If you have a love for aviation but don’t picture yourself as a pilot, don’t despair – there are plenty of other careers in aviation that are exciting and rewarding! Some are more glamorous or pay better than others, but each one fills a necessary place in the aviation industry.
Today, we’ll take a look at 8 aviation related career paths you could choose if piloting an airplane doesn’t appeal to you. While many of these positions require certifications, a college education, or an aviation degree, others do not. How far you go and which path you choose is totally up to you!
Aviation Careers Besides Becoming a Pilot
1. Aircraft Mechanic
Pilots couldn’t do their jobs and passengers couldn’t travel safely without qualified aircraft mechanics. These important individuals know the inside and out of a wide variety of aircraft. From maintaining electrical components and avionics equipment to accurately diagnosing mechanical or structural problems, these employees are responsible for keeping planes, jets, and other aircraft running safely and efficiently.
2. Aerospace Engineer
Otherwise known as aeronautical engineers, these people are the brains behind the next generation of aircraft and aviation technology. This is one of the most exciting careers in aviation and is meant for talented individuals who can apply mathematics, theory, and problem solving skills to design, develop, and produce new technology.
3. Drone Pilot
Perhaps taking to the skies and piloting a commercial airplane doesn’t appeal to you. But how about becoming a drone pilot instead? Remote controlled aircraft are becoming increasingly popular and their functions have grown as well. Drones can be used by the military to perform surveillance or search and rescue operations. In the private sector, they are used to deliver goods, film landscapes, monitor climate change, and more.
4. Air Traffic Controller
This could be one of the most rewarding careers in aviation but also one of the most stressful. Imagine being responsible for all airport takeoffs, landings, runway activity, assisting airport rescue crews, and more. These are some of the tasks that air traffic controllers must handle with ease and in a calm manner. The safety of a lot of people and the smoothness of airport operations depends on these employees doing their job and doing it well.
5. Transportation Security Officer (TSO)
Speaking of safety, airport security officers have that as their primary goal. By ensuring travelers follow the rules set forth by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Department of Homeland Security, TSOs help to make airports and aircraft safer for everyone.
6. Baggage Handler
With over 2 million travelers passing through TSA checkpoints daily in recent months, you can imagine how many bags those travelers are carrying. Someone has to get those luggage pieces safely from check-in to the airplane and then from the airplane to baggage claim upon arrival at the plane’s destination. This is the role of a baggage handler – unassuming and non-glamorous, for sure, but absolutely essential for a pleasant travel experience.
7. Ticket or Gate Agent
Remember those 2 million plus passengers who are currently going through airport security every single day? Those same travelers have questions and concerns about their flight and need to be safely seated on the plane when it’s time to leave. Ticketing and gate agents have the responsibility of answering passenger questions, solving connection or baggage issues, gate checking baggage, boarding travelers, and more. As such, they are the first face of the airline that many passengers encounter. So, a pleasant demeanor and good communication skills are essential for being a good brand ambassador.
8. Flight Attendant
If you enjoy helping people and have a love for flying but simply don’t want to become a pilot, being a flight attendant could be right up your alley. As the name implies, these individuals attend to travelers’ needs during the flight. They also assist with securing the flight deck and are responsible for passenger safety during emergency situations.
Aviation High School Introduces Dallas Area Teens to Careers in Aviation
Whether you want to become a pilot or pursue one of the other aviation careers, it’s important to understand what each career path entails. What better way to explore future career opportunities than through hands-on experience?
At Rising Aviation High School in Addison, TX, we offer students a traditional STEM curriculum with the addition of aviation-related studies. And, since our private high school is located at the Addison Airport, students are able to live and breathe all things aviation on a daily basis. Some of our students even earn their Drone Pilot’s License while still in high school.
Upon graduation, our students receive an accredited high school diploma and are fully prepared to face what’s next, whether that be further education, military opportunities, or pursuing other careers in aviation. Contact us today to learn more about our academic program, aviation summer camp, and other aviation related offerings.