The 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Aviation

If you are interested in a career in aviation, then it’s important to keep in mind that there is much more to this industry than piloting or becoming an aircraft mechanic. Listed here are the 10 highest paying jobs in the field, ranked in order from highest to lowest paying.

#1 – Director of Aerospace Program Management ($151,000)

The director of aerospace program management has a lot of responsibility on his or her shoulders since he or she is responsible for developing, designing, and implementing business strategies for airlines and other companies. These individuals are also directly responsible for the profitability of a company, and they are often called upon to negotiate contracts for the building of planes and other aircraft.

#2 – Airline Pilot, Copilot, and/or Engineer ($117,000)

While this is a handsome salary, bear in mind that the amount of money you can earn will depend almost primarily on the airline for which you fly. Larger and more popular airlines will usually pay more than their smaller counterparts (who often have limited flights). The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that 34% of all of the pilots in the country have jobs outside of transporting passengers – they dust crops, fight fires, and even test planes.

#3 – Aerospace Project Engineer ($82,000)

A project engineer in the aerospace industry is someone who understands everything about various types of aircraft and who has the skills required to lead a team to project completion. These individuals handle everything from budgeting to hiring and training, and they are also responsible for ensuring that their teams meet quality and safety guidelines.

#4 – Aircraft Maintenance Manager ($74,200)

An aircraft maintenance manager is someone who leads a team of aircraft mechanics/technicians to ensure a job well done. The FAA has many guidelines in place for the proper maintenance of aircraft, and it is the job of the maintenance manager to ensure that all of these guidelines are met. They are also responsible for hiring and training those who work for them.

#5 – Air Traffic Controller ($62,500)

While you’ll only need an associate’s degree to earn this higher-than-average salary as an air traffic controller, bear in mind that this is also one of the most stressful jobs in the aviation industry. You’ll be responsible for tracking hundreds of flights and you’ll need tons of focus to communicate effectively with pilots, copilots, and other air traffic controllers.

#6 – Air/Sky Marshal ($62,100)

An air or sky marshal is responsible for ensuring the safety of passengers and crew on flights, whether this means accompanying criminals on flights or safeguarding against acts of terror. These individuals must be very detail-oriented and able to spot suspicious behavior on their own since they do not work with backup.

#7 – Airplane Inspector ($60,600)

An airplane inspector is the person who is responsible for ensuring that planes are safe for carrying cargo, passengers and crew following any sort of maintenance or repair. They enjoy a greater level of job security than many others in this field because their jobs are required by the FAA.

#8 – Airplane Mechanic ($50,500)

An airplane mechanic can earn a wide variety of salaries based upon his or her specialty, but most are employed in preventative maintenance. These individuals can be employed with major airlines, smaller local companies, or even by the military.

#9 – Avionics Technician ($49,300)

An avionics technician is someone who works with the electronics on an aircraft that were designed for navigation and communication. Some may repair or recalibrate instruments when needed; others may be responsible for helping to develop newer, more accurate technologies. They may be called upon at all hours of the day or night to provide assistance.

#10 – Aircraft Loadmaster ($40,900)

Finally, the duties of an aircraft loadmaster involve ensuring that cargo, passengers, and equipment on flights are all placed strategically so that aircraft can take off, fly, and land safely. In the military, these individuals are often passengers on flights; in commercial settings, this is not the case.

If you are considering a career in aviation, remember that there is much more to this field than simply piloting a plane. Any of the above-mentioned career choices can provide you with a handsome salary and plenty of job security.