Fresh Out of High School? Here’s What You Need to Know About Opportunities in the Airline Industry

The demand for more people in the aviation industry is both exciting, and to an extent, quite alarming. No less than global aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, is saying that the demand for airline professionals will be so big in the next 20 years that there may not be enough people to sustain it.

“As global economies expand and airlines take delivery of tens of thousands of new commercial jetliners over the next 20 years, the demand for personnel to fly and maintain those airplanes will be unprecedented,” said Boeing in a statement.

To prove its point, Boeing released its 2013 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook, a study which predicts personnel demand in the entire airline industry. The results, even in a nutshell, are astounding. It said that in the next 20 years, the world will need 498,000 new commercial airline pilots and 556,000 new maintenance technicians to fly and maintain the new airplanes.

Of this number, the Asia Pacific region will generate the biggest demand, with a requirement for 192,300 new pilots. The region will also take a lion’s share of the demand for maintenance technicians, as 215,300 of the 556,000 will be needed here. China alone will require 93,900 technicians.

The Philippine government is starting to notice. In fact, House assistant majority leader, Rep. Gerald Anthony Gullas of Cebu has already appealed to the national and even local governments to come up with a program so high school graduates can take advantage of this employment opportunity.

“We foresee enormous global demand for commercial airline pilots, cabin crew, aircraft technicians and other aviation-related jobs in the years ahead,” said Gullas, as he asked the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to start developing and promoting courses that include Air Transportation Specializing in Commercial Flying, Air Traffic Control minor in Flight Dispatch, Aircraft Maintenance Technology, Aviation Electronics Technology, Aviation Information Technology, and Information Management Major in Airline Operation.

High school graduates today need not wait for government action to grab the opportunity to become airline professionals. Schools like the WCC Pilot Academy, for instance, has several flight training programs that prepare students for a professional career in the aviation industry through proper flight training that strictly adheres to requirements set by the CAAP. It even has a Flexi-Pilot program which lets employed professionals study aviation on the side so they can make a career switch.

The WCC Aeronautical and Technological College also offers BS Aviation Major in Commercial Flying, BS Aviation Major in Aviation Management, BS Aeronautical Engineering, BS Aircraft Maintenance, BS Tourism with Flight Attendant Course, and even a diploma course in Aircraft Maintenance Technology.

Capt. Ramon V. Guico III, President and CEO of WCC Aviation that owns the WCC Aeronautical and Technological College, said now is the time for high school graduates to rethink the usual courses that they know. They should venture into a career that the world will need for decades to come.

“It’s never been a good time to prepare for a career in aviation. The aviation industry beckons better opportunities as time progresses. And like the skies, there lies limitless possibilities in discovering how much you can do to fly and keep yourself above ground,” he said.


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