Let’s discover your career options in the world of Aviation

home
back
back
back
back

Air Traffic Controller (ATC)

As an air traffic controller you are responsible for safe and efficient incoming, outgoing and overflying air traffic in the controlled airspace. Both during the day and at night the air traffic controllers are on hand to give the pilots the necessary instructions regarding their flight level, flight paths and most importantly, to ensure that aircrafts remain at a safe distance from one other.

European regulation

The EU has made sure that your training is organised according to common EU standards. This ensures both the highest safety standards across the EU and opportunities for you to work in other countries.

The licence you obtain at the end of your training is recognised across the EU. Thanks to the EU system of mutual recognition of ATCO licences and your right as an EU citizen to seek employment across the EU, you can seize job opportunities in all EU countries. Plenty of job opportunities exist in the 50 Air Control Centres in operation in the EU that currently employ about 14 000 ATCOs.

Eurocontrol, for instance, offers students and experienced ATCOs a multinational working environment in the Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre, which controls the upper airspace over Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of Germany. https://what-europe-does-for-me.eu/fr/portal/2/B24

Process by country : example for Belgium and France

Belgium – Skeyes
  • Prior selection to training
  • Skeyes provides training to selected candidates
  • Average 3 years training

  • Requirements:
  • Belgian nationality or citizen of the European Union
  • Between 17-30 years old
  • Be the holder of a general higher secondary education diploma or equivalent
  • Enjoy full civil and political rights

France

  • Prior selection to training
  • The CCP application test are in the branch MP, PC and PSI
  • Only an average of 50 participant a year and can only be tried 3 times

The training takes place at ENAC, it’s free and paid. It lasts 3 years and includes a private pilot training, 8 weeks in an English-speaking country and an internship in an airline.

At the end of its training the controller will be part of the DGAC and must remain 7 years with the administration.

Air traffic control is used to separate aircraft safely – in the sky as they fly and at the airports where they land and take off again.

Air traffic controllers give instructions, advice and information to pilots so that they can fly safely, efficiently and quickly. Controllers keep track of flights by using radar and the latest computer systems.

Air traffic controllers need to be able to deal with unexpected events – changes in weather, unscheduled traffic, emergency situations.

Air traffic controllers can work at airports – in the airport tower overlooking the runways or on approach as they stream aircraft to arrive – or at en-route centres.

back
back

Mechanics

Aircraft maintenance technicians (AMT). Aircraft mechanics repair, replace, and maintain aircraft parts and components. They also perform maintenance and functional checks on aircraft systems, such as hydraulic systems, pneumatic systems, electrical systems, and others.

There are many different types of aircraft mechanics, and each one usually specializes in one particular set of skills. For example, structural mechanics work on the frame of the aircraft, while avionics technicians work on the electrical systems and components.

Aircraft mechanics work in hangars operated by airlines, flight schools, corporations, repair stations or maintenance repair and overhaul facilities (MRO), and often times on the ramp where airplanes are parked. Mechanics need to work fast and efficiently, in order to adhere to high safety standards and meet demanding flight schedules. They can be subject to high noise levels and strenuous physical work.

While you do not need a training to be an aircraft mechanic, getting certified is highly recommended. Non-licensed mechanics can only work under supervision and cannot approve aviation articles for return to service.

It can take between 2-4 years to become an Aircraft Mechanic and in excess of 5 years to become a Certifying Engineer.

Qualities

  • Scientific and technical aptitude
  • An accurate, methodical and systematic approach
  • A strong sense of responsibility
  • Good observation and problem solving skills
  • Good concentration
  • The ability to understand engineering drawings
  • Agility and a head for heights
  • A responsible approach to health and safety regulations
back
back

Commercial Pilot

Commercial pilot holder (CPL/A : Commercial Pilot Licence/Aeroplane) are authorized on VFR single-pilot commercial flight. This category of flight can’t be above 13.000ft or 4000meters. The following options are the different types of commercial pilot careers:

  • Surveillance and equipment testing Pipeline patrols, forest fire watch, powerline patrol…
  • Crop duster operation Locus control, crop treatment…
  • Aerial photography Optimize the position of the plane for a target point to be seen by the photographer
  • Parachutists drop
  • Flight instructor in a flight school, in a factory…
  • Corporate aviation passengers or cargo transport for business or corporation
  • Charter operation for-hire operation, there is no set schedule, and you could potentially fly to many different types of destinations, different than airline operations
  • Discovery flights for those who want to discover flying and fly the aircraft themself
  • Tour guide Fly over landmarks and area of interest to provide passengers a sky-high view.
  • Ferry operations Delivering an aircraft to a person or a company
  • Law enforcement National air police surveillance
  • Air show stunt
  • Media company pilots Flying for news organizations
  • Banner towing
  • Contract work charter, corporate, or any work that may come up on a need-for-need basis
  • Test pilots Usually with a military or engineering background testing that new aircraft are safe to fly
  • Equipment testing Pipeline patrols and powerline patrol pilots spend many hours flying over our nation’s infrastructure looking for faults

