Careers in Aviation Administration

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in aviation administration. Read on to learn more about career options along with educational requirements and salary information. Schools offering Driver Training degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is Aviation Administration?

Aviation administration includes careers such as airport management, financial analysis, human resources, and ticketing. Airport managers are executives who plan different policies and set goals for the airport. They are involved in appointing high-level staff, budgeting, and reviewing the performance of both employees and the organization overall. Financial analysts provide detailed financial reports based on their investigation of an employer's performance with the intention of finding ways to increase profits. HR managers are in charge of staff at their location, hiring and firing as needed, training new employees, providing disciplinary action, and resolving disputes when necessary. Ticket agents take reservations from customers and print tickets, as well as perform basic clerical duties around their work space.

The following chart provides an overview about aviation administration careers.

Airport Director/Superintendent Financial Analyst Human Resources Manager Ticket Agent
Degree Required Bachelor's or master's degree Bachelor's or master's degree Bachelor's degree at minimum; master's may be required High school diploma
Education Field of Study Aviation administration, business administration, public administration Accounting, economics, finance, statistics, mathematics, business administration Human resources, business administration, labor relations Clerical and computer courses
Key Responsibilities Plan organizational goals and policies; manage facility; oversee financial and budgetary processes; appoint managers; analyze performance Evaluate financial statements; provide reports to company officials; follow business and economic trends Oversee hiring and staffing; oversee employee policies; train management in HR matters; oversee disputes and discipline Perform customer service and clerical duties; use computer system to create airline reservation and ticket
Licensure or Certification None Financial Industry Regulatory Authority licensing may be required; Chartered Financial Analyst Certification may be preferred by employers None None
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% (for all top executives)* 12%* 9%* -1% (for all reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks)*
Median Salary (2015) $175,110 for all chief executives* $80,310* $104,440* $35,170 (for all reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Careers Are Available in Aviation Administration?

Depending on your interests, you could find work as an airport director or superintendent, financial analyst, human resources manager, or ticket agent. Directors and superintendents manage airport operations. In this type of position, you may inspect facilities, implement procedures and rules, develop programs, oversee projects, and manage employees.

Financial analysts prepare financial reports, develop budgets, and make financial preparations for special projects. As a human resources manager, you might oversee insurance claims, prepare new hire paperwork, and handle complaints from employees. Ticket agents are usually responsible for issuing boarding passes, assisting passengers, and making flight announcements.

What Training or Education Do I Need?

Employers usually expect directors and superintendents to hold a 4-year degree in aviation administration or a related management area. Some management experience may be required as well, including knowledge of airport operations and an understanding of regulatory policies within the industry.

Financial analysts usually need a bachelor's degree in finance or a related business field. In some cases, certification as a public accountant may be necessary. For a human resources position, employers might prefer applicants who hold a bachelor's degree in management or administration. Prior human resources experience is often required for supervisory positions.

Formal training isn't usually necessary for aspiring ticket agents; on-the-job training is often provided. However, a background in customer service may be helpful.

What's the Job Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of employed workers within the aviation industry was expected to increase by 2.3% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). During this time, job growth was the result of an increase in domestic and international travel. The BLS reported that the best job opportunities would be with low-cost airlines and other air transportation companies experiencing growth.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you're interested in careers related to administration but outside of aviation, you might consider financial managers, administrative services managers, and training and development managers, which all require a bachelor's degree. Financial managers monitor a company's finances, hoping to maximize profits and keep costs low by overseeing the economic activities of their employers. Administrative services managers direct the support services of an organization, such as mail distribution, office maintenance, and recordkeeping. Training and development managers help employees gain new skills and strategies for working more effectively.

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