How to Start an Aviation Career: A Guide for Aircraft Enthusiasts

female pilot in the cockpit
  • Get the right education for your desired craft of aircraft operation to succeed in the industry.
  • Gain work experience through internships, job shadowing opportunities, and attending aviation conferences and events.
  • Network with professionals in the industry via professional associations.
  • Stay focused and set specific goals for yourself to continuously work towards improving your skill set.
  • Look for growth opportunities, such as taking additional courses or specializations.

Are you passionate about aviation and aircraft? Do you dream of having a career in the aviation industry? If so, you’re in the right place. This article gives you a guide on how to start an aviation career.

It will cover everything you need to know, from getting the right education to finding job opportunities and building relationships within the industry. Follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to living your dream of working in aviation.

Choose the Right Educational Path

Getting the proper education is the most critical step to starting an aviation career. You need the right knowledge base and skills to succeed in the industry. You have different paths depending on your interests. One option is a degree in aviation, a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics, Aviation Management, or a related field.

Depending on the craft you want to operate, you must also complete an accredited flight school program. This is especially true for helicopter pilots since they require more specialized training than other aircraft operators. Research the best accredited helicopter flight school in your area and look for a good balance of classroom instruction and practical experience before enrolling.

Gain Work Experience

Once you have completed your education, you’ll need to gain some work experience to enhance your resume. However, with such a niche field, it can be challenging to know where to start. Whether you are fresh out of school, changing your career path, or just looking to gain insight into the industry, here are some¬†steps to help you gain valuable work experience in the aviation industry.

Start with Internships

head pilot with an intern

Internships are a great way to gain hands-on experience in the aviation industry. Many flight schools offer internships that allow students to shadow pilots and dispatchers, work with mechanics and technicians, and learn about airport operations.

Internships are also an excellent way to network and connect with industry professionals. Although unpaid internships may be the norm in this industry, they are a great way to gain experience and potentially lead you into a paid position.

Take Advantage of Job Shadowing Opportunities

Job shadowing is another way to gain insight into the aviation industry. Contact airlines, aviation maintenance companies, and other relevant businesses to inquire about job shadowing opportunities. Job shadowing can help you understand different positions within the industry and may even lead to a job offer.

Stay Focused

The aviation industry is highly competitive, and you’ll face many obstacles and setbacks in your career journey. However, you can achieve your aviation dreams if you remain focused, determined, and always learning. Set specific goals for yourself, take control of your professional development, and continuously work towards improving your skill set.


The aviation industry is vast and exciting, with numerous opportunities for career growth and innovation. Therefore, building a network of contacts within this industry can be a game-changer for your career advancement.

Attend Aviation Conferences and Events

professionals attending a conference

Attending aviation conferences and events is a fantastic way to network and meet people in the industry. These events provide you with an opportunity to learn about the latest industry trends and meet like-minded individuals and potential employers.

Furthermore, during these events, you can get a chance to meet and learn from industry experts. Therefore, if you want to expand your aviation industry network, attending conferences and events is a great way to start.

Join Professional Associations

Joining professional aviation associations can also help you build connections in the industry. Professional associations such as the Aerospace Industries Association, the International Air Transport Association, and the National Business Aviation Association are great platforms to connect with people in the aviation industry. They offer networking events, online forums, and other opportunities to engage with industry leaders, peers, and potential employers.

Look for Growth Opportunities

As you establish yourself in the aviation industry, you’ll need to look for opportunities for growth and advancement. With the proper education, experience, and connections in the industry, you can rise through the ranks to become a captain, engineer, or manager. Consider taking additional courses or specializations to boost your qualifications and position yourself for growth opportunities.

In conclusion, starting an aviation career can be challenging, but it’s a career that can be fulfilling and rewarding. The five steps in this blog post will help you get started on the right foot. Choose the right educational path, gain work experience, network, stay focused, and look for growth opportunities. Successful careers are built over the years, so never stop learning, exploring, and challenging yourself in your aviation career.

About the Author:

share on:

Scroll to Top