Some of the following career path require a specific rating like flight instructor, low altitude evolution, knowledge of the chemicals usage, seaplane, mountains, technical knowledge of the ground and/or infrastructure under observation…

back

Airline Pilot

  • Mainline Carrier. Transport passengers to destinations around the world. American, Delta, and United are a few examples of mainline carriers.
  • Low-cost carrier. Transport passengers to domestic and some international destinations for an airline that uses a no-frills business model of lower fares and fewer comforts. A few examples are JetBlue, Spirit, and Southwest.
  • Regional airline. Transport passengers domestically with some limited international destinations on a smaller airline that operates “regionally” under one or more mainline brands. For example, Compass Airlines operates flights as American Eagle and Delta Connection; ExpressJet Airlines operates as American Eagle, Delta Connection, and United Express; and Mesa Airlines operates as American Eagle and United Express flights. 
  • Cargo carrier. Transport cargo around the world for brands such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS.
  • Freight airline. Operate flights on subcontracts to a cargo carrier like FedEx or UPS. May have less restrictive requirements for pilot certifications than some other pilot career options.

back

Flight Attendant

Flight attendants reassure passengers by assisting with in-flight safety procedures and making sure safety protocols are followed during flight. This includes checking that all seat belts are fastened, seats are upright and luggage is properly stored. In the event of an emergency, they might lead or monitor the evacuation and be called upon to perform first aid.

Requirements and Qualities :

  • Minimum age - 18 to 21 years, depending on the airline -
  • At least a high school diploma
  • Height - 4ft11in and 6ft 3in, or 150cm and 190cm, tall (this is debatable)
  • Be a “healthy weight” for your height
  • 208cm reach (on tippy-toes if you have to)
  • 20/30 vision (with or without corrective measures)
  • Havea good physical ability (for instance, be able to lift heavy baggage into overhead lockers)
  • Clean, neat, conservative appearance
  • Being able to speak a second language greatly improves your chances to
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Professional team leader who works well under pressure
  • Flexible and work well in a team
  • Patient, caring and conscientious
  • Focused on customer service and customer satisfaction
  • Problem solver and able to multitask effectively
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Punctual

Before applying with a company, you must get your “Cabin Crew EASA” certificate. The training lasts 1 to 2 months and gives the possibility to apply in national and international companies which will provide the training specifi to the type of aircraft the flight attendant has been hired for.

International Requirement and Qualities :

  • A good knowledge of English + the language of the country where the company is based and a third language is preferable
  • High school diploma
  • No internal ear issues
  • Capable of swimming minimum 50meters
  • Good stress management skills

back

Eurocontrol – En-route controller


The selection procedure is divided into several phases. You have to pass each phase before going on to the next one.

The first phase measures your basic skills in:

  • English

  • mental arithmetic

  • decision-making
  • logical reasoning
  • working memory
  • visual perception
  • attention
  • spatial orientation
The second phase tests how well you apply those skills in working conditions. You are assessed on your:

  • multi-tasking ability
  • trainability
  • collaboration
  • stress management

You are also given a personality questionnaire to complete. After this, you are interviewed by active controllers, psychologists, training and human resources experts. The interview panel will explore your motivation in becoming an air traffic controller. They will look at your background, education, work experience (if any) and your general career expectations. Finally, they will assess your overall suitability for the career, weighing up your motivation, the degree to which you cooperate, your stress resistance and your level of interactive proficiency. If you pass these phases successfully, you will undergo a medical examination. The selection rate of a student controller recruitment campaign is about 6%. That means, for every hundred who are tested, six of them will meet our standards.

back

National Controller

Belgium


Candidates are selected through a 5 steps competition for the course’s entrance including an English proficiency test, a personality test and a medical test. Only 5 participants will be selected for the ATC controller training. The access to the competition for entry is accessible only to people from 18 to 25 years old with a minimum of high school degree. The training lasts 2 to 3 years, is in English and students will be paid a salary. Every successful student will automatically get a job as ATC controller.

