Aviation Jobs – Non Flying Opportunities
What other jobs you could do other than flying…
The harsh reality is that some people will have to wait a number of years to get their foot in the door, and some may never make it to the right hand seat of an airliner. For some it is both practical and benefical to consider employment in an aviation field that isn’t flying.
This can be a great way to develop valuable skills and experience which you can take with you throughout your aviation career. They can also be great editions to the CV, demonstrating your passion and perserverance to prospective employers. Most importantly, this can be an excellent way to network and make “inside” contacts within airlines, eventually leading to a flight deck job.
The difficulty can be pursading the employer that you are genuinely interested in the job and not just looking for a “backdoor” route into the cockpit. Many of the jobs listed below are careers in themselves, and thus companies will be looking for prospective employees who are keen to embark upon a long term career with them. This is obviously not typically the case if you have a commercial pilots licence on your CV. There is therefore a temptation to not include your flight training background in your application. We would advise against this – tell them the truth. Leaving a gap in the timeline on your CV can be an indication that you have something to hide and therefore work against you. Other employers will find the knowledge base you have as a commercial pilot to be particularly desirable for the role. Honesty is the best policy and if you are genuinley keen about the job, this will reflect well in your interview regardless of your long term career aspirations.
UPDATE!! See our low hour pilot jobs section for details about EasyJet’s internal First Officer Scheme , designed specifically for those working in a related role within the company.
We have listed some jobs which you may wish to consider:
Flight Operations Controller
Flight operations controllers are responsible for a wide range of tasks within an airline. Often referred to as the nerve center of the airline, the staff in operations control make critical decisions affecting the day to day operation of the airlines schedule. Their primary duty is to ensure the smooth running of the fleet and schedule on the short term basis. This might include flight watch, flight planning, slot planning and resolving crewing issues.
This role requires you to liaise with flight deck crew on a daily basis and consider factors which are familiar from the ATPL theory training such as meterology (METARs/TAFs) and Notams. Depending on the airline, it can also provide an excellent opportunity to experience the running of an airline from ground level, in terms of long and short term strategic planning, fleet management and liasing with air traffic control / Eurocontrol.
Crew control are responsible for ensuring that the companies fleet are crewed to meet the airlines requirements for the short term schedule. Liasing with flight crew on a daily basis, crew control deal with flight time limitations and provide solutions for crew being out of position or unfit for duty. On busy shifts the job has been likened to solving a big jigsaw puzzle – flight crew can be positioned all over Europe or the World, and it’s your job to ensure you can re-crew aircraft as quickly and effectively as possible.
Cabin Crew / Flight Attendant
No other work group will have access to the flight deck (other than the pilots) as much as cabin crew. Working on the aircraft, in terms of day to day lifestyle, it is the closest job you can get to being a pilot. As you liase directly with the flight crew on a daily basis, it can be a great way to build up contacts.
It is however a challenging job and you need to be committed to doing the task in hand to the best of your ability. Using every opportunity possible to let your collegeagues (both front and back) know that you are a qualified pilot can be counter productive and become an annoyance rather than benefical. If you conduct yourself in the right manner, demonstrating a hard working and positive attitude, the right people will eventually notice with the possibility of your dream job coming about as a result.
The dispatcher is responsible for co-ordinating the turn around of an aircraft whilst on the ground. Duties include producing a loadsheet for the flight crew and ensuring all services, such as fuelling, catering and ground equipment is available without delay. The role requires communication with the flight crew and the airlines operations department. Dispatchers are employed through a ground handling agent, such as Swissport or Servisair, who have specific airline contracts.