9 Types of Aviation Jobs (With Salaries and Job Duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 July 2022

Published 1 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Whether you have a high school completion certificate or a graduate degree in aeronautics, the aviation industry can provide many fascinating opportunities. However, each role requires a specific set of skills and qualifications. Once you understand the requirements of the different roles as a pilot, airport manager and ground staff, you can decide where to apply. In this article, we will discuss nine jobs in the aviation industry and list the skills that help you become a suitable candidate.

Nine Types Of Aviation Jobs

Here are some types of aviation jobs to consider:

1. Pilot

National average salary: ₹35,667 per month

Primary duties: Being a pilot is one of the most lucrative jobs in the aviation industry. The primary responsibility of a pilot is the safe transport of passengers and freight to their respective destinations. Their daily duties may include:

  • creating flight plans based on aircraft and weather conditions

  • performing aircraft checks before every flight

  • adhering to flight regulations and safety guidelines

  • communicating and coordinating with air traffic control for safe takeoff and landing

  • checking cockpit instruments for any malfunctions

  • working with flight attendants to ensure that passengers follow safety instructions

  • filing reports on an aircraft's condition upon landing

Pilots can work as commercial pilots or fly private jets for organisations or individuals who own personal aircraft. Another way to become a pilot is to join the armed forces as an air force, army or navy pilot.

Skills and requirements: The requirements to becoming a commercial pilot and fly passenger planes are:

  • a valid Commercial Pilot's License (CPL)

  • a valid Airline Transport Pilot's License (ATPL)

  • 2,000+ hours of flying experience (flight time)

  • 20/20 vision either naturally or with corrective devices like glasses

  • sound judgement and quick reflex

  • knowledge of aviation regulations and safety protocols

Read more: How To Become A Pilot In India: A Step-by-Step Guide

2. Flight attendant

National average salary: ₹26,099 per month

Primary duties: Airlines hire flight attendants to serve as the cabin crew. The job requires ensuring the safety and comfort of passengers for a smooth flying experience. Flight attendants are most likely to work in civil aviation through commercial airlines, but opportunities also exist on business jets and military aircraft.

Skills and requirements: Most companies hiring flight attendants expect their employees to have senior secondary (10+2) certification or an equivalent like the general educational development (GED) test. A degree in hospitality or travel and tourism can also boost employability prospects. Most flight attendants also undergo intensive training after their education. Having strong communication skills, being fluent in international languages and proficiency in basic computer skills and math is an added advantage. Some requirements to becoming a flight attendant may include:

  • minimum age of 18 or 21, according to individual airline's conditions

  • minimum height of five feet

  • no visible tattoos or piercings

  • physical ability to carry meal carts and open emergency exits

  • no history of mental illness

  • at least 20/40 vision and competent hearing

Read more: Becoming An Air Hostess: A Complete Guide

3. Flight instructor

National average salary: ₹18,591 per month

Primary duties: Flight instructors teach students how to operate an aircraft. Besides practical instructions on a pilot's role, they also teach theoretical topics such as aerodynamics, equipment and safety protocols. In addition, they can start hands-on training with a flight simulator and accompany the student pilots on actual flights.

Skills and requirements: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is the official body that governs this sector and offers two ratings based on skills and qualification:

  • Assistant Flight Instructor Rating (AFIR)

  • Flight Instructor Rating (FIR)

For an AFIR, the minimum age limit is 18, 100 hours of flight time as the Pilot-in-Command (PIC) and over 20 hours of traffic pattern flying. To obtain the FIR, candidates require 20 hours of flight time as a PIC with a minimum of 20 takeoffs and 20 landings. The FIR requires over 200 hours of flight time as an AFI. The FIR and AFIR are available for candidates who have completed a DGCA-approved flight instructor course within the last six years. Both ratings are valid for a year, after which the DGCA has to renew them.

4. Air traffic controller

National average salary: ₹31,322 per month

Primary duties: As part of the air traffic control team, air traffic controllers coordinate aircraft movements to ensure safety, efficiency and minimal delay. They manage the landing and take-off of the aircraft at the airport and monitor the airborne aircraft using radar and other visual aids to ensure security. The work is particularly important in an emergency, such as a malfunctioning aircraft or challenging weather conditions, and it is the responsibility of the air traffic controller to ensure the safety of the people on board.

