Careers in Aviation

From pilots to engineers and additional crew, the options are abundant and your world is limitless when you enter into a career in aviation.

Here you will find information on some of the more popular career choices, as well as some additional information.

If you want to chat more, let’s do it! Please contact us at info@elevateaviation.ca to find out what other careers are available or visit our Mentorship page to get started.

Pilot

Pilot

A career as a pilot has many opportunities but also several things to consider such as the cost of training, the willingness to relocate and the ranges in salary.

In Canada only 6% of all private pilots and 4.5% of airline pilots are women!

Career Options:

  • Flight instructor
  • Pipe line pilot
  • Medevac (air ambulance)
  • Forestry and fire protection
  • Charter
  • Corporate
  • Contract pilot
  • Cargo
  • Regional carrier
  • Airline
  • Military

Where Can You Work:

  • Any major city
  • Northern Canada (Arctic)

Prerequisites:

  • Permit
  • Aviation medical

Training Required:

  • Private Pilot License (PPL)
  • Commercial Pilot License (CPL)
  • Multi-Engine Instrument Rating, in most cases

Where to Train:

Register at any flight school or college. Training consists of a combination of ground school and in flight training.

Length of Training:

Depending on the program, the average is between 1- 4 years

Skills Needed:

  • Hand to eye coordination
  • Basic math skills
  • Good study habits
  • Passion and determination

Cost of training:

Varies, but from start to finish averages at a $50,000 minimum. This could be higher depending on how often you can fly. The closer your flights are together, the more hours can be reduced to complete your training. The additional ratings you choose can add to the price as well.

Average Starting Salary: $25,000 – $45,000 per year

Average Max Salary: $125,000 per year

Additional Information:

A willingness to relocate helps but is not required for all jobs. There are plenty of jobs that allow you to be home most nights and plenty that will have you travelling the world. The path you choose is up to you!

Read More >

Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME)

As an AME you will be servicing and repairing all types of aircraft and helicopters.

Only 2% of AME’s are women. This career has the lowest percentage of women in the entire industry.

Career Growth:

  • Apprentice
  • Engineer
  • Crew chief
  • Director of Maintenance
  • Military – avionics technician

Where Can You Work:

  • Anywhere in the world with a landing strip or heli pad!

Training Required:

  • Diploma from a Transport Canada certified college with a pass mark minimum of 70%

Where to Train:

Register at any flight school or college. Training consists of a combination of ground school and in flight training.

Length of Training:

The average length of college AME programs is two years. Following this, you must work a minimum of 2.5 years as an apprentice before becoming a full-fledged AME.

Skills Needed:

  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Good communication skills

Average Starting Salary: $35,000 – $45,000 per year

Average Max Salary: $65,000 per year

Read More >
Air Traffic Control

Air Traffic Controller (ATC)

A career as an air traffic controller is rewarding, exciting, and dynamic.

In Canada 16% of air traffic controllers are women.

Career Options:

  • Visual Flight Rules (VFR) – tower controller engineer
  • Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) – area or radar Controller

Where Can You Work:

NAV CANADA employs all of the air traffic controllers in Canada. Tower controllers work at one of 41 airports across the country and area controllers work in one of the seven area controller centres.

Training Required:

All training is provided by NAV CANADA.

Where to Train:

You will be completing classroom training in one of the seven ACC’s and then posted to your specific specialty for the on the job training portion.

Length of Training:

Basic training is between 4-6 months, followed by specialty training. The specialty training consists of 4-8 months of classroom and 6-12 months of on-the-job training.

