jwstanly
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:19 am

What commercial aviation career should I pursue? (high school student)

Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:05 am

I’m a sophomore in high school and wondering what career I should pursue surrounding aviation. I am extremely passionate about aviation, I just don't quite know how to channel this energy into the right career. Considering my current academic trends, going to a rigorous college to follow a competitive/challenging career shouldn’t be a dealbreaker, so any career is up for grabs regardless of difficulty. If this helps, here are some aspects I enjoy about aviation in particular…

    I absolutely love commercial aviation, and cannot see myself doing anything else outside of it, such as private or military aviation. Although I still like regional aviation, I find anything around the CS100/a320/737 size or larger much more interesting.

    In particular, I like learning about individual aircraft and their history, characteristics, impact on the industry, order and deliveries, different models, commercial success, engines, production lifetime, specifications… basically everything. Since I like commercial aviation, this applies to Boeing 7x7, Airbus a3xx, McDonnell Douglas DC/MD-x planes, etc.

    I’m also equally interested in the industry of commercial aviation in general. I am fascinated by the industry’s trends over time, how Boeing and Airbus each react to market trends, how their products compete against each other, why airlines pick certain planes over others, airline’s receptions to planes and concepts, how airlines choose their fleets, and how outside factors such as the overall economy, oil prices, 9/11, etc. influence the market. For example, I’m currently reading John Newhouse’s Boeing Versus Airbus right now.

    In addition to learning about commercial airplanes and the industry in general, I also enjoy exploring and visiting airports. I find their size and complexity extremely interesting. Their hustle and bustle is really exciting to me! It’s astonishing to see everything work in tandem, considering how much goes on.

    I love planespotting! I live in Jacksonville, FL, so I don’t really ever see much action at JAX, but I love planespotting when given the chance at other bigger airports.

    Outside of aviation, I like STEM-related studies. I ’m also genuinely interested in business and economics as well. Both of these could work towards aviation careers in their respective ways.

    As a person, some qualities that I’d say I have is that I’m hardworking, daring, curious, studious, and extroverted.

Using the information above, if someone could help guide me to the right aviation centered career, that would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much for the help, I know that was a lot! (Also, this is my first post! Yall are awesome and I've always enjoyed reading content on this website. Hopefully, I too can contribute!)
 
Pe@rson
Posts: 16457
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 6:29 pm

Re: What commercial aviation career should I pursue? (high school student)

Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:26 am

I'd say:

Would you prefer to be a pilot or cabin crew or engineer or work towards management in commercial areas or operational areas of airlines or airports? Or would you prefer to work for a manufacturer or be a consultant or analyst?

As examples of commercial areas for an airline, marketing, sales, revenue management, network planning, scheduling, alliances (if they have them), etc., etc. For airline operations, e.g. ground operations, operations control centres, flight operations, etc. Or would you prefer a finance, HR, communications, etc.?

Once you've made a broad decision, I'd then think about how you'd go about achieving it. I'd say don't think too long about which possible area(s) - go with your gut feeling as chances are you'll be more naturally motivated.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
Longhornmaniac
Posts: 3016
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:33 pm

Re: What commercial aviation career should I pursue? (high school student)

Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:32 am

Now is the time to be a pilot. There is a hiring boom that will last for the next 15-20 years, lots of upward movement, terrific pay, and the opportunity to be around airplanes for a living.
Cheers,
Cameron
 
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ual747den
Posts: 1600
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 1:29 pm

Re: What commercial aviation career should I pursue? (high school student)

Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:43 am

I would take business management classes with an emphasis in aviation and see where that takes you. Until you actually get into a corporate office of one of the big airline you might not know what you want to do but with that education you can go anywhere. If you decided that you want to fly you have that option available also.
Frontier Airlines - Low Fares Done Right
 
FA9295
Posts: 575
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:44 pm

Re: What commercial aviation career should I pursue? (high school student)

Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:59 am

jwstanly wrote:
I’m a sophomore in high school and wondering what career I should pursue surrounding aviation. I am extremely passionate about aviation, I just don't quite know how to channel this energy into the right career. Considering my current academic trends, going to a rigorous college to follow a competitive/challenging career shouldn’t be a dealbreaker, so any career is up for grabs regardless of difficulty. If this helps, here are some aspects I enjoy about aviation in particular…

    I absolutely love commercial aviation, and cannot see myself doing anything else outside of it, such as private or military aviation. Although I still like regional aviation, I find anything around the CS100/a320/737 size or larger much more interesting.

    In particular, I like learning about individual aircraft and their history, characteristics, impact on the industry, order and deliveries, different models, commercial success, engines, production lifetime, specifications… basically everything. Since I like commercial aviation, this applies to Boeing 7x7, Airbus a3xx, McDonnell Douglas DC/MD-x planes, etc.

