Career Opportunities in the Aviation Industry

Illustration for article titled Career Opportunities in the Aviation Industryem/em

Since the dawn of time, man has dreamed of flight. With the achievement of that dream, many career opportunities have opened, and today, there are more opportunities than ever to enjoy an exciting career in the aviation industry. Whether you want to be a pilot, or you are better suited for another position within the industry, there is something for everyone. Here are just a few of these options.

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Business Aviation

Many people use aircraft for their businesses, and pilots could be required to deliver products daily, conveying company officers to meetings all over the world, etc. Chief pilots can earn up to $140,000, and salaries usually start at just under $30,000. Many flights are unscheduled, so you must be flexible in your schedule.

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Airline Pilot

One of the top jobs with any airline is to be a pilot, and the job comes with a pretty hefty salary (up to $200,000 annually). This isn’t a position you can just jump into after getting a pilot’s license. You will be required to have up to 3,000 of flight time hours, as well as up to 500 hours of multiengine time before your application will be accepted.

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FBO Consulting

One opportunity that is on the business side of things is to become an FBO consultant. You will be helping others in the aviation industry to improve on all areas of operation. Get involved with valuation, appraisals, and lease negotiation for small and large FBO operations.

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Fire Fighting

If you are really adventurous, you may want to take on the role of water bomber for forest fires. You will be flying twin-engine airplanes above the treetops, dropping chemical fire retardant on the flames. You must be willing to travel, and expect to work long hours and live in remote areas.

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Flight Instruction

It may be that you don’t want to work for an airline, but that you want to help others to learn the skills that you have learned. There are plenty of opportunities available for flight instructors. Starting salaries can be as high as $20,000, and the more experience you have, the more you will make up to $45,000 in some professional flight schools.

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Law Enforcement

If you also have police academy training, you may want to use your skills as a pilot to work in police helicopters, tracking speeders, criminals, etc. You would also be required to transport prisoners, witnesses, etc., as well as transport officials to various parts of the state. There are not a lot of career opportunities, but they are available for the right people.

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Agriculture

This type of work involves flying single-engine airplanes and helicopters at low altitudes over fields and farms, applying fertilizers, pesticides, crop growth enhancers, etc. This can be seasonal or full-time employment, and salaries often depend on individual employers. This is a great opportunity for private contractors.

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Air Taxi

There are thousands of airports in the US alone, and more than one third are for public use, with the remainder being private airports. If you are not ready for the job of airline pilot, you can work towards this goal by becoming an air taxi pilot or charter pilot. Salaries can range from $13,000 to $22,000 annually, and it is a great way to get the hours you need to move ahead in the industry.

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Banner Towing

Another great opportunity for private contractors is banner towing. You would be flying at lower altitudes, towing advertising, announcements, etc. behind the single-engine plane at areas where large crowds gather. This may not always be steady work, but it is a great addition to other airline jobs you take on.

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