What Is an Aviation Manager?

Aviation managers need to have business sense and great communication skills, along with a love of flying. Completing a postsecondary degree program and gaining real-world experience can lead you to success in this career. Schools offering Driver Training degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Defined

Aviation managers work at airlines, airports, or other businesses within the aviation or aerospace industry, such as aircraft manufacturers. In this job, you might oversee the day-to-day operations of an airport or aviation organization or supervise a department. In addition to being trained in management and business administration, aviation managers need training in aeronautical sciences and air transportation principles.

Important Facts about Aviation Managers

Median Salary (2014) $85,400 (for transportation managers)
On-the-Job Training Several years of on-the-job training is recommended for employees
Key Skills Reading comprehension, critical thinking, problem sensitivity, and time management
Similar Occupations Pilot, air traffic control, maintenance technician

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) reported an expected employment decrease of 10% for transportation managers working in the air transportation field during the 10-year period from 2012-2022. Although the employment of individuals in transportation and material moving occupations is expected to grow about eight percent during the decade, the majority of that growth is attributed to a larger demand for freight and stock laborers and heavy machinery drivers. The struggles of the air transportation industry in general are likely to blame for the decline in job opportunities for aviation managers in the immediate future.

Education

Within aviation colleges and departments, degree programs are available specific to aviation management. The most common degree programs you might find are bachelor's degrees in aviation management or business administration with a concentration in aviation management. Coursework within these programs commonly covers topics in management, finance, economics, human resources, law, and safety as those fields relate to the aviation industry. Typically, aviation management degree programs require you to complete an internship, often at an airport.

Certification

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) offers a Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) program. The exam tests your skills in business management, operations, leadership, and personnel management, as well as in technical and facilities services. Prerequisites to take the exam are a combination of education and work experience that is based upon an NBAA point system. Recertification should be completed every three years. The recertification process requires paying the necessary fees as well as accumulating additional points by completing recommended courses, conferences, or other educational or industry-specific training. While certification might not be required to work as an aviation manager, holding professional certification might boost your chances for finding a position.

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