in GQ before you go into ATC.


User currently offlineDFW13L From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2308 times:

Dispatchers are a rather well-paid and well-respected group of people, who are airline employees, compared with ATC, and being airline employees have unusually good staff travel priveleges. They get the normal staff travel privileges, plus also the ability to jumpseat. Jumpseating is only available to flight crew and dispatchers. If you are thinking of this direction, it's a good one to take.

User currently offlineCush From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 222 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2272 times:

I only have one bit of advice for you AviationBuff08.... The airline industry is a drug. Once you start working in it you never want to leave. It is the best business you can ever get into. I have worked in every industry you can think of and always find myself coming back to the airline business... However, there is one thing you need to keep in mind and accept before you start working and that is "Stability". You could lose your job at any time and you need to accept that. I have worked for 3 airlines and lost my job with each of them due to cutbacks and unstability in the industry. The benefits and excitment from the job make it worth it each time! However, im sure all of us airline guys can say one thing (with the exception of pilots and execs) is that we don't work for the 'good' pay. hahahahah.... Its the lack thereof.


Fly me to the moon let me play among the stars.
User currently offlineFlyby519 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 1113 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2262 times:

I agree with the previous post, go for ATC. Government benefits, job security, great pay, home every night. I know several pilots who recently left flying to go into ATC and they love it. People say it is a stressful job, but what job doesn't have stress now and then? If you enjoy aviation you will enjoy the job. Also, there has been a big shortage of controllers recently, with hiring directly off the street with no prior aviation background. Definitely worth looking into.


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User currently offlineFxramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7172 posts, RR: 86
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2251 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

FAA was hiring new controllers several months ago. My cousin finished school and this past Monday started at his post in TRACON. It's all about working holidays and overtime if you want to make some green being a controller. As stated above, the article in GQ is worth a read. A bit glamorized, but nonetheless gives perspective. See www.payscale.com for salary expectations.

http://men.style.com/gq/features/landing?id=content_8957


User currently offlineLHR777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 2242 times:

Aviation Career Advice - try IT, medicine, butcher, baker, candlestick maker, news reader, actor, racing driver, etc etc...

All said tongue-in-cheek, of course.  biggrin 

Honestly, I've worked in the industry since 1990. I've left it twice to work in IT, but each time, I just didn't enjoy it and longed to be back at the airport, playing with Boeing's and Airbuses. It gets in your blood.

Things are a bit different in the UK, for example, a 'Dispatcher' in the UK is quite different to a 'Dispatcher' in the US. Certification exists in the US, for a start. I've been a Dispatcher in the UK, but didn't get jumpseat privileges. I've also been a Load Controller, which I really enjoyed. Now I work in a supervisory role at a U.S. major at LHR. I absolutely love it.

Whatever you choose to do, best of luck.


User currently offlineAviationbuff08 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 346 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2182 times:

what is the deal with having to be 31 or less to be a controller??

Quoting Cush (Reply 4):
The airline industry is a drug. Once you start working in it you never want to leave.

I know, I have already have 2 years addiction to the airline industry drug. I am currently a ramp agent, but looking for something more fun, and challenging.


User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2168 times:



Quoting Aviationbuff08 (Reply 8):
what is the deal with having to be 31 or less to be a controller

Because they still have a mandatory age 55 retirement. No idea how this can still stand after the fight over the age 60 rule for pilots.



Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlineSwissy From Switzerland, joined Jan 2005, 1734 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2114 times:



Quoting Cush (Reply 4):
The airline industry is a drug. Once you start working in it you never want to leave.

Could not agree more Big grin, was in from 88-08.... sh.. long time

Quoting LHR777 (Reply 7):
Aviation Career Advice - try IT, medicine, butcher, baker, candlestick maker, news reader, actor, racing driver, etc etc...

Right on..... hope my addiction patches are holding up I am 6 month "airline" free!!!  Wink, have left the industry and joined a new frontier (Zeta potential) in the H2O field...

Cheerios,


User currently offlineJambo From Tanzania, joined Dec 2004, 247 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2070 times:

well, my dad was an aviation enthusiast and so am i. He started to work for an airline after high school and was quite interested. He has been in the industry for more than 40 years and is still working (although now has his own business). He loves everybit of it.

I am still young hoping to start my carreer in the aviation industry soon.

I can tell you one thing- IF YOU HAVE THE INTEREST AND DEDICATION, you will climb ranks in this industry.


User currently offlineAtcrick From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 772 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 1933 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting DFW13L (Reply 3):
Dispatchers are a rather well-paid and well-respected group of people

Who told you that? Dispatchers are often blamed for everything to include mechanical delays, weather, and crew problems. Like it or not, it is true. Been there, done that.

Quoting DFW13L (Reply 3):
Jumpseating is only available to flight crew and dispatchers

Again not true, Controllers are authorized to jumpseat as well.



natch!!
User currently offlineB6MoneyGuyJFK From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 231 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 1917 times:

A career in aviation often means making lower wages, working odd hours, working weekends and holidays. And (If you work on the ramp) you may have to work in blistering heat or numbing cold. You will be sad to see co-workers leave, but be happy to get that bump up in seniority.

BUT.. despite all that, If you love planes, and the industry, it wont matter. You'll be happier than most of your friends, because you'll be working with what you love..

And, of course, if you work for an airline, there are those flight benefits. So that when you take a well deserved vacation, you ma bey able to fly to some far flung corner of the globe. Or maybe get a seat up front, Or maybe just fly to the beach on your day off..

Its an amazing industry. Consider myself lucky to be working in it.



Opinions are like @ssholes. Everyone has one, and everyone thinks everyone elses stinks!
User currently offlineChase From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 1054 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 1894 times:

I was a computer programmer for an airline that is no longer in business. Initially I worked on backend applications (i.e. stuff the customer never saw) and later worked on the airline's website. It was a ton of fun.

Pros of my job: Free travel, get to think about airplanes and travel all day, get to work near the airport and therefore spot on lunch break, skills were transferrable to companies in other industries (i.e. I left before the bankruptcy to go work at a bank, and programmed in the same languages. Now I work for a company that makes telephone software, and again use the exact same languages. ATC, F/A, etc. involve mostly skills that are unique to those positions)

Cons of my job: Pay was worse than for the average computer programmer, by maybe 10-20%. Then came the across the board 5% pay cuts.

Since my dad and uncle also worked for airlines, I was fortunate enough to be able to fly standby for free for almost all of the first 30 years of my life. It's still nice, but your odds of making the flight are generally much worse today than they were 20 years ago.


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