When it comes to the aviation industry, the sky is the limit! Here are four incredible benefits of being in aviation.
Working in the aviation industry has many benefits, chief among them the ability to travel more than most—not to mention the added bonus of taking friends and family members with you. Popular as they are, however, travel benefits are only just one reason why choosing a career in aviation is a good idea.
1. It Is Cool (and Includes You In an Instant Network)
There is no end to the cool factor in telling others that you work in aviation. Pilots know that heads turn within the general public whenever they enter the room wearing an airline uniform—when you job is also a bestselling Halloween costume, chances are that there’s a little kid out there somewhere who dreams of having your profession someday. In fact, “Pilot” made the list of U.S. News and World Report’s 100 Best Jobs of 2021.
However, pilots are not the only type of professional aviation needs and also pass the cool test. Most people are fascinated to learn that one is an:
- Air traffic controller
- Flight dispatcher
- Flight attendant
- Aircraft maintenance mechanic
Those not affiliated with aviation usually have plenty of questions, and conversation is easy.
Since most jobs in aviation are passion-oriented, the flight world tends to be tightly knit despite having a large employee pool. Those in aviation tend to stay in it for life, which means long relationships with a wide diversity of people. Once in aviation, finding a mentor or answers to your questions usually means just sending a message or two. There is almost always another pilot or mechanic just a few clicks away who is eager to talk aviation.
2. Travel Benefits
Some people become involved in aviation simply based on this benefit: They love to travel, and working for an airline often allows this. Using travel benefits is known as “nonrevving,” (short for “non revenue passenger”) and it is a whole lifestyle for aviation employees and their partners. If you are flexible and patient, nonrevving can translate to all sorts of travel adventures.
It is important to realize, however, that nonrevving does not necessarily means “fly for free.” It is true that employees do not have to pay for their own seat, and in most cases, those of their designated “registered companion” or “travelling companion,” who is usually a spouse. However, the employee and companion can only fly when there is room on the aircraft, and their seat can go to a paying passenger or commuting employee at the last second. Nearly every nonrevver has a story about sitting on the airplane before the door closes, only to have to collect their bags and return to the gate, hoping for better luck next time.
Most airlines give employees a certain number of “buddy passes” so that other family members and friends can join them on the road or en route to a getaway. However, these nonrev “tickets” often come with a price tag in the form of taxes. In addition, those flying on buddy passes are often far down the priority seating list, and might have to wait for some time until a seat becomes available. This means that on weekends and holidays—when most people tend to want to fly the most— the seats are tougher to come by. Airline employees are responsible for the behavior of those who use their buddy passes, so choose who use this perk carefully.
The good news is that sometimes nonrevving means scoring a first class seat because it is the only one available, and even special treatment from the crew if your spouse or loved one is on board. Those attached to regional or subsidiary airlines can usually fly for the parent airline wherever it goes. For example, if someone works for Endeavor Air, his or her flight benefits typically extend to its “mother” airline, Delta.
3. All Kinds of Skills Are Needed
Just like in the military, if a job is necessary in the civilian “non aviation” world, there is a corollary for it in aviation. Aviation needs salespeople, marketers, attorneys, doctors, and software technicians. There are jobs for educators, psychologists, and administrators. Some who begin their careers in a separate field earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Aeronautics, an Associate’s Degree in Aviation Studies, or a Master’s degree in aviation or business. With many options available both in person and online from aeronautical universities like California Aeronautical University, this is possible like never before.
Other popular jobs in aviation include the fields of engineering and chemistry. Others work as technical writers, human resource specialists, accountants, ramp agents, and customer service liaisons. Airlines even need chefs, human factors specialists, and social media experts. So, if you have developed an interest in aviation and have a resume with a lot of non-aviation experience, chances are good that you can still find a job in the field.
4. Goals Galore
Those who are structured and work best in an environment with step-by-step procedures will do well in the aviation industry. Those who are pilots and aircraft mechanics in particular must follow the detailed progression of the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) in order to become certified in their career of choice.
Aviation is a goal-oriented career. While there is plenty of room for creativity, the field is largely dependent on accuracy and mathematical exactness. That means it is often a highly measured field. Data on growth and development is always available. For those who enjoy a challenge and who like metrics to measure progress, aviation is an excellent choice.
There is always room for improvement and new adventures in aviation. There are forever new airplanes to learn about, ratings to earn, and hours to compile. Even captains of widebody aircraft have places to go. This is applicable to just about any job which is aviation-related, because these careers are often in support of airlines, charter companies, and the pilots who fly them. No matter what a person’s role is, there is always a higher objective, whether passenger satisfaction, safety, a better aircraft design, or even space travel. There is no question about what the mission is in a career in aviation.
Mr. Matthew A. Johnston has over 23 years of experience serving various roles in education and is currently serving as the President of California Aeronautical University. He maintains memberships and is a supporting participant with several aviation promoting and advocacy associations including University Aviation Association (UAA), Regional Airline Association (RAA), AOPA, NBAA, and EAA with the Young Eagles program. He is proud of his collaboration with airlines, aviation businesses and individual aviation professionals who are working with him to develop California Aeronautical University as a leader in educating aviation professionals.