France


The training to become an ATC in France takes place at the ENAC. It ’s free and paid.
The access to the competition for entrance is done through the common Polytechnics (CCP) in the branch MP, PC and PSI.
It’s a very selective competition, every year, only around 50 students will have a entrance and it will only be allowed 3 attempts.
The training for air traffic controller engineer (ICNA) lasts 3 years. It includes a pilot training, an internship in an English-speaking country and another internship in an airline company.
At the end of the training the ICNA will integrate the DGAC (Direction générale de l'aviation civile) and must work within this administration for at least 7 years.

back

Chemical Engineer

Analyze and develop the raw materials that go into aircraft parts and fuels Université libre de Bruxelles/ Université catholique de Louvain / Université de Liège

back

Aeronautical system and software Engineer

Field of competence / education: : ENGINEERING

He is the creative minds behind the set of computers that allow the crew members to flight easily an aircraft. He has the technical skills to organize the exchanges between the different computers and their related functionalities. He creates the software program that enables the functionalities in the computers or oversee their creation by a team. The Software Engineer performs its job in a team, named “development team” interacting with other engineers in charge of the development.
    The main tasks are:
  • To define what the software program is expected to do
  • To define how the software program will be architecture
  • To write the software program in accordance with the definition of the expectations and the architecture
  • To test that the software meets the expectation
  • To apply the rules defined in order to write a software with a good level of quality
  • To document all the technical activities, he has performed
  • Skills & Competencies

    • Analytical skills: He has to focus on the analysis of the expectation of the software. Identifying what the software shall do but also what it shall not do.
    • Interpersonal and communication skills: As the software program is used to help the pilot to know how its aircraft is behaving, it is involving lots of engineers from different technical field. Then this job often involves collaboration with a team, being able to concisely and clearly communicate with others.
    • Concentration and focus: Software development for aeronautics is strictly ruled by standards that have to be followed in order to ensure that the software will behave correctly in situation.
    • Creativity and innovation: He is the minds behind new software capabilities, even when others say it can't be done.

    Education & Training

      France
    • Education: System / Software engineers have a master degree or PhD in computer science, electronic, automatism, data science, from university or engineering school.
    • Internship: Internships and apprenticeship is a good mean to face different types of technologies, domains and type of companies.
      Belgium
    • Liège University (ULg) : Master's Degree in Aerospace Civil Engineering

back

Aeronautical Engineer

Field of competence / education: ENGINEERING

The man quality requested here are to be detail-oriented, patient, creative, synthetic, teamwork, good reactivity. An aeronautic engineer work in the development of new aircraft and related technologies, designing aircraft and propulsion systems and studying the performance on aircraft and materials. This sector is very diversified since the professionals work in various specialized fields:
  • mechanics
  • electronics
  • avionics
  • aerodynamics
  • computer science, etc.
Software engineers may then be involved in the construction of airplanes, helicopters, space launchers or satellites. They can also design highly specialized parts for various devices such as radars, or software systems.
    As an aeronautic engineer you will for example:
  • Create digital models of aircraft
  • Create simulations templates
  • Develop new high-tech products of the aircraft sector
  • Develop new software for aircraft
  • Design and repair aircraft and materials
  • Identify areas for improvement
  • Designing and developing software for aircraft equipment

Education & Training

France

    A degree from an engineering school specialized in aeronautics:
  • National School of Civil Aviation
  • École nationale supérieure de mécanique et d'aéronautique
  • École supérieure des techniques aéronautiques
  • École polytechnique féminine
  • `
  • Polytechnic Institute of Advanced Sciences
  • Institut supérieur de l'aéronautique et de l'espace
    A degree from a general engineering school, with a specialization in aeronautics.
  • Master's degree in aeronautics and space
  • Electronics master's degree
  • Master's degree in mechanics
  • Master's degree in transport
  • Master's degree in telecommunications and networks for aeronautics and space.

Belgium

  • Liège University (ULg) : Master's Degree in Aerospace Civil Engineering
  • Hautes écoles : master’s degree
  • Haute Ecole de la Communauté française Bruxelles-Brabant
  • Haute Ecole Lucia de Brouckère
  • Haute Ecole Léonard de Vinci

back

Manufacturing Engineer

Field of competence / education: ENGINEERING

Quality: autonomy, precision

The manufacturing engineers oversee designing the aircraft production systems (including computers robots machine tools and equipment). Thus, this category of engineer is responsible for the production line management in the aeronautical field. They must supervise the manufacturing of an aeronautical product, (from the phase of purchase of the products until the complete realization of the product). The production engineer organizes the manufacture of an aeronautical product and ensures the efficiency and productivity of the company.

