YoungFlyer
Topic Author
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2005 4:23 am

Career Opportunities In Civil Aviation?

Tue Sep 06, 2005 7:17 am

Hi,
I have been wanting to ask this question for sooo long. so here it goes.
As you may see in my profile, I am a young student, not yet out of high school, but old enough to be thinking for the future. Since my passion for quite some time has been aviation, I would be great if that could be my career. However, besides the obvious jobs (pilot, F/A, mechanic...) what other jobs are there available in aviation? Especially on the more business side of the industry. For example who is the person who decides what plays the airline will fly and where, who is the person in charge or the Gates that the airline has in an airport, who decides the configuration of new a/c...?
In addition, where do you all see the airline industry in +/-10 years when I am out of collage? Do you see it still going down?

Your responses would be much appreciated.
Much thanks,
Dan
"An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind" -Gandhi
 
ACdreamliner
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 8:15 am

RE: Career Opportunities In Civil Aviation?

Tue Sep 06, 2005 7:40 am

since you are in the UK, i'd consider doing my course at university. Air Transport Management. Its purpose is to prepair us for just the jobs you talk about in your post. Here are the details you need:

URL: www.lboro.ac.uk
Course URL: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/prospectus/ug/cv/atm/index.htm
University UCAS Code:L79

Air Transport Management
BSC (HONS)

UCAS Code: HN49 BSc/ATM Programme Length: 3 yrs

BSC (HONS) DIS

UCAS Code: HNK9 BSc/ATM4 Programme Length: 4 yrs sandwich

Estimated 2006 Intake: 40

Typical Offer
A Level Qualifications

300 points from: two subjects at A Level + a third subject at A Level or two subjects at AS Level.

General Studies accepted.

Alternative Qualifications

BTEC ND: 300 points from 18 units (or 12 units + one GCE A Level or two AS Levels).

SQA: Minimum B, B in Advanced Highers. Majority B grades profile in Highers.

International Baccalaureate: Minimum 30 points.

Additional Requirements
GCSE Mathematics grade C.
Where are you going?
 
YoungFlyer
Topic Author
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2005 4:23 am

RE: Career Opportunities In Civil Aviation?

Tue Sep 06, 2005 7:49 am

Quoting ACdreamliner (Reply 1):
since you are in the UK

Funny, because I thought the flag next to YoungFlyer was an American one.
:D
But thanks for the link. That place sounds really interesting and I wouldn't mind flying to the UK for collage.

Dan
"An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind" -Gandhi
 
LeonB1985
Posts: 690
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 9:21 pm

RE: Career Opportunities In Civil Aviation?

Tue Sep 06, 2005 8:17 am

Dan,
Something that I feel would be very useful would be if you were able to spend a couple of weeks on a work experience basis with an airline or ground handling agent at an airport. Only until you've actually experienced this will you get a good idea of all the different roles and what they involve. Not necessarily the business side of things, although it is these roles which keep the customer happy and flying with XYZ Airlines that keeps the business going!
Good luck!
From the construction site that is better-known as London Heathrow Airport
 
BDKLEZ
Posts: 1687
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 11:57 am

RE: Career Opportunities In Civil Aviation?

Tue Sep 06, 2005 8:39 am

Quoting LeonB1985 (Reply 3):
Something that I feel would be very useful would be if you were able to spend a couple of weeks on a work experience basis with an airline or ground handling agent at an airport. Only until you've actually experienced this will you get a good idea of all the different roles and what they involve

Great advice, if you want to make a career in the industry, you must first understand the fundamentals in terms of what a passenger will experience when they arrive at XXX to check-in and hwta a passenger will expect and what the airline can or cannot/will not provide to/for them. Try it for a few years, check-in, ticketing, customer service etc etc. I did it and it has always stood me in good stead in my now 11 year airline career.
Trespassers will be shot; survivors will be shot again!
 
paddy78
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:45 pm

RE: Career Opportunities In Civil Aviation?

