Education Blog

Skills to Build for a Career in Aviation

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Every career requires specific skills and abilities in order for you to be successful. These are called job-specific skills, and can vary based on the type of position. For example, working as a doctor or nurse will obviously require intensive training in the medical field, with prospective workers often entering 8 or more years of medical school and residency. The same goes for the aviation industry, which has a variety of different jobs that require an equally diverse range of skills and backgrounds. With the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicting growth up to 8.2 billion air travel passengers by 2037, there’s no better time to enter the aviation industry. If you’re interested in building a career in aviation, here are a few skills that you might want to begin working on.

Communication Skills

No man is an island, and that adage is particularly true when it comes to aviation. To successfully get a passenger or cargo plane from one destination to another requires proper communication between a team of countless individuals at all stages of the flight— from the design and construction of an airplane, to the selection of a pilot and crew, to guiding the plane back to land. The aviation industry requires a high level of communication skill, and Aviation JobNet has put together a list of tips for sharpening your communication skills for prospective applicants. These tips include how to communicate by phone or email with new employers, as well as how to make the right first impression.

Critical Thinking Skills

Working in the aviation industry requires a high level of critical thinking, especially for the jobs directly involved with aircraft use, management, and passenger relations. An airplane is a complex machine, and pilots, flight attendants, and air traffic controllers will need to think quickly and analyze a problem accurately in order to ensure the comfort and safety of the cargo and passengers.. For example, the quick thinking and action of an off-duty pilot saved a Lion Air flight from disaster early in 2019, saving dozens of lives.

Technical Skills

Work in the aviation industry can get highly technical, from aircraft engineering and design to managing flight plans as an air traffic controller. Skybrary describes technical knowledge as something that can be attained through training and maintained through continued awareness and further training. Each job in aviation requires a specific amount of technical knowledge in order for the work to be completed competently. If you’re planning on starting a career in the industry, it’s imperative to do research on the types of technical skills you will need for your prospective job, and to complete the required study and certification.


Finally, one of the most important skills that you’ll need in the aviation industry is adaptability. Aviation will introduce you to new machinery, experiences, and situations. It requires not only extensive knowledge of rules and regulations, but also the ability to correctly judge when to bend or break these rules in order to safely survive crisis situations. According to The Balance Careers, breaking the rules can often be the safer option for a pilot, especially in emergency situations that require one to think out-of-the-box.