6 things to consider when following your dream into the aviation industry
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6 things to consider when following your dream into the aviation industry

From taking to the skies as a pilot to servicing aircraft, handling baggage to walking the aisle as a flight attendant, aviation is a field as board as it is exciting. As the world becomes ever more globalised the need for air travel grows daily – we want to travel further, faster, safer, more environmentally friendly, all whilst being safe in the knowledge that those people who are flying the plane and taking care of our journeys are highly trained, expert professionals. For this reason, those within the aviation industry are becoming more and more relied upon as an integral part of modern day international life.

Aviation schools are key in the training of those within the industry, providing students with the essential knowledge and skills needed to ensure they become safe, educated and experienced professionals. If you are looking to break into the aviation industry you need to ensure you are getting the best qualifications from the best institutions, not only to help you gain the experience you need, but to make sure you can be considered for jobs within top aviation companies. However, before you take the first steps to getting qualified, there are several things you should consider:

1. Choosing the right field of study

It’s important to have a clear idea about the role you’re looking to aim for in the aviation industry, or at least the general specialism that you’d like to pursue. Whether you’re looking to take on those mighty wings and become a Top Gun style pilot (beach volleyball optional), or if you’re already practicing your best smile and want jet around the world in style as a flight attendant, there is a course for you! A good aviation school will help you decide the best specialism and course to suit your interests and aspirations, so it is important to do your research before making a decision.

These days the most common branches within aviation are flight (this includes pilots and airline employees with flight crew training across various airline types), engineering (focusing on aircraft maintenance, repair and servicing), service (covering a broad range of customer facing responsibilities, such as flight attendants, check-in and call centre positions), ground operations (from baggage handling or fuelling, to air cargo operations or loading), and management (encompassing aviation business leaders and executives). There is also the specialism of aeronautics and aerospace engineering, which covers the design, development and engineering of aircraft.

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Different courses cover different types and rating of aircraft Pic: Air New Zealand Aviation Institute

2. Check the professional qualification you need

As well as basic training in your field of interest, many aviation jobs require specific qualifications or licences, such as EASA licences. These are widely recognised throughout the aviation industry and cover qualifications for those looking to become licenced aircraft maintenance engineers and pilots, over a range of different aircraft types and classes. It’s essential to check if the career you want to follow requires a licence or professional qualification and to make sure you receive the necessary training to fulfil the criteria.

3. Choose the right school

Choosing where to study is not just down to the course you want to pursue, it’s also important to consider the place that’s best for you. Large aviation schools, universities and colleges often have good reputations and accreditation, as well as offering a wide range of courses. However, smaller aviation schools and institutions can often provide very specialised and focused training, as well as high quality teaching and hands-on experience. It’s important to factor in the cost of training, the location and the culture of the school. As aviation is a truly global industry there are endless opportunities to study all around the world.

4. Be prepared to work hard

Aviation is a highly specialised industry and professionals working in the field are often in jobs with great responsibility that require high levels of expertise. Whilst you will have a lot of fun learning your craft there will always be an underlying need for hard work, concentration and effort, not just to ensure that you do the job successfully, but to do the job safely as well.

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Follow your passion and land your dream job. Pic: Air New Zealand Aviation Institute

5. Think about the career you’re aiming for

As well as ensuring you receive the correct training and licencing for your dream job, it’s also important to plan for the future. Many aviation schools have great links with companies and industry partners, which can be a great stepping stone to getting your foot in the door at big businesses.

6. Enjoy yourself!

Why do you want to get into the aviation industry? Because it’s your dream! The industry is full of passionate people who have followed their hearts into a job they love. There are opportunities for travel, to work with some of the most advanced technology on the planet and to be part of a truly global and growing industry.

So there you have it – surely by now you’re itching to jump into that uniform and to jet away to your dream job! Read on for information on some of the leading aviation schools, offering world-class training:

AIR NEW ZEALAND AVIATION INSTITUTE – NEW ZEALAND

Located at campuses across New Zealand, the Air New Zealand Aviation Institute provides training to airline staff, militaries, aircraft maintenance companies and individuals wishing to enter the aviation industry. Students can access the full spectrum of training programmes that are provided to Air New Zealand company staff and are able to benefit from the operational industry experience embedded into each course, first class expertise and a high quality curriculum, including on job training and work experience modules. The Aviation Institute has more than 120 dedicated training staff and 50,000 student enrolments each year, across its schools of Flight, Engineering, Service and Ground Operations. Read the full profile…

AVIATION ACADEMY, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA – AUSTRALIA

The University of South Australia (UniSA) is South Australia’s largest university, with 33,000 students, 30% of whom are international, from over 70 countries. UniSA is one of only two Australian universities to operate its own flying school. The Aviation Academy boasts modern facilities and equipment, including a fleet of glass panel aircraft, including three Cessna Skyhawks (C172SP), in which students train with highly skilled and industry qualified instructors. Students can also benefit from flight simulators, current industry software, modern lecture theatres and briefing rooms. Programs include a mix of practical hands-on experience and theoretical training.

NATIONAL AVIATION ACADEMY – USA

National Aviation Academy (NAA) has been training aviation professionals since 1932 and offers programs in; Aviation Maintenance Professional, Aviation Maintenance Technology, Avionics Technology, Aviation Maintenance Certification, Inspection Authorization, as well as associate degree opportunities. NAA is dedicated to its mission of preparing its students for employment in the aviation industry. The Academy has campuses in New England and Tampa bay and is accredited through the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and the Council on Occupational Education (COE). Students of the Academy can also benefit from partnerships with Middlesex Community College and St. Petersburg College, with  St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport (PIE) being one of the largest and busiest air stations in the U.S.

THE AVIATION ACADEMY, CRAVEN COLLEGE – UNITED KINGDOM

The Aviation Academy, part of Craven College, opened in September 2005 with a unique airside campus at Leeds Bradford International Airport. Now the college is providing its award winning expertise and industry links alongside its Travel Division. The Academy has close working relationships with a number of organisations including Jet2.com, Tui, Servisair and Malta Airport, with branded rooms for each company, alongside a mock cabin and facilities that replicate an airport waiting lounge. The programs offered prepare students for a variety of careers in aviation including cabin crew, airport ground crew, passenger service agents, air traffic control, aeronautical engineering, pilot, airline and airport management.

BALTIC AVIATION ACADEMY – LITHUANIA

The Baltic Aviation Academy, located in Lithuania, is a European standard aviation training center, where students can benefit from highly tailored programs, experienced teachers and excellent pastoral care. The Baltic Aviation Academy boasts more than 20 years of experience in aviation training and aims to be a driving force behind a safer aviation industry. Today the Academy offers Ab Initio, Type Rating pilot training, Cabin Crew training, Ground Handling and many more aviation training solutions.

SCHOOL OF AVIATION, MASSEY UNIVERSITY – NEW ZEALAND

Massey University began in 1927 as a small agricultural college in Palmerston North. Since then Massey has widened its range and enhanced its reputation to become a full university. In the last 40 years, it has continued growing, to become New Zealand’s largest residential university, spread over three cities. The School of Aviation was established in 1990 to meet airline needs for graduates with a wide industry perspective. The programmes include academic degrees for aviation managers, and a professional degree for aspiring pilots incorporating flight training with academic studies. The School maintains a large fleet of single- and twin-engined training aircraft as part of the Air Transport Pilot programme, all fitted with the latest Garmin cockpit and Spidertracks tracking systems.