The aviation industry is grappling with a severe shortage of skilled personnel. According to reports, the US alone will have a deficit of 15,000 certified Aviation Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) by 2027. Other reports show that up to 85% of airlines are short on staff.
This shortage has forced many airports, airlines, aircraft manufacturers and MRO’s (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) facilities to turn more and more to contractors to fill this human capital void. If you’ve always wanted to work in the aviation industry entering the aviation workforce as a contractor could be your chance.
The High Standards in Recruitment Remain, Though
Despite the worker shortage, no airline or airport is lowering their hiring standards. Contractors interested in open positions must show the same hunger and demonstrate the talent required of permanent employees.
And, even though education and experience are essential qualification, a differentiator for you can be your soft skills. Nearly everyone applying for aviation positions has the necessary academic qualifications. Recruiters therefore focus on interpersonal skills to isolate desirable candidates.
- Communication skills
Poor communication has, on several occasions, been cited as a contributing factor for accidents in the aviation industry. The Tenerife airport disaster, for instance, was solely blamed on the lack of proper communication. One of the pilots mistakenly believed that he had the clearance from the air traffic control to take off. In the end, a collision happened, killing 583 people.
Additionally, aviation is a multi-cultural industry with professionals from all over the globe. To ensure respect through the ranks and maintain harmony throughout the workforce, strong communication skills are a must.
- Teamwork skills
In aviation, completing projects timely and within the FAA strict aviation guidelines is always dependent on others. Whether it’s a pilot (on the ground or in the skies), a ramp control agent or a maintenance mechanic, these people are continually working together to achieve specified goals. Therefore, every contractor hoping to land a gig at an airline, airport or maintenance facility must be a team player and willing to work alongside others.
A team player, first and foremost, puts the mission and goals of the company above everything else. Team players are also willing to help other team members in their tasks or duties, when necessary. One should also be prepared to recognize and accept when they’ve made a mistake and commit to resolving conflicts peacefully.
- Honesty & Integrity
People working in the aviation industry can’t afford to cut corners. It’s just too costly. If there’s an error, the individual must own up and report it immediately, even if it threatens to damage their professional reputation. That’s because some mistakes can lead to mechanical failures and possibly crashes.
Aviation Recruiters are looking for contractors that stand behind their work and follow through on their commitments.
- Leadership skills
Finally, since safety is paramount, both on the ground and in the air, every worker in aviation usually has a few supervisory responsibilities. Even if you’re not a manager in one of the departments, you’ll likely be tasked with looking out for your colleagues. You’ll need to prove to the recruiter that you can rise to the occasion and lead by example among your peers.
One way to demonstrate your leadership skills is to prove that you don’t entertain blame games. Instead, you should be a person that takes responsibility for his or her actions, good or bad. That’s because when you blame other people or external circumstances for your wrongdoings, you’re giving up control. In aviation, you simply can’t give up control of a situation. You must be in charge throughout.
Start Honing These Skills Today
If you intend to apply for a contractor position in aviation in the future, take time to hone these interpersonal skills. You’ll be glad you did.