Best Paying Airport Jobs

Updated on February 8, 2024

The aviation sector offers a broad range of lucrative career opportunities, each with its own set of responsibilities and requirements. Below, we delve into the top ten best-paying jobs within airports, providing insights into job titles, average salaries, descriptions, and the necessary education where applicable.

Air Traffic Controller

  • Average Salary: $122,990
  • Job Description: Air traffic controllers play a crucial role in aviation safety, managing the flow of aircraft in and out of airports and through the airspace. They ensure safe distances between planes and provide pilots with important flight information.
  • Responsibilities: Monitoring and directing the movement of aircraft, providing pilots with takeoff and landing instructions, and ensuring all flight operations adhere to safety standards.
  • Required Education: This position typically requires completion of an FAA-approved education program and passing the FAA exams.

Aerospace Engineer

  • Average Salary: $118,610
  • Job Description: Aerospace engineers are tasked with designing and testing aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles, ensuring they meet engineering principles, customer requirements, and environmental challenges.
  • Responsibilities: Conducting theoretical and practical research, developing design criteria for aeronautical products, and evaluating designs to ensure they meet customer requirements, quality standards, and environmental challenges.
  • Required Education: A bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering or a related field is typically required.

Aviation Safety Inspector

  • Average Salary: $98,610
  • Job Description: These professionals ensure compliance with aviation regulations, inspect aircraft and equipment, and oversee operational practices within the aviation industry.
  • Responsibilities: Inspecting aircraft, equipment, and personnel, overseeing operational practices, and ensuring adherence to safety regulations.
  • Required Education: Experience in aviation roles such as a pilot or mechanic is typically necessary, along with specialized training.

Airport Manager

  • Average Salary: $89,000
  • Job Description: Airport managers oversee the day-to-day operations of airports, ensuring safe, efficient, and compliant airport operations.
  • Responsibilities: Managing staff, overseeing airport security, coordinating with airlines, and ensuring compliance with aviation regulations.
  • Required Education: A bachelor’s degree in aviation management, business administration, or a related field is often required.

Air Marshal

  • Average Salary: $68,467
  • Job Description: Air marshals are responsible for the safety and security of commercial flights, deterring and responding to criminal activities and terrorism.
  • Responsibilities: Providing undercover surveillance on flights, identifying and mitigating potential threats, and taking decisive action during security incidents.
  • Required Education: Rigorous training and a background in law enforcement or security are typically required.

Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Mechanic

  • Average Salary: $66,680
  • Job Description: A&P mechanics maintain and repair the mechanical and structural components of aircraft.
  • Responsibilities: Inspecting aircraft frames and engines, conducting routine maintenance, and repairing or replacing defective parts.
  • Required Education: Certification from an FAA-approved aviation maintenance technician school is required.

Avionics Technician

  • Average Salary: $66,680
  • Job Description: These technicians specialize in the electronics systems of aircraft, ensuring functionality and compliance with safety standards.
  • Responsibilities: Installing, inspecting, and repairing avionics equipment, including communication, navigation, and flight control systems.
  • Required Education: An associate degree or certification in avionics or a related field is often necessary.

Flight Attendant

  • Average Salary: $56,640
  • Job Description: Flight attendants ensure the safety and comfort of passengers aboard flights, providing instructions, services, and assistance.
  • Responsibilities: Conducting pre-flight safety checks, demonstrating safety procedures, attending to passenger needs, and managing in-flight emergencies.
  • Required Education: A high school diploma is generally required, along with completion of the airline’s training program.

Flight Dispatcher

  • Average Salary: $52,078
  • Job Description: Flight dispatchers plan and monitor the progress of aircraft flights, coordinating with pilots and ground personnel to ensure safety and efficiency.
  • Responsibilities: Creating flight plans, monitoring weather conditions, and coordinating with air traffic control and ground personnel.
  • Required Education: A combination of education and experience in aviation is required, along with passing an FAA licensing exam.

Airfield Operations Specialist

  • Average Salary: $51,330
  • Job Description: Specialists in airfield operations ensure the safety and efficiency of airport runways and airfield operations.
  • Responsibilities: Inspecting runways, coordinating with air traffic control, and implementing safety protocols.
  • Required Education: A bachelor’s degree in aviation management or a related field can be beneficial, along with specialized training in airfield operations.

Final Thoughts

Embarking on a career in the aviation industry can lead to rewarding opportunities and competitive salaries. Whether you’re interested in the technical aspects of aerospace engineeringor the dynamic environment of air traffic control, there is a wide range of paths to explore. With the right education and training, these positions offer not just substantial financial rewards but also the chance to play a key role in the safe and efficient operation of the global aviation network.

Other Jobs in Transportation and Logistics


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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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