10 Highest Paying Aviation Jobs to Consider

10 Highest Paying Aviation Jobs to Consider

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We used the latest data and insights to identify the highest paying aviation jobs so that you can learn and earn more.

You may have heard that “the sky’s the limit” when it comes to aviation jobs. The truth? It’s not so far off.

Aerospace engineers, pilots, and avionics technicians are some of the highest-paid professionals in the industry. But as a newbie to aviation, you might be wondering what these jobs entail and how you can get them.

Today we will break it down for you. We’ve reviewed the highest-paying aviation jobs and highlighted the skills, education, and experience needed to land them.

If you’re looking for a career in aviation that offers both a solid paycheck and personal satisfaction, these are some of the best options.

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📝Free resume review services: JobScan, ZipJob, or Resumable.

#10. Transport Security Officers

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Glassdoor
  • Low Range: $30,000 per year
  • High Range: $55,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $40,005 per year
Highest Paying Aviation Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

Transport security officers work at airports to ensure that passengers and their belongings are safe. They inspect bags, shoes, and other personal items for prohibited items such as weapons or explosives. These security officers also perform pat-down searches when necessary.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

This job requires a high school diploma, some security training, and regular physical fitness testing. You may also need a background check and drug test before you can start.

Who’s hiring for this job?

Transport security officers work for government agencies, airlines, airports, and private security firms.

What is the best way to get this job?

Once you are 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED, you can begin the application process. Before starting work, you’ll need to pass a criminal background check and drug test. Your training will include how to use security equipment such as metal detectors and X-ray machines.

What is it like to be a transportation security officer?

#9. Aircraft Maintenance Technician

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Glassdoor
  • Low Range: $39,000 per year
  • High Range: $86,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $57,614 per year
Highest Paying Aviation Jobs : Credits: Unsplash
Credits: Unsplash

What do they do?

Aircraft maintenance technicians (ATs) are responsible for keeping commercial aircraft in good working condition. They work on a variety of systems, including propulsion, navigation, and communications equipment. 

ATs also perform routine maintenance tasks such as cleaning aircraft cabins and passenger seats.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

This position requires a high school diploma or equivalent. You also need an aviation maintenance technician certificate or an associate’s degree in aviation maintenance technology from a community college or technical school.

However, employers prefer experience plus years of practical training for their aircraft mechanics positions

Who’s hiring for this job?

Aircraft maintenance technicians work for airlines, commercial or corporate aircraft repair facilities, or government agencies.

What is the best way to get this job?

The best way to get an airplane maintenance technician job is through a combination of education and experience. The first step is to complete a training program in aviation maintenance technology at a community college or technical school.

This will allow you to become a certified aircraft technician. The next step is to gain experience working as a maintenance technician for an airline or commercial repair facility. Finally, you can apply for jobs with airlines or other employers of aircraft mechanics.

What is it like to be an aircraft maintenance technician?

#8. Airport Operations Managers

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Payscale
  • Low Range: $40,000 per year
  • High Range: $89,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $60,388 per year
Highest Paying Aviation Jobs : Credits: Unsplash
Credits: Unsplash

What do they do?

Airport operations managers are responsible for overseeing all aspects of an airport’s operations. They ensure that their facilities have the right number of employees and equipment to provide adequate customer service and maintain safety standards.

These airport executives work closely with airlines and other airport managers to develop strategies to help their facilities generate more revenue while ensuring customer satisfaction.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

Employers look for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in airport management, aviation business, or a related field. They also look for candidates with at least two years of experience in the aviation industry.

Who’s hiring for this job?

Airport managers work for airports, airlines, and other businesses that operate at the airport.

What is the best way to get this job?

Airport executives can get their jobs in a variety of ways. Many start as airline employees or ground crew members who work their way up the management ladder. 

Candidates with a bachelor’s degree in airport management, aviation business, or another relevant field may be able to find entry-level positions at airports.

What is it like to be an airport manager?