Skills Needed:

  • Sharp judgement
  • Strong motivation
  • Excellent problem solving abilities
  • A clear voice and keen hearing
  • Good memory

Requirements:

  • 18 years or older
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Meet language requirements – high proficiency in English (and French for Montreal region)

Application Process:

  • Fill out the online application
  • Complete online testing
  • In-person testing assessment
  • Interview
  • Entry into the candidate pool and await a training offer

Average Starting Salary:

  • While training – $42,000 per year
  • Licensed VFR – $69,000 per year plus premiums
  • Licensed IFR – $104,000 per year plus premiums

Average Max Salary: $150,000 per year plus premiums

Additional Information:

The application process is extremely competitive. Successfully completing a hurdle does not guarantee that you will be invited to participate in the next step. We will gladly pair you up with a mentor for guidance on getting into this career! Apply online here: https://takecharge.navcanada.ca/

Read More >
Flight Attendant

Flight Attendant

Also know as flight stewards, this position is key in managing safety, security, and comfort for aircraft passengers. It is perfect for anyone who loves to travel and provide great customer service!

This career is the only one in the aviation industry that is heavily female dominated! About 75% of flight attendants are women in Canada.

Flight attendants check that emergency equipment is working, the cabin is clean, and there is an adequate supply of food and beverages on board. They greet passengers as they board the aircraft, direct them to their seats, and provide assistance as needed.

Career Options:

  • Flight attendant
  • Training / safety
  • Flight director

Where Can You Work:

Flight attendants are employed with any airline and typically based out of larger cities across the country.

Training Required:

All training is provided by the companies.

Where to Train:

Depending on which company you work for will depend on where you will train. In many cases, training takes place in a centralized training program in your region.

Length of Training:

Training is approximately seven weeks long on average.

Skills Needed:

  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Safety oriented
  • Adaptable
  • Team player
  • Patience

Requirements:

  • 18 years or older
  • Have a valid Canadian passport (if travelling internationally)
  • Medical evaluation
  • Must pass Transport Canada security clearance
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Bilingual is a huge asset (and a requirement with some carriers)

Application Process:

Apply online through the website of airline companies you wish to work for. Normally consists of an online application form and submitting your resume.

Average Salary:

Approximately $30,000 – $40,000 per year

Additional Information:

Another really exciting part of this job? Most companies offer free travel benefits to flight attendants and their immediate families after a probationary employment period!

Read More >

Air Force

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is the air force of Canada. Its role is to “provide the Canadian Forces with relevant, responsive, and effective airpower”. With more than 100 different occupations, the RCAF provides amazing career opportunities and personal growth.

As of 2014, the Royal Canadian Air Force is comprised of 18.7% women.

Career Options:

  • Aerospace Telecommunication & Information Systems
  • Technician Air Weapons Systems Technician
  • Avionics Systems Technician
  • Medical Officer
  • Meteorological Technician
  • Aerospace Control Officer
  • Aerospace Control Operator
  • Aerospace Engineering Officer
  • Air Combat Systems Officer
  • Airborne Electronic Sensor Operator
  • Aircraft Structures Technician
  • Firefighter
  • Fighter Pilot
  • And more!

Where Can You Work:

Any military base in Canada. Most commonly in Air Force bases. These are located in:

  • Bagotville, QC
  • Cold Lake, AB
  • Comox, BC
  • Gander or Goose Bay, NL
  • Greenwood, NS
  • Moose Jaw, SK
  • North Bay or Trenton, ONT
  • Winnipeg, MB
  • Alert, Nunavut

Prerequisites:

  • Be a Canadian citizen
  • Must be 18 years of age (17 years old with parental consent)
  • Minimum of grade 10 education for Non-commissioned Members and a Bachelor degree for Officers.

Process:

  • Complete an online application at forces.ca/en/apply-now/
  • Reliability Screening (security clearance)
  • Aptitude test
  • Medical Exam
  • Interview
  • Enrollment

Where to Train:

The first step is a 10 week Basic Training course at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. Basic training will teach you the core skills and knowledge to succeed in a military environment. It may be the most demanding experience you have ever had and requires hard work and perseverance. Courses emphasize basic military skills, weapons handling, first aid and ethical values. Since physical fitness is an important part of military service, a large part of the course is spent on fitness training.

Upon completion of Basic Training you will be placed on a training course for your trade of choice. These vary in length and location.

