CAREER DEVELOPMENT / JAN. 15, 2015
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Top 10 Skills Needed for a Job in Aviation

The airline industry has had its share of ups and downs in recent years. But flying continues to be a preferred way of travel for many people. For that matter, there’s always going to be a need for skilled workers in aviation.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re flying the plane, sitting in the air traffic controller booth or working as an aircraft mechanic, you’ll need certain skills to succeed in aviation.

1. Good communication skills

Aviation jobs involve regular communication with others. Whether you’re an air traffic controller communicating with pilots, or someone who works in human resources or marketing for an airline, you must be able to articulate and convey ideas clearly. You also need good written communication skills. Depending on the nature of the job, you may write business emails, memos and create presentations. 

2. Critical thinking skills

The ability to solve problems is also crucial in aviation. Pilots encounter a variety of situations while operating an aircraft. Moreover, aviation engineers and mechanics occasionally run into issues when designing or maintaining an aircraft. You must possess the ability to anticipate problems and quickly find workable solutions. 

3. Good people skills

Good customer service is important in aviation. Some departments work directly with customers. For example, an airline ticket agent makes reservations, and those who work in customer service assist passengers as they board and leave the plane. Flight attendants also need good people skills since they interact with passengers on every flight. 

4. Positive attitude

Whether you work in customer service or have a technical job in aviation, problems can arise. Typically, employers look for candidates who have a positive attitude. Working conditions vary and a positive work attitude creates a productive environment. This results in a less stressful day, and it’s easier to troubleshoot with a clear mind. 

5. Team player

It’s important that you’re a team player. When working in aviation, it takes a joint effort to keep everything running smoothly. From the baggage handlers to the engineers, everyone must work together. 

6. Honesty

The airline industry can’t afford to cut corners, especially when it involves maintenance of a powerful aircraft. If seeking a job in aviation, you’ll need high ethical standards. This involves being honest in everything, fair, loyal to the company, obeying laws, and respecting your colleagues. 

7. Leadership

There are several management and supervisory opportunities in aviation. These jobs typically require specialized training. But even if you have skills and experience, you need leadership skills to excel in these positions. Supervisory roles might include piloting, and you also need leadership skills to work in quality assurance, or as an airport manager or a maintenance director. 

8. Knowing your limitations

Some areas of aviation require special licenses. Even if you feel capable of handling a particular job, be aware of legal limitations. This is important for keeping passengers safe and complying with the airline industry’s regulations.

9. Dependable and reliable

Airplanes fly every single day. Therefore, airlines need the cooperation of employees to ensure a productive day, and to ensure passengers reach their destinations safely and comfortably. So when you apply for a job in aviation, the employer will confirm that you’re reliable and dependable. They’ll check references to see if you possess these skills. 

10. Hard worker

Aviation is a fast-paced industry, and there’s no room for laziness. As a hard worker you need to be organized, efficient, and you must be willing to take the initiative.

A job in aviation can be rewarding and exciting, but it’s important to pick a position that best suits the skills you possess.

Photo credit: Dmitry Terekhov via Flickr

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