    I’m also equally interested in the industry of commercial aviation in general. I am fascinated by the industry’s trends over time, how Boeing and Airbus each react to market trends, how their products compete against each other, why airlines pick certain planes over others, airline’s receptions to planes and concepts, how airlines choose their fleets, and how outside factors such as the overall economy, oil prices, 9/11, etc. influence the market. For example, I’m currently reading John Newhouse’s Boeing Versus Airbus right now.

    In addition to learning about commercial airplanes and the industry in general, I also enjoy exploring and visiting airports. I find their size and complexity extremely interesting. Their hustle and bustle is really exciting to me! It’s astonishing to see everything work in tandem, considering how much goes on.

    I love planespotting! I live in Jacksonville, FL, so I don’t really ever see much action at JAX, but I love planespotting when given the chance at other bigger airports.

    Outside of aviation, I like STEM-related studies. I ’m also genuinely interested in business and economics as well. Both of these could work towards aviation careers in their respective ways.

    As a person, some qualities that I’d say I have is that I’m hardworking, daring, curious, studious, and extroverted.

Using the information above, if someone could help guide me to the right aviation centered career, that would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much for the help, I know that was a lot! (Also, this is my first post! Yall are awesome and I've always enjoyed reading content on this website. Hopefully, I too can contribute!)


I'm currently in a similar situation that you are. I graduated from high school as a senior last June and am now taking my general classes at a local community college. I live in Portland, OR, and there's a decent amount of traffic in and out of Portland's PDX airport, but I always get a bit jealous of all the attention that Seattle's SEA airport gets with PDX always getting left in their dust...

Anyhow, I've been interested in Aviation Business Administration, which involves airline management (scheduling routes/flight paths, ordering aircraft, maintaining operations, etc.).

Personally, I'm considering transferring to Embry Riddle University when I'm done with community college. Although they have campuses all around the country, their main campus is in Daytona Beach, FL, so that would benefit you since that's pretty close to Jacksonville, FL (although it's across the country from where I live in Portland, OR)...
 
runningonempty
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Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:04 am

Re: What commercial aviation career should I pursue? (high school student)

Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:10 am

Shameless plug, but I'm currently enrolled at The Ohio State University, looking to graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, (Specializing in) Aviation Management. I am looking to minor in City & Regional Planning as well as Entrepreneurship. I have almost identical interests, and OSU checked all the boxes. They have great professors and a great connection with a ton of the aviation industry. You seem like someone who would succeed here. I'd highly recommend it, even as an out-of-stater like myself.
Islip MacArthur: Oh, the treasures you hold....
 
kh1
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:25 am

Re: What commercial aviation career should I pursue? (high school student)

Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:27 am

I'd recommend any sort of engineering, this can land you into many aviation related jobs, and as you grow throughout your career you will be able to explore a variety of your interests. Many of the people working with/on those interests starting engineering backgrounds.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: What commercial aviation career should I pursue? (high school student)

Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:56 am

We can't answer that question for you. As you grow, your mind changes and life events may steer you in a different direction.

That said, there are TONS of jobs in the aviation industry. I wanted to be a pilot when I was your age (I'm 25 now) but now I'm on the fence about it. However, I do know for sure it is the industry I want to be in. I got my degree in Economics and I want to utilize it in someway if I ultimately dont become a pilot; I'm also attracted to analyzing market trends and making strategic decisions for an airline.

The best any of us here can do is to shed light on what got us interested in aviation and what our jobs entail (if the other posters are in aviation-related positions). It's up to you to make the conclusion on what you want to do. Just make sure that whatever it is that it makes you happy and you live a comfortable life as a result.

I just did an internship at a major US airline and I have hired on as a Customer Service Representative for them. I've done it before for vendors and really loved the job, but hated the employers (working for a vendor at an airport is not fun IMO). But my employer is very good to work for and I'm comfortable doing what I'm about to do for them even if I only view it as just a foot in the door.
You know all is right is the world when the only thing people worry about is if the president had sex with a pornstar.


The thoughts and opinions shared under this username are mine and are not influenced by my employer.
 
geologyrocks
Posts: 109
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:05 am

Re: What commercial aviation career should I pursue? (high school student)

Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:57 am

If I were any of you guys starting college and just want to work for an airline in an office setting thenn I would try to major in accounting, economics or go for an engineering degree. I wouldn't recommend any aviation management degree unless it's just a concentration and I wouldn't go to Embry Riddle. There's no need to put yourself in that kind of debt for any of the above majors. Just my two cents.

By the way. It's 2018. The high school seniors were born in 2000. I feel old.
 
jwstanly
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:19 am

Re: What commercial aviation career should I pursue? (high school student)

Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:06 am

Pe@rson wrote:
I'd say:

Would you prefer to be a pilot or cabin crew or engineer or work towards management in commercial areas or operational areas of airlines or airports? Or would you prefer to work for a manufacturer or be a consultant or analyst?

