What's the Salary for an Aviation Manager?

Explore the career requirements for aviation managers. Get the facts about education requirements, salary, and potential job growth to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Driver Training degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Aviation Manager?

An aviation manager is an administrative services manager who works in the aviation industry, such as at an airport or with airline companies. They ensure that an organization meets federal safety guidelines and that its operations run smoothly. Their duties can include staff scheduling, budget management and maintenance planning. They may also plan and implement large projects for airport or airline company improvement, with goals such as better security or increased cost efficiency. In large airline companies or airports, they may work alongside a team of managers and/or specialize in a particular area of operations, such as recordkeeping or maintenance.

The following chart gives details on necessary job skills and educational options for this career.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Aviation management
Business management
Key Skills Detail oriented, leadership ability, clear communicator
Job Growth (2014-2024) 8% (for all administrative services managers)*
Median Salary (2017) $158,686**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com

What Education Do I Need for a Career as an Aviation Manager?

Like most management programs, a college education helps with career advancement. If you're interested in pursuing a career as an aviation or airport manager, obtaining a bachelor's degree in business administration or aviation management could significantly improve your employment options. Bachelor's programs teach you fundamentals in aeronautics, management, economics, finance, statistics and aviation law. Some programs also require you to take courses in management ethics, air traffic control and airport management. A number of aviation management programs provide you with internship, cooperative education or work-study opportunities with airlines, corporations in the aerospace industry and local government agencies.

In addition to a bachelor's degree in aviation management, you could also pursue a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in aviation management. These programs cover core business administration courses, such as marketing management, accounting and operations management, in addition to courses designed specifically for the aviation management specialization, including airline and airport management and airport operations. Several schools offer you online options to work around your busy schedule.

What Jobs Could I Apply for?

If your degree program offered sufficient education, you could take the Federal Aviation Administration's exam to become an air traffic controller. You could also apply for management positions at airports and airlines. As an aviation manager at an airport, you'd be responsible for the safe, continuous operations of the airport, including airline relations and scheduling, as well as ensuring all aspects of the airport meets federal regulatory compliance. Alternately, you could work for consulting firms, offering your knowledge and expertise to help clients, such as airports and aviation businesses, come up with solutions to business and management problems.

What Salary Could I Earn?

According to 2017 data presented by Salary.com, aviation managers earned a median annual salary of $158,686. Most aviation managers earned between $106,670 and $238,245.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Instead of working as an aviation manager, you could look for a management position in another field, such as hospitality. As a lodging manager, you would oversee and coordinate the operations of a hotel or motel. This job requires at least a high school diploma. If you're still interested in an aviation industry job, you might consider becoming an airline pilot, which is a pilot for scheduled flights that transport people from one airport to another. Airline pilots usually need to have a bachelor's degree.

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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