When looking up at the sky it’s hard not to notice the birds as they glide so effortlessly to their destinations. But since the 1700s, men and women have also been able to capture the wind beneath their wings and take to the skies…well to the best of our ability that is. And if you are ambitious and patient, you too can be flying in no time with a career in Aviation.
What is Aviation anyway?
Strictly speaking, aviation means having the capacity to fly…but we’re not talking about birds this time! In our human perspective, aviation is the operation and flying of aircrafts and it can also be extended to include the design and development of aircrafts as well.
Careers in Aviation
The aviation industry is a broad one and encompasses many careers that you can choose from. Below is a non-exhaustive list to get you thinking of the options in this field:
Airline and commercial pilot– this job involves transporting passengers and cargo, conducting rescue or firefighting missions and reviewing safety measures and procedures which can include checking pre-flight hydraulics, engine parts and other flight systems, monitoring fuel, schedules and weather.
In this specific career, advancement may often look like beginning as a flight instructor, then accumulating flight hours during training sessions in order to become a commercial airline pilot.
Air traffic control specialist– those who hold this job title usually control and monitor the flow of aviation traffic according to safety policies and procedures. This job also entails organizing and coordinating the arrival and landing of airplanes; relaying instructions to pilots; directing the movement of aircrafts while ensuring safety; and informing and authorizing pilots of flight path changes and/or emergencies.
To advance in this career, you should set out to learn and master new skills in the control room and soon enough, you could become a supervisor!
Aerospace engineer – this mainly involves designing aircrafts and their propulsion systems and also building prototypes in accordance with manufacturers’ and governments’ specifications. You may find yourself specializing in a certain type of aircraft, such as private planes, helicopters, or commercial jets.
You can advance in this career by working as an apprentice under a more experienced aerospace engineer. This can allow you to take on the role of technical supervisor or move into an executive position like engineer manager.
Other careers in aviation include:
- Military or Private pilot
- Aviation business manager
- Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanic and technician
- Aerospace engineering and operations technician
- Flight attendant
The requirements of jobs in this career are pretty standard across the board but as with any other field, there will be variations depending on the region you work in and the company you work for. But what is certain is that you can take this career down different paths.
Whichever route you take to fly, one common thing is that you will need a pilot license and usually at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent certificates to get started. As this is a technical field, those with a strong background in mathematics, science or industrial engineering may fare particularly well in aviation.
Other careers usually have their own specific equivalent academic requirements (e.g. aerospace engineering degree for that career).
Bear in mind that this is a regulated area and so it is important that you check with the respective governing body for the area you wish to fly in to be sure you comply with their requirements. (TCI Airports Authority (TCIAA) for Turks and Caicos, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the U.S., Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for the UK.)
How to Stand Out
If you want to climb the ranks quicker in this field, in addition to getting your pilot license, you can work toward getting various ratings to fly different types of aircrafts. You can even seek to earn single or multi-engine ratings to enable you to fly different size aircrafts. It would also be very beneficial to have a second language under your belt as you can expect to be communicating with lots of people from different places during your career. These would set you apart without doubt and help you go further in your career.
Fun fact – the word aviation came from the latin word for bird “avis”
Learn how to pursue careers in Aviation within these regions
See our Aviation Brainie of the Month: Antoine Missick –https://brainfoodtci.org/2019/11/15/brainie-of-the-month-antoine-missick/