5 Most Lucrative Aviation Careers

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The aviation industry and the airlines offer many jobs and multiple carrier opportunities. Although over the last few years the airline industry has been going through a difficult transition, this mean of transportation is becoming more and more popular. Airlines, airplane companies, security organizations and airport are the places where many aviation careers start.

The general opinion is that pilots have the best paying jobs and a glamorous life. The truth is that there is a variation in pay based on factors such as what you are flying, where are you flying and who are you flying for. A job with the regional airlines can pay only $20 per hour and only when the plane’s engine is on. Moreover, pilots who fly 1000 hours per year have a salary close to minimum wage and also have a risky job and a lot of responsibility. Luckily, there are also other in-demand jobs in this industry. Below you will find the 5 most lucrative aviation careers:

1. Director of aerospace program management
The average annual salary for a director of an aerospace engineering program management is $151,000. This is one of the highest paid jobs in the aviation sector and in the world, because aerospace comes second after the petroleum engineering industry. An aerospace director requires a graduate degree in business and an engineering degree. Some of the tasks include negotiating contracts, developing business strategies and increasing profits.

2. Flight engineer, airline pilot or copilot
Approximately 34 of commercial pilots perform activities such as testing planes, fighting fires, monitoring traffic and other non-typical tasks. Usually pilots required military training, although a college degree and a certified training school is enough nowadays. The median annual salary for a pilot is $117,000.

3. Aerospace project engineer
An aerospace project engineer has an annual salary of $82,000. It is the third most lucrative of all aviation careers. The engineer must have a vast knowledge in the aerospace field and communication skills, as they need to lead a team when working on a project and organizational abilities. Other responsibilities include hiring and training the personnel, managing the budget and verifying the team’s work.

4. Aircraft maintenance manager
This is one of the aviation career that requires botch leading abilities and technical knowledge. The manager must make sure that the team performs maintenance on a regular basis and respects the guidelines and regulations. The median annual salary for this position is $74,200.

5. Air traffic controller
The annual salary for an air traffic controller is $62,500, making this position one of the best-paying jobs you can get with only an associate’s degree. However, because it requires a great amount of mental focus it is known for causing high stress levels. In the coming years a wave of retirement that should open up more positions is expected.

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