#7. Aerospace Engineer

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Payscale
  • Low Range: $65,000 per year
  • High Range: $133,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $86,913 per year
Highest Paying Aviation Jobs : Credits: Pixabay
Credits: Pixabay

What do they do?

Aerospace engineers design and build airplanes, spacecrafts, rockets, missiles, satellites, and other machines that fly. They work in the aerospace industry to create these machines. Aerospace engineers also work with companies that make aircraft engines or parts for the industry.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

This field requires at least a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering. It’s also important to have experience working with aircraft or spacecrafts.

Who’s hiring for this job?

Aerospace engineers work for private companies, government agencies, and research institutions. They may work on projects that are related to space travel or military aircraft.

What is the best way to get this job?

You can find entry-level jobs as a junior engineer or assistant engineer with a bachelor’s degree. As you gain experience working for a company, you may be promoted to lead engineer or senior engineer.

Should you become an aerospace engineer?

#6. Air Traffic Controllers

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Payscale
  • Low Range: $50,000 per year
  • High Range: $160,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $92,946 per year
Highest Paying Aviation Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

Air traffic controllers are responsible for keeping planes from colliding in the sky. They use radar and other technology to guide the aircraft safely to their destinations. These professionals also provide information about weather conditions to pilots.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

This job typically requires an associate’s degree, with some employers requiring a bachelor’s degree. Air traffic training programs are available to help you get started in this field.

Who’s hiring for this job?

Air traffic controllers work for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and private airports. Some air traffic controllers also work for airlines to ensure flights are on schedule.

What is the best way to get this job?

To become an air traffic controller, you need to complete a training program that the FAA approves. The training takes about one year and includes classroom instruction and hands-on experience in a simulated environment. 

There are several programs throughout the country that provide this type of training. After completing your training, you will be eligible for employment with an FAA facility or private airport.

What is it like to be an air traffic controller?

#5. Avionics Engineer

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Zippia
  • Low Range: $67,000 per year
  • High Range: $135,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $95,470 per year
Highest Paying Aviation Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

Avionics engineers work with aircraft electronics and navigation systems. They design, test, and install new components for planes and helicopters. These professionals also maintain and repair existing systems.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

According to Zippia, 73% of avionics engineers have a bachelor’s degree. These engineers study electrical, mechanical, and computer engineering in school. They also learn about aircraft design and maintenance.

Although a master’s degree is not required for this job, it can help avionics engineers advance to more senior positions.

Who’s hiring for this job?

Most people in this field work at airlines and aircraft manufacturers. They may also find employment at airports and pilot training schools.

What is the best way to get this job?

Avionics engineering is a specific field, and employers typically want to see that you have the appropriate education and experience.

If you are interested in this career, consider earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an aviation technology program at a community college or technical school. You can then work your way up to an avionics engineering position by working as an apprentice, intern, or junior engineer.

What is it like to be an avionics engineer?

#4. Airline Pilot

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Glassdoor
  • Low Range: $65,000 per year
  • High Range: $153,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $99,307 per year
Highest Paying Aviation Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

Airline pilots are certified to operate commercial or private aircraft. They are responsible for passengers, cargo, and the aircraft’s safety and security.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates all pilots in the United States, including training requirements. This job doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree. 

Instead, you need to earn a pilot’s license from the FAA. The license must be renewed every few years and requires an additional flight test.

Who’s hiring for this job?

Airline Pilots work for airlines, charter companies, the military, and other organizations that fly airplanes.

What is the best way to get this job?

You can go to school for a degree in aviation, but most airline pilots earned their license as private pilots and worked their way up through the ranks. To become a private pilot, you must pass a written and flight test with an examiner from the FAA.

After that, you can fly solo. The next step is to earn a commercial pilot’s license by taking more classes and passing another written test. Finally, you must pass a medical exam, including a flight physical and drug screening.

What is it like to be an airline pilot?

#3. Terminal Manager

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Glassdoor
  • Low Range: $67,000 per year
  • High Range: $170,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $105,727 per year
Highest Paying Aviation Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

A terminal manager is in charge of the day-to-day operations of an airport terminal. They manage staff, facilities, safety, and security. In a nutshell, they are responsible for making sure that passengers have a positive experience at the airport while they’re there.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

Terminal managers typically have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as business or management. They also need to have experience working in the airline industry.

Who’s hiring for this job?

These managers are employed by airlines, airports, and other aviation-related businesses. They can work for the federal government as well.

What is the best way to get this job?

The best way to get this type of job is by working your way up from the bottom. This means starting as an entry-level employee and working your way up through the ranks until you become a terminal manager. You’ll need experience in all aspects of air travel, including customer service and safety issues.

What it is like to be a terminal manager?

#2. Flight Test Engineer

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Glassdoor
  • Low Range: $68,000 per year
  • High Range: $170,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $106,655 per year
Highest Paying Aviation Jobs : Credits: Unsplash
Credits:Unsplash

What do they do?

A flight test engineer is a licensed professional who tests aircraft and its systems under real-world conditions. They work in research and development, manufacturing, and operations.

These aerospace engineers ensure that the aircraft is safe to fly and meets customers’ needs. They use their knowledge of aerodynamics, propulsion systems, structures, and materials to ensure that aircraft meet their design specifications.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

The education requirements for test engineers vary by employer, but most require at least a bachelor’s degree in mechanical, electrical, or aerospace engineering. Flight test engineers may need to earn licenses or certifications from professional organizations.

However, some employers may prefer practical experience over advanced degrees. Still, a master’s degree in engineering can help test engineers advance their careers and earn higher salaries.

Who’s hiring for this job?

Flight test engineers work for airlines, aircraft manufacturers, suppliers, and government organizations. They may be responsible for testing anything from small private planes to commercial airliners.

What is the best way to get this job?

The best way to get a job as a flight test engineer is to earn a degree in engineering and then find an internship or entry-level job with an aerospace company. You can also look for related jobs at companies and government agencies that employ test engineers.

What is it like to be a flight test engineer?

#1. Flight Instructor

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Salary.com
  • Low Range: $91,722 per year
  • High Range: $134,496 per year
  • Median Pay: $108,427 per year
Highest Paying Aviation Jobs : Credits: Unsplash
Credits: Unsplash

What do they do?

A flight instructor teaches people how to fly. They are pilots who have earned their licenses and are certified by the FAA to teach others how to fly. Flight instructors must be licensed pilots, but they don’t have to be employed by an airline or other aviation company. Some work independently.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

Certified flight instructors have met the FAA’s requirements for training and instructing students. They are required to have at least 250 hours of flight time as a pilot.

Who’s hiring for this job?

Flight instructors work for a variety of aviation businesses, including:

  • Schools that offer flight training programs for students who wish to earn their pilot’s license
  • Flight schools that provide aeronautical training courses for pilots who want to earn their licenses

What is the best way to get this job?

You’ll need to get your pilot’s license first to become a flight instructor. You should also complete an FAA-approved flight training program. After meeting the FAA requirements for certified flight instructors (CFI), you can apply for jobs at flight schools or other aviation businesses.

What is it like to be a flight instructor?

Conclusion

You’re in the right place if you’re looking to make a difference in the world.

Aviation is an amazing field, with opportunities for pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and engineers, security guards, and more.

Think about what you can do to help people fly safely, whether it’s keeping passengers safe or making sure the plane is ready to fly. The sky’s the limit when it comes to aviation jobs.

If you have any questions or concerns about the highest-paid aviation jobs, then please don’t hesitate to contact us.

🚀Pro Tips: Today, we need more than just a great school or company name on the CV. You need to be able to sell it on paper as well as in interviews.
– 🤖AI writing tools: Academic researchers trust Trinka, while entrepreneurial ones prefer Jasper
📝Free resume review services: JobScan, ZipJob, or Resumable.

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Author
Joannah W.
Joannah has been a science publisher with close to 20 years of experience. She wants to help students and researchers stay ahead of the trends and developments in the science community by making science more accessible to everyone.

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