As a manufacturing engineer you will for example:

  • animate and lead the production teams
  • Determine the production deadlines for equipment or aircraft.
  • ensure compliance with the company's technical specifications
  • Plan the maintenance operations to be carried out on the aircraft
There are sub-categories of manufacturing engineer in the aircraft sector:
  • Aircraft Production manager
  • Quality Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Lean Manufacturing Engineer

STUDIES

France:

  • A degree (License + master) from an engineering school specialized in aeronautics
  • A degree (License + master) from a general engineering school, with a specialization in aeronautics, production, industrial management, mechanics

Belgium:

  • Liège University (ULg): Master's Degree in Aerospace Civil Engineering
  • Hautes écoles : master’s degree
  • Haute Ecole de la Communauté française du Luxembourg – Schuman
  • Haute Ecole de la Communauté française en Hainaut
  • Haute Ecole Louvain en Hainaut – HELHa
  • Haute Ecole provinciale du Hainaut – Condorcet

back

Electrical Engineer

Field of competence / education: ENGINEERING

Quality: autonomy, precision

The electrical engineer is responsible for the installation, maintenance and monitoring of a company's electrical equipment, aircraft and installations.

These engineers are technicians who must anticipate the risks of aircraft failure and must therefore provide solutions.

The electrical engineer oversees many missions in the aeronautical sector:

  • defining all the installation and maintenance work to be done on an aircraft or system
  • plan and monitor the maintenance operations to be carried out.
  • advising companies or holders of aircraft
  • design and develop aircraft electrical system
  • Resolve complex engineering problems

STUDIES

France

  • A degree (License + master) from an engineering school specialized in aeronautics
  • A degree( License + master) from a general engineering school, with a specialization in aeronautics, mechanics

Belgium

  • Liège University (ULg) : Master's Degree in Aerospace Civil Engineering
  • Hautes écoles : master’s degree

back

Airframe Mechanics

They perform maintenance on airframe components, including the wings, fuselage, tail section, and landing gear. They are not allowed to work on engines unless they are being supervised by a certificated and properly rated person.

back

Powerplant Mechanics

They have the authority to service and maintain aircraft engines but are not allowed to work on airframe components unless they are being supervised by a certificated and properly rated person.

back

Avionics Technicians

They require specialized training to perform maintenance on aircraft radios, instruments and computer systems, including radar, radio communications, and autopilot systems.

back

Accounting

Field of competence / education: accounting- management

Qualities

  • Organized
  • interest for numbers
  • poly- crone
  • interest in digital tools
  • rigorous

In the aircraft sector, an accountant is a professional in charge of analyzing the accounting and managing the company’s finances. So he keeps an eye on the company's revenues (which can come from the sale of a maintenance service or an aircraft) and expenses (which can be the materials expenses). The accountant enables the good management of companies by providing financial reports to the company’s decision maker.

The accounting professionals in the aviation sectors can do:

  • client accounting
  • supplier accounting

STUDIES:

France

  • BTS DUT DEUST accounting (CGO), business management (GEA)
  • License, University: mathematics, accounting
  • Specialized master degree (DECF / DSCG / DEA / DESCF / MSTCF )

Belgium

  • Bachelier, University: Accounting, tax management
  • Master’s degree, University: Accounting, Tax management

back

Communication

Fields of competences: Communication management

Qualities: persuasion, reactivity, a good feeling with the others, a taste for digital tools

The communication professionals aim to enhance the image and/ or the actions of a brand to all the actors of the industrial sector: workers, stakeholders, customers, etc. in order to promote higher common shared values.

There are 2 sub-categories in the aircraft sector:

Communication manager: The communication manager defines communication campaigns. He maintains close relations with clients (external communication) and with the members of the company (internal communication). In addition, the communication manager promotes the brand’s achievements to different audiences. For example, the communication manager will decide with his team on how to communicate properly for the market launch of a new aircraft.

Public relations director: The public relations director is usually at the head of the communication department and he is specialized in the creation of a positive public image for clients. As part of his work, he maintains relationships with various members of the government, the media, the press, even investors in order to generate new business opportunities for the industry.

Event planner: An event planner is professional who creates and coordinates meetings, conventions, such as aerospace forum, business forum, professional meetings, air show etc. These professionals select dates, locations, accommodations etc. and they draw up contracts with the participants.

STUDIES:

France

  • License and master’s degree at the University: public relations, journalism, business administration, writing, communications.
  • License and master’s degree in business or management school: event planning, public relations

Belgium

  • Bachelier and Master ate the University and Haute Ecole: Journalism, communication, social sciences

back

Management

Fields of competences: Management

Qualities: ambitious, