If you’re looking for an exciting career track, it can’t get any better than going into aviation. For many people, the aviation industry has it all— a healthy, dynamic relationship between science and technology, a positive growth outlook for the next 20 years, and, of course, the perks of travel. Thanks to a boom in the tourism and travel industry, the aviation industry is projected to grow even more in the years to come. Statista reports that the global aviation industry is expected to reach up to US$ 29.3 billion in profits in 2020, with demand fueled by the growth of the middle class in regions like Asia, Latin America, and Africa. There’s never been a better time to work in the aviation industry, and if you’re looking to switch careers then here’s a bit of a backgrounder that can help.
Thanks to a variety of different factors, including the upward trend in popularity of travel and the growing middle class, the aviation industry is looking better than ever. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the number of passengers being transported by airlines is projected to reach 8.2 billion by 2037. This projection is based on a 3.5% compound annual growth rate from the industry, more evidence of the dramatic growth aviation has seen over the past 20 years.
In response to aviation’s boom in growth, airlines are modernizing their aircraft and expanding their fleets. This means that there’s going to be a subsequent increase in demand for workers, as airlines and airports struggle to meet the needs of passengers. Aviation JobNet documents that some of the most popular aviation jobs for 2020 include commercial airline pilots, certified flight instructors (CFIs), and equipment mechanics and technicians. The demand for these positions is so high that it’s actually beginning to outstrip supply, with the pilot shortage becoming a major concern.
Aviation has a diverse range of jobs, and an equally diverse range of salaries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median salary of aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians at USD$ 63,060 per year, or USD$ 30.32 per hour. For flight attendants, the salary is slightly lower, at USD$ 56,000 per year. Finally, airline and commercial pilots have the highest median salary, at USD$ 115,670 per year. It should be noted, however, that airline pilots’ salaries can vary wildly depending on the size and region serviced by the airline.
The benefits of working a job in aviation are well documented, which only adds to the mystique and glamor associated with the industry. For example, many airlines offer their employees cheaper prices on tickets or other flight benefits, which can sometimes extend to even friends and family. The Houston Chronicle compiled a list of benefits for airplane pilots, including health, life, vision, and dental insurance, as well as generous retirement plans. Pilots can also look forward to paid vacation time, on top of downtime in between flights which can often stretch to two weeks every month.