Skills and requirements: Skills include staying focused during long shifts and being responsible for the safety of travellers. To apply for an entry-level role, such as junior executive controller, it is important to complete a bachelor's degree such as a BE or a BSc. Studying subjects such as science and math is also beneficial.

5. Airport manager

National average salary: ₹23,417 per month

Primary duties: Airport managers oversee the day-to-day operations at an airport. They manage safety, negotiate contracts and leases on behalf of the airport and ensure that the management complies with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules. Other responsibilities may include:

  • overseeing hiring and recruitment

  • designing and implementing protocols for daily operations

  • ensuring the smooth cooperation of various departments within the airport

  • consulting on any construction projects within the airport

  • monitoring expenses and approving budgets

  • initiating renovation projects whenever necessary

  • working with airlines for smooth operations

Skills and requirements: Airport managers require an undergraduate degree in aviation or a related field. It could be a BE that includes subjects such as aviation, physics, aerodynamics or management. Airport managers also have experience in airport administration, management responsibilities such as airport security, the supervision of staff and the coordination of tasks involving several departments. Before becoming an airport manager, clearing the Accredited Airport Executive (AAE) certification is necessary.

6. Ground staff

National average salary: ₹24,429 per month

Primary duties: Working in shifts, the ground staff handles passenger operations such as transfers, security checks and accessibility. They usually assist travellers in:

  • providing important information and answering queries

  • giving them updates on flight details

  • assisting differently-abled passengers

  • helping children flying alone and parents with infants

  • performing security checks as necessary

  • loading and unloading luggage

  • assisting with bookings and ticket modifications

Their primary job is to take care of passengers passing through an airport and to ensure that their visit proceeds as smoothly as possible.

Skills and requirements: The minimum eligibility criteria usually include completing the senior secondary (10+2) certification. A diploma or postgraduate diploma in airport ground staff training can also boost employability aspects. Specialised courses for soft skills and personality development may also be beneficial.

7. Aircraft maintenance technician

National average salary: ₹45,033 per month

Primary duties: Aircraft maintenance technicians ensure and maintain high safety standards in aviation. Their job is the inspection, maintenance and repair of aircraft. With a specialisation in either mechanics or avionics, they can work with:

  • commercial airlines

  • maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) departments

  • companies that provide aircraft maintenance as a service

  • aircraft manufacturers and aircraft parts manufacturers

Skills and requirements: To find work in aircraft maintenance, technicians usually join a DGCA-approved institute that offers a degree in AME (Aircraft Maintenance Engineering). The requirement for admission is that passing the AME Common Entrance Test (or AME CET). Colour blind or physically challenged candidates are not eligible to apply for AME roles.

Related: What Is An Aircraft Maintenance Engineer? (How To Become One)

8. Aerospace engineer

National average salary: ₹20,490 per month

Primary duties: Aerospace engineering encompasses the two disciplines of aeronautical and astronautical engineering. These engineers are in charge of designing aircraft and spacecraft or developing new technologies for both industries. Common responsibilities may include:

  • designing aircraft and spacecraft

  • guiding aircraft pilots through aviation and navigation

  • working on the latest technologies in navigation, communication, propulsion, combustion and robotics

  • developing aircraft components

Skills and requirements: Aerospace engineers are highly qualified and skilled in structural design, aerodynamics, navigation, instrumentation and communication technologies. They usually complete an undergraduate degree programme and continue studying with a master's degree and a PhD. Alternately, they may also enter into research and development for government or private organisations in the aviation industry.

Related: What Is Aeronautical Engineering? Definition And Career Tips

9. Baggage handler

National average salary: ₹16,663 per month

Primary duties: Baggage handlers are responsible for the safety and transportation of luggage. They use tractors, conveyor belts and tugs to transport bags between check-in counters and their respective flights. Good luggage management is essential to the smooth operation of any airport. Here are a few typical responsibilities of a baggage handler:

  • collecting checked-in luggage from airport conveyor belts

  • moving collected luggage to aircraft

  • ensuring luggage safety while loading, unloading or in transit

  • watching for any suspicious or harmful items

Salary figures show data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing the article. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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