Working in the aviation industry is the dream for many people. Navigating a plane through the skies, helping people travel all over the globe, improving existing aircraft to reach new heights–all of these play into the wonder of building a career in aviation.
Now, most people think “pilot” when choosing a career path in this industry. However, there are several other kinds of jobs that you can pursue when you earn your aviation degree. Knowing your options not only informs you of the many opportunities you can explore in this field, but also gives you direction on which type of aviation degree you should get.
To elaborate further on what an aviation degree is and what you can do with it, continue reading below.
What Is an Aviation Degree?
As the term implies, an aviation degree is an academic rank that shows that you have been trained and are prepared to work in the aviation industry. If you are interested in aircrafts, aeronautics, engineering, or the physics of flight in general, this is a course that’s well-worth considering.
For aspiring individuals, there are many aviation schools in the Philippines where you can train and earn this degree. There are several types of aviation-related degrees you can choose from, including:
- Aviations management
- Avionics engineering
- Aviation computer science
- Aeronautical technology
- Flight operations management
That said, the journey is not yet done even after earning your degree. You often have to obtain extra certifications and training to apply for certain positions, such as a commercial airline pilot or an aeronautical engineer. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines is the managing body in the local aviation industry and has comprehensive lists of requirements for individuals who wish to get a license for select jobs.
Career Paths You Can Take with an Aviation Degree
Now that you have a better idea of what an aviation degree is, it is now time to check your possible career paths.
Let’s start with the most popular career path in aviation: becoming a pilot. Despite the advancements in aviation technology, pilots are still needed to operate aircraft and fly them to their destination.
A pilot’s key responsibilities include:
- Inspecting the aircraft for potential technical problems
- Ensuring the aircraft has enough fuel for a journey
- Monitoring the aircraft’s systems during the flight
- Communicating with air traffic control
- Navigating and operating the aircraft for the duration of a journey
There are several types of pilots, including private, commercial, corporate, and military. You can also learn to operate different types of aircraft, like the plane and helicopter.
Air Traffic Controller
The job of air traffic controllers is crucial to a flight’s success. You can think of them as the link that helps ground aircraft as they soar the skies.
Some of their responsibilities include:
- Managing ground traffic, which is crucial in a busy airport
- Ensuring safe takeoffs and landings
- Helping pilots during emergencies
- Tracking aircraft with the use of different machines and radars
- Informing pilots of sudden weather changes or other possible safety concerns
It is crucial for air traffic controllers to have the ability to multitask and remain level-headed in high-stress situations. As the plane’s link to the ground, the air traffic controller and the pilot must work hand-in-hand to ensure a safe journey for all passengers and goods.
Operating an aircraft takes skill, and this kind of expertise needs to be passed down onto the next generation. Hence, flight instructors are crucial in the industry’s continuous flourishing.
Some of the tasks flight instructors need to accomplish include:
- Developing aviation course curricula
- Conducting training flights with students
- Determining the student’s proficiency in the pilot’s seat
- Developing new teaching methods in their selected field
Flight instructors become the students’ role models while in school, so it is critical that they demonstrate good aviation sense at all times. Communication and safety are paramount in a field that involves any level of risk. A flight instructor must emphasize these qualities and instill the students with the right mindset before they enter the workforce.
Working in aviation is not all about flying an aircraft. There are several people who work behind the scenes to ensure that all administrative procedures are being followed and the aircraft are properly maintained. This is where the airline manager comes in.
An airline manager is in charge of:
- Overseeing core airline operations
- Implementing policies, procedures, and practices
- Ensuring that operational goals are attained
- Staying on top of new developments in the aviation industry
These are only some of the tasks they have to accomplish on any given day. Airline managers also need to communicate and coordinate with several people working in their field, so good communication skills are a must.
It takes skilled individuals to ensure the safe and smooth operations of airlines and other aviation-related fields. Bear in mind that these are only some of the most common career opportunities that you can explore after getting an aviation degree. The right position for you still highly depends on your unique interests and passions, which you will become more aware of as you become more familiar with the industry.