As examples of commercial areas for an airline, marketing, sales, revenue management, network planning, scheduling, alliances (if they have them), etc., etc. For airline operations, e.g. ground operations, operations control centres, flight operations, etc. Or would you prefer a finance, HR, communications, etc.?

Once you've made a broad decision, I'd then think about how you'd go about achieving it. I'd say don't think too long about which possible area(s) - go with your gut feeling as chances are you'll be more naturally motivated.


I don't exactly want to become a pilot, but working for an airline under "marketing, sales, revenue management, network planning, scheduling, alliances (if they have them), etc." does sound pretty interesting to me. But, I am worried that a job like this would trap me inside an office instead of seeing and interacting with airplanes. Do you know how much business oriented airline employees actually get to interact with planes and airports? I'm fine not actually working in an airport or hanger, but I don't want to be trapped in an office 24/7 without ever getting to see airplanes on the job. Also thanks for even responding, it means a lot to me!!
 
Pe@rson
Posts: 16457
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 6:29 pm

Re: What commercial aviation career should I pursue? (high school student)

Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:21 am

It depends. Most of those kinds of roles will be office-based but some may involve a lot of travel, at least at manager+ level.

I have a undergraduate and postgraduate degree in aviation management and quite a lot of my classmates initially became network planners (i.e. where to fly, route performance etc), entered revenue management, or became fleet planners for airlines across the world.

My advice is to choose what you think you'll most enjoy - a cliche but it's true - and pursue it with all of your ability.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
Pavlakakos
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:51 am

Re: What commercial aviation career should I pursue? (high school student)

Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:02 am

Start your own plane ferry and delivery business.The you can be a bit of everything. Owner, pilot, mechanic.

And after 5 years come back here, update us on your progress and make us all proud for achieving something most would dream of doing :)
 
FGITD
Posts: 276
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: What commercial aviation career should I pursue? (high school student)

Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:43 am

jwstanly wrote:

I don't exactly want to become a pilot, but working for an airline under "marketing, sales, revenue management, network planning, scheduling, alliances (if they have them), etc." does sound pretty interesting to me. But, I am worried that a job like this would trap me inside an office instead of seeing and interacting with airplanes. Do you know how much business oriented airline employees actually get to interact with planes and airports? I'm fine not actually working in an airport or hanger, but I don't want to be trapped in an office 24/7 without ever getting to see airplanes on the job. Also thanks for even responding, it means a lot to me!!


I work at an airport, and by nature of my role, cover pretty much every airport job there is. (International outstations tend to be small, lots of overlapping roles)


I get to hang out with the planes every day, talk to dispatchers, flight crews, airport authorities, etc. Due to the flexibility of my position, in the same day I can check pax in, and load the containers if I want.

I know a few people in corporate. Their knowledge and exposure to the aircraft pretty much consists of "the plane is what makes us money" and they get to see them when they travel. Don't get me wrong, these are the people who make the airline work. But as a result, they don't work with the planes.
 
gunnerman
Posts: 497
Joined: Fri May 19, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: What commercial aviation career should I pursue? (high school student)

Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:51 pm

There are several jobs such a passenger service agent, dispatcher, driver and baggage handler which enable you to see plenty of the airport and a lot of aircraft - but they are poorly paid. The people in the airline business that I've known to make money have been senior pilots, legacy BA cabin crew and senior managers.
 
BENAir01
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Re: What commercial aviation career should I pursue? (high school student)

Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:04 pm

Here’s what I would say: you have plenty of time to explore and figure out what’s right for you, weather it be something like a pilot, an engineer, or a consultant or analyst type job. Go to a college that gives you a lot of options so you can explore different types of things, and give yourself the next few years to figure it out. When I was a sophomore, I had no idea what I wanted to do. College is the time for exploration.
Why is flying so expensive? And why is flying well so much more?
 
stlgph
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Re: What commercial aviation career should I pursue? (high school student)

Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:58 pm

Don't pigeonhole yourself into any ideal role, position, or education. Go onto LinkedIn and see the profiles of a large number of people who hold important titles at airlines, aviation related companies, airports, etc. Many times you will see they come from various backgrounds and end up working their way up the chain in jobs you wouldn't have thought such a person or have had, or perhaps have even gone through a couple of career changes along the way. And circling back to that, you may even consider airport facilities management in your list of career possibilities.

I, myself, for example, started off as a radio DJ at the age of 13, received two science/research-related undergraduate degrees, then came a financial news network correspondent then national news correspondent for major news organizations. Now I work in the legal profession and do consulting work on the side for marketing and branding. No way in hell I would have ever written that out for myself years ago.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
evank516
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Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 am

Re: What commercial aviation career should I pursue? (high school student)

Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:58 pm

Someone already mentioned it, but I would definitely apply to Embry Riddle in Daytona Beach. They offer a myriad of aviation related degrees. You don't have to declare your major until sophomore year by the way. You may enjoy Aerospace Engineering based on what you wrote about yourself though. I'd consider looking into something along those lines. Who knows, you may end up working at Boeing or something one day!

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