Who Does Airline Work?

No matter what your background, there’s probably a job waiting for you with one of the world’s countless airlines and airports. What kinds of people work in the air industry?


Entry-level Staff

Airlines and airports are great sources of jobs for those who have graduated from high school and who are interested in a travel career. Every year, new employees by the thousands are hired to be flight attendants, cargo handlers, customer service representatives, reservation agents, security guards, mechanics, and many other job titles. Responsibilities range from complex tasks requiring certification – such as flying aircraft and taking apart a plane’s engine – to entry-level work like customer service, baggage handling, or ticket agent jobs.

Those in Transition

Of course, you don’t have to be fresh out of school to work for an airline or airport. Many airlines and airports nowadays are looking beyond the fresh-scrubbed faces to those with more maturity.

Those just breaking into the industry might be workers with experience in other facets of the travel and tourism industry, people who have been working on a cruise ship, those with customer service experience in other industries, or those simply looking for a way to travel and meet new people as part of their jobs.

Seasonal Workers

Some airlines and airports hire seasonal or temporary employees to help out during the busy summer and holiday seasons.

These employees – commonly ramp agents and baggage handlers – usually are not unionized and in most cases do not earn travel benefits, and their pay is typically lower than permanent employees. This is a good source of jobs for college students or others looking for short-term positions. Contact airlines or airport authorities individually to find out whether they hire seasonal employees or for airline internships. JobMonkey has no shortage of summer jobs information – keep that in mind!

Skilled Career Employees

A significant portion of airline and airport employees is made up of career professionals with special expertise or experience in air-related services. These include airport managers, flight instructors, airframe and powerplant mechanics, pilots, airport managers, station agents, and air traffic controllers – most of them career-track employees with college degrees or specialized training. Many started their air careers as students, apprentices, or entry-level workers straight out of college.

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