Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Best Aviation Careers!
Which one will you choose?
Do you catch yourself gazing skyward when you hear an airplane flying overhead? If you find yourself irresistibly drawn toward aviation, then why not consider making it your career?
The aviation field is increasingly diverse and ripe with opportunities for promising careers, whether you thrive upon being aloft or on the ground. If you love to travel and want to be a professional pilot, you have many exciting choices, including (but certainly not limited to) flying for an airline, corporation, charter company or air-taxi operator—or you might prefer to be a military pilot in the service of your country (although new technology and unmanned aerial vehicles may reduce these positions). Plane & Pilot’s research shows that several regional and cargo airlines are redoubling their hiring efforts and are attracting new pilots by lowering their entry-level requirements and increasing pay and perks. Corporate-charter and fractional-ownership operations are also hiring; these positions, however, may have higher minimum experience requirements than the airlines.
While some types of careers—such as pilot, mechanic and engineer—continue to be mainstays in the aviation industry, technological advances and sociocultural influences are combining to form new aviation careers. If you like working with people and have keen analytical skills, you might be intrigued by the burgeoning career path in human factors—where you help develop better ways for humans and machines to interact. Or maybe you’re more technically oriented and would be interested in the field of aviation-related global security and intelligence.
If your passion for flight simply embraces recreational flying, as opposed to professional flying, yet you’d still like to be involved in some aspect of aviation on a daily, hands-on basis, then perhaps a career in air-traffic management or in aircraft-maintenance science would intrigue you. Or how about devoting your mathematical and design abilities to the challenging career of an aerodynamic, structural or propulsion engineer?
Whichever aviation career path you choose, this is an excellent time to prepare yourself to enter this wide-ranging job market, which is predicted to grow at a healthy rate as baby boomers begin retiring in droves, leaving a looming void that employers will be eager to fill with highly motivated, energetic self-starters. To better understand this impinging deficit in the workforce, consider this: around 77 million babies were born in the United States from 1946 to 1964, and the first of these boomers turned 60 in 2006. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2000, boomers comprised 28% of the U.S. population. Translated into occupational opportunities, 43% of aerospace engineers who are 45 or older will leave their professions during the period between 1998 and 2008, along with 47.9% of airline pilots (Monthly Labor Review, July 2000). In addition to those figures, Aviation Information Resources, predicted in a February 2007 news release that "approximately 8,500 new airline pilot jobs will be created in 2007; 2006 yielded 8,256 new jobs.”
An advanced degree from an aviation university will help open the door to your new career—not only through coursework, but also through industry internships and networking. The National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Job Outlook 2007 Fall Preview reports, “For the fourth straight year, employers are reporting a double-digit percentage increase in college hiring…employers are predicting an overall increase in college hiring of 17.4 percent.”
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