The aviation industry is a vast and diverse sector. In the UK, it generates over £60 billion per annum, contributing around £22 billion to the country’s GDP. Nearly a million British jobs are connected to the aviation industry, ranging from aircraft manufacturing to travel organisation and aviation management. A highly regulated industry with a drive towards creating more sustainable means of air travel, the aviation industry is an excellent choice for those looking for a new career or seeking work experience.

Working in the aviation industry is an excellent career path with many opportunities. With the global economy becoming increasingly connected, the future of the aviation sector looks set to go from strength to strength.

Airport operative opportunities

An airport is a fast-paced and energetic working environment. At Heathrow Airport, a plane arrives or departs every 45 seconds. This equates to around 1,300 flights every day, and airline operations must be incredibly carefully planned. To ensure that airport operations and logistics run as smoothly as possible, different teams must work together to make the airport a safe and efficient place for both workers and travellers alike.

Some essential roles in the airport sector include:

  • Air Traffic Control – Communicating with pilots and other international airports to ensure that all flights are safely guided onto the runway. Air traffic controllers must have excellent time management, decision making, navigation, communication and maths skills.
  • Airport security – Security at an airport is a strictly regulated area, and is especially important within busy airports with large passenger numbers. From customs officials operating the airport’s X-ray machines to CCTV operatives monitoring people moving in and out of the airport, airport security is a role which requires attention to detail and a calm approach even in tense situations.
  • Airline workers – From flight attendants, cabin crew, and pilots to check-in desk operatives and customer advisors, although not directly employed by the airport, these roles play an integral part in ensuring all passengers enjoy a hassle-free airport experience.
  • Aircraft mechanics – Ground operations are an essential part of the aviation industry. Every time a plane lands it must undergo extensive safety checks before it can depart. An airport mechanic will assess the plane’s condition to ensure there are no potential dangers. Aircraft mechanics and aircraft maintenance is a highly skilled and vital role with extensive training and specialist qualifications required. Experience is also essential as peoples’ lives are at stake if a fault is missed.
  • Other airport opportunities – An airport is like a small town – or in some cases a larger town! Thousands of people move through an airport every day and require a range of services. From customer service jobs manning kiosks, duty-free shops, restaurants (waiting on staff, cooks, cleaners), car rental counters and information desks to gate personnel, taxi drivers and baggage handlers, all these roles are vital in the efficient functioning of any airport. Transferable skills such as business management and interpersonal skills are valuable in these types of roles, and your career in an airport could be incredibly varied.

Aerospace engineers and technicians

The aerospace industry offers plenty of job opportunities in a variety of roles. Aircraft manufacture and maintenance specialists are responsible for the construction, repair and upkeep of the UK’s aircraft fleet. Highly skilled and rigorously checked and tested, aircraft mechanics and electricians are subject to some of the strictest regulations in the world. Working as an aircraft engineer is a rewarding and demanding career choice. It offers excellent career development opportunities with the chance to develop your technical skills and the prospect of global travel.

Whether you’re working in an aircraft factory, developing and manufacturing the latest planes or you work for one of the many specialist suppliers fabricating aircraft parts and electrical circuits, a focus on health and safety and an intricate attention to detail is essential. Working within the technical side of the aviation industry is not only about manufacturing and engineering. Management, office personnel, designers, supply chain specialists and contract experts all play integral roles in aircraft design and development.

Global opportunities in an international industry

The nature of the aviation industry means that your career options will not be limited by national borders. Aviation jobs will open up opportunities to potentially work all over the world. Whether you’re a pilot, an air-side or land-side operative or an airport retail worker, every day you will meet people from across the globe.

The aviation industry is a sector like no other. It can offer opportunities to people from all backgrounds and at all stages of their career. If you’d like to find out more about an aviation career or the airline industry, contact PPR today. For more information about our current roles or to register your details with us, call 01895 80 81 88 or send us a message online.