Tue Sep 06, 2005 9:19 am

Hey Dan,

Its good to see that you are considering your future with the airline industry early on; there are a number of different roads you can take and each one has its rewards and pitfalls.

LeonB1985 has a really good point, especially since you do have some time to work your way into the business. Getting in on the ground level for a couple of years is a great way to scope out the different paths. Gotta warn you, it can be a rough ride on the bottom but you will learn how an airline operates pretty quick. Try picking up some summer work on the ramp or as a skycap or something first, just because you will see the real life applications of what you are taught in school and be able to make those connections.

Airlines are essentially broken down into two major areas; there is the whole operational side which includes everything from in-flight to airport ops, MX, res, and scheduling; this is the bulk of just about every airline. The other side is much more focused on long-term planning and this side is usually much, much smaller. Marketing and finance folks usually dictate how planes are configured, which routes to operate, frequency, pricing, aircraft appearance, and all kinds of other "global" condsiderations usually fall to this handfull of highly-eudcated and experienced people. These people are almost always located near the corporate HQ and these jobs are rarely posted anywhere since most airlines spend some money head-hunting people with these skills (some of them don't even come from the airline indusrty, but from other highly competitive service sectors).

Just beware, that either side will take considerable work and experience in order to score a well paying job. It is not uncommon to have station managers with 20+ years in as an agent before they come into a management position (especially in legacy carriers). A degree is essential anymore, but it is by no means a golden ticket since a lot of airlines are still very paternal and someone with a lot of years under his or her belt is just as competitive as someone knocking on the door with an MBA in hand. Also be prepared to move...A LOT. Lots of times the job level that you are seeking is not available locally and in order to advance you have to be mobile.

If you are curious about what kind of jobs are out there, check out one of the aviation employment sites like Avjobs.com. You'll have to fork out some money to see what is really out there, but you can also get lucky and find some on monster for free every now and then. This will give you an idea of what kind of qualifications they are looking for. The jobs that get posted on airline sites are usually garbage since the bulk of the postings are all internal and you would need access to thier intranets in order to see them. F9 is an exception, sometimes they post very detailed job decriptions.

Hope this helps!
Only amatures need the handles sticking out.
 
jetdeltamsy
Posts: 2688
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Career Opportunities In Civil Aviation?

Tue Sep 06, 2005 12:26 pm

The airline industry has changed forever.

It has always been an extremely difficult industry in terms of it being so cyclical in nature. Years of feast followed by years of famine.

If you can survive the famine periods (layoffs), it's a great business. However, this periods of famine have started to come more frequently and are more intense than ever before.

My suggestion...work for the government in a job dealing with civil aviation.

I'd never begin a career in this business with the uncertainties that face us.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
flybyguy
Posts: 1415
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2004 12:52 pm

RE: Career Opportunities In Civil Aviation?

Tue Sep 06, 2005 2:21 pm

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 6):
My suggestion...work for the government in a job dealing with civil aviation.

I'd never begin a career in this business with the uncertainties that face us.

My thoughts exactly... as with most service industries the airline industry hurts when the economy takes a dive and in the natural process of a free market economy, it will behave like a rollercoaster. The problem is when you combine the relatively high costs of running an airline with oftentimes poor management, they hurt much harder than hotels or restaurants when the economy goes downhill.

My advice to you is to try to do something general, like economics, accounting or engineering if you have good maths skills and then specialize in some sort of aviation related field.

In my case, I studied Mechanical Engineering in college and specialized in aerospace/aeronautical engineering while doing that I worked on my private pilot's license. I hope to one day work for the NTSB as an accident investigator or for an aircraft manufacturing company like Gulfstream, Piper, Cessna or any of the new composite aircraft companies. I wouldn't like working for larger companies like Boeing, Bombardier or Lockheed Martin because of the large bureaucracies.

