How Can I Find a Job in Corporate Aviation Management?

Corporate aviation managers supervise employees and ensure that aircraft maintenance meets safety standards. Learn about education requirements and advancement options in this field. Schools offering Driver Training degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Corporate Aviation Manager?

A corporate aviation manager holds a leadership position at an airline company. They may hold a top executive position or a lower-level management job like a human resources manager or marketing manager. In general, managers are responsible for overseeing all activities within the company and/or their department of specialization, such as staff oversight and budget allocation. At airline companies, they may also be involved in the development and implementation of company-wide improvement strategies, such as reducing the number of delayed flights or increasing flyer satisfaction. In addition, they must make sure that all operations comply with government transportation safety codes and regulations.

The table below provides some more information about becoming a corporate aviation manager:

Degree Required Bachelor's degree; master's degree preferred for some positions
Educational Field of Study Aviation Management or other management field
Key Responsibilities Supervise staff; manage budget; direct activities related to airline transportation; ensure excellent customer service and safety
Licensure Requirements None
Job Growth (2014-2024) 2-4% (for all Transportation, Storage and Distribution Managers)*
Median Salary (2017) $87,867**

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com

What Education Will I Need For a Job in Corporate Aviation Management?

For entry-level positions, you could enroll in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Aviation Management degree program, which is a 4-year program that combines the study of business and aviation. You'll take courses in airport operations, aircraft safety, aviation laws and aviation finance. This degree program is a good option if you want to pursue a career as an operations manager or aircraft safety manager. Some topics you could study in this program include:

  • Corporate operations
  • Airport regulations
  • Aircraft maintenance
  • Labor laws
  • Accident prevention
  • Aircraft crew management

How Do I Gain Experience In This Industry?

Many schools that offer degree programs in aviation management include internships as a part of the major curriculum. Internships can expose you to the inner-workings of the industry and provide networking opportunities, which can be instrumental in finding employment in the field.

Additionally, search for websites targeted specifically towards students and recent graduates seeking internships. Finally, search for internships on industry websites, such as airports, airlines and aircraft manufacturing companies.

What Can I Do To Advance?

If you're interested in pursuing a graduate degree, you can enroll in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Aviation Management. A MBA program goes into in-depth study of aviation management topics, such as human resource management, airline management, aviation economics and aviation marketing.

The structured business curriculum in these programs can prepare you for all aspects of aviation management, including hiring and training employees, managing labor disputes, making decisions based on finances and overseeing business operations.

You can also seek industry certification from organizations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which offers the Aviation Management Professional certification program (www.iata.org), and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), which offers the Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) program (www.nbaa.org).

What Kind of Management Jobs Are Available?

Management jobs in the aviation field include in-flight managers, general aviation managers and department managers. The kind of job you could get largely depends on your training and experience, as well as any professional certifications that you may hold.

As an in-flight manager, you would oversee the operations of in-flight aircraft, as well the operation of aircraft employees, such as pilots and flight attendants. If you work as a general aviation manager, you could oversee business departments and its employees, or you could manage individual departments, such as aircraft maintenance, human resources or customer service.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you are interested in working in the aviation industry, you could also consider becoming an airline pilot. Your job would be to directly operate passenger flights for airline companies, following a tight schedule as you fly from city to city. Airline pilots usually need a bachelor's degree. Alternatively, you could consider a management position in a different industry, such as construction. As a construction manager, you would coordinate operations on construction projects, so your job would include budget planning and scheduling management, among other duties. For this, you would need to hold a bachelor's degree in a relevant field.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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