Young professionals, graduates, and experienced workers looking to break into the airline industry may have the misconception that there is one sure-fire way of getting their dream job. Unlike other jobs where there is a clear path from university to employment, the airline industry hires a number of professionals from a variety of different backgrounds. Airline professionals throughout the United Kingdom and Europe come from an interesting array of other fields, including the armed forces, charter flights, package delivery services, and helicopter companies.
Perhaps the most popular path to the airline industry is through the armed forces. Whether it is the Royal Air Force (RAF) or another European military body, mechanics and pilots alike often get their start in the armed forces. Aside from the aspects of service to one's country, many young professionals enter the air force in order to gain technical skills while earning a decent wage. Airline hiring managers and executives look often to the armed forces for new personnel because they require little training and have the discipline to succeed in a tightly regimented industry.
Another path to the airline industry comes from small charter companies and regional flight services throughout the world. The reason why airline pilots and maintenance personnel often come from these types of companies is that it is a small step from charter licensing to airline licensing. Instead of hiring a young pilot who needs to ascend the licensing ladder in order to fly scheduled flights, a charter pilot already has a record with government agencies and has fewer barriers to airline licensing. As well, charter pilots and mechanics are familiar with the problems common in air flight and have a better learning curve than inexperienced personnel. There are a variety of different experiences outside of these traditional paths that are shared by airline personnel. Package delivery services, like FedEx and UPS, now utilize international flights and regional carriers to help facilitate overseas delivery.
Delivery pilots, mechanics, and other personnel are familiar with the flight controls of cargo and passenger planes. Airline companies can plug in these types of professionals when needed and not miss a beat. Helicopter pilots and other personnel with helicopter companies may not have experience with airliners but their hours of experience in the air and knowledge of flight make it an easy transition into the airline industry.
Young professionals and students interested in airline careers should consider these various points of entry before committing to this career path.
Wynnwith Flight Crew are specialists in pilot recruitment with a particular focus on airline pilot jobs, flight crew jobs and airline captain jobs. Operating out of Woking in the UK, Wynnwith Flight Crew is a leading provider to many pan European airline companies.