By choosing such a path I open myself to other things which may not be of keen interest to me like mass transit safety engineering, automotive engineering or even consumer product testing. But these are all "back-up" careers if the aviation industry takes a downturn.
"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
 
mattdavies1988
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 5:07 am

RE: Career Opportunities In Civil Aviation?

Tue Sep 06, 2005 10:49 pm

Hi,

I am also living in the UK, aged 17 and looking for a career in aviation. I dreamed of being a pilot since I was 7, but not perfect eye site and not taking Maths and Physics A levels have really meant that sponsorship without a degree is not that likely. I was in the Air Training Corps for 3 years and undertook a 10 hour gliding scholarship and completed this course.

I then started to look at a career in Law, Law has to be the subject that I am best at as I got an A grade in my AS levels, however one of the college careers advisors said that she was concerned that I was looking at law as the only other option that I could see to being a pilot. However having read this post, it has really opened my eyes to the other careers and I am seriously looking at putting that course on my UCAS (university application) form.

Regarding work experience, I organized a trip to Airbus and British Airways Maintenance Cardiff, this was not really work experience but gave a good incite into what they do. I also got a place with an airline but this never happened because of a misunderstanding over the airline no longer offering work experience which was the same for all the other airlines I wrote to.

However the question that I would ask is what type of jobs specifically could you do with that degree in Air Transport management? And what are the salaries for some of those jobs?

Any help will be appreciated

Matt
 
ACdreamliner
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 8:15 am

RE: Career Opportunities In Civil Aviation?

Wed Sep 07, 2005 5:58 am

check ur email matt. sorry yougn flyer, it was about 2am my time, thought u were in the UK for some reason!!!
Where are you going?
 
B742
Posts: 3562
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:48 am

RE: Career Opportunities In Civil Aviation?

Wed Sep 07, 2005 6:05 am

Quoting ACdreamliner (Reply 9):
check ur email matt. sorry yougn flyer, it was about 2am my time, thought u were in the UK for some reason!!!

Thanks for the info above, I am in the UK, and I'm in a kinda similar situation Big grin

Rob!  Smile
 
YoungFlyer
Topic Author
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2005 4:23 am

RE: Career Opportunities In Civil Aviation?

Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:51 am

Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 7):
My thoughts exactly... as with most service industries the airline industry hurts when the economy takes a dive and in the natural process of a free market economy, it will behave like a rollercoaster.

that's was the main question. And I don't like rollercoasters literally and metaphorically. I have other interests and I would do even without the airline idustry, but one might say that my personal legend, like many others here I would think, is to own my own airline!! Just trying to figure a way to make that come true.

Dan
"An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind" -Gandhi
 
mattdavies1988
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 5:07 am

RE: Career Opportunities In Civil Aviation?

Thu Sep 08, 2005 12:46 am

I would have to say that this thread has to be the most useful topic that there has ever been for me! The reason is that reading this has re-focused my career ambitions on aviation, and alternative careers to pilot! This topic also couldn't have come at a better time for me as I will be applying to University in the next month or two.

Thanks a lot ACdreamliner for all your help! And YoungFlyer for starting this discussion.

Quoting B742 (Reply 10):
Thanks for the info above, I am in the UK, and I'm in a kinda similar situation Big grin

sounds like there are a number of us in the same boat at the moment  Smile

Matt
 
COEWR
Posts: 225
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2003 5:05 am

RE: Career Opportunities In Civil Aviation?

Thu Sep 08, 2005 1:56 am

I am currently an engineer at CO. If anyone reading this wants to talk to me about the airline world feel free to drop me a message to my email box and I will get back to you.

-C
 
tockeyhockey
Posts: 880
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 10:57 pm

RE: Career Opportunities In Civil Aviation?

Thu Sep 08, 2005 2:17 am

youngflyer -- i have a very simple answer for you: join the airforce. you will be exposed to many of the aspects that you will need to understand later when you do decide to work in the airline industry, you'll learn a very good trade, serve your country, and get paid to do your training. hard to beat that.

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