Length of Training:

10 weeks for Basic Training, followed by trade training (length varies)

Skills Needed:

  • Simple mental math (division, subtraction, multiplication and addition)
  • Problem solving (time/speed/distance formula and fuel consumption)
  • Short term memory (digit and letter recall)
  • Estimation of angles and bearings
  • Multi-tasking
  • Aircraft instrument comprehension
  • Spatial reasoning (interpreting 3D from 2D representations and vice versa)
  • Reasoning/logic (systems)
  • Psychomotor ability (hand-eye-foot and hand-eye coordination)
  • Vigilance, attention to detail, and situational awareness

Cost of training:

You will typically receive $20,000/year while completing paid education.

Average Starting Salary:

$36,000 – $63,000 per year

Average Max Salary:

$186,000 per year

*Some positions offer a signing bonus

Additional Information:

A willingness to relocate is required, as you can be posted at any Air Force in Canada.

Read More >

Aviation Business & Logistics

In this energetic, go-getter role you may apply your talents anywhere from monitoring budgets and project pipelines, to reporting rhythms, and even special events planning. You enjoy sharing status reports and liaising with people from diverse backgrounds, roles, and ways of thinking, weaving the details of their assignments into one big picture. These roles even include marketing, law, accounting, human resources, and other common roles as they relate to the aviation industry.

Career Options:

  • Project Manager
  • Business Development Manager / Director
  • Sales Director
  • Director, Data and Analytics
  • Integration Manager
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Marketing
  • And more!

Where Can You Work:

  • Any major city
  • Northern Canada (Arctic)

Prerequisites:

  • Highschool diploma
  • Ability to pass a security clearance

Where to Train:

Vocational colleges or business programs through a post secondary institution.

Length of Training:

Depending on the particular role, training can range from a few months to a number of years.

Skills Needed:

  • Critical thinking – solution oriented
  • People (including communication) skills
  • Team player
  • Leadership

Cost of training:

Prices can be found at local colleges or training institutions. Depending on career path, on the job training may be available or equivalent experience will be considered in place of education.

Average Starting Salary:

$40,000 – $65,000 per year

Average Max Salary:

$150,000 per year

Additional Information:

A willingness to relocate helps but is not required for all jobs. There are plenty of jobs that allow you to be home most nights and plenty that will have you travelling the world. The path you choose is up to you!

Read More >

Flight Operations

Flight operations offers a variety of exciting and dynamic positions where no two days are alike. Generally flight operations are responsible for the daily operations of an airlines control centre, and ensuring that delays are minimised by assigning appropriate aircraft and personnelle. The role includes management of technical and operational factors such as weather, landing and overflight permits, route planning, performance, facilities, technical conditions.

Career Options:

  • Flight Operations Assistant
  • Flight Operations Support
  • Crew Control
  • Operational Quality Assurance Officer
  • Station Duty Supervisor
  • Station Attendant
  • Flight Planner
  • Flight Coordinator
  • Flight Dispatcher
  • Ramp Crew/Agent
  • Ground Support
  • Base Manager
  • Air Ambulance positions
  • Police Services positions
  • And more!

Where Can You Work:

  • Any major city
  • Northern Canada (Arctic)

Prerequisites:

  • Highschool Diploma
  • Driver’s Licence
  • Ability to pass a security clearance
  • Ability to work shifts / irregular hours
  • Medical evaluation

Training Required:

  • Transport Canada Dispatch Exams (FDMET, FDOPS) (for Flight Coordinator)
  • Transport Canada Security Card

Where to Train:

Register at any flight school or college. Training consists of a combination of ground school and in-flight training.

Length of Training:

Depending on the program, the average is between 2 weeks to 1 year

Skills Needed:

Ability to make critical decisions with limited information Ability to work shift rotation Communication skills Computer Skills Attention to detail and accuracy

Cost of training:

Dependent upon position, on the job training can be included or you can pursue diploma or degree to further your career.

Average Starting Salary:

$30,000 – $60,000 per year

Average Max Salary:

$110,000 per year

Additional Information:

A willingness to relocate helps but is not required for all jobs. There are plenty of jobs that allow you to be home most nights and plenty that will have you travelling the world. The path you choose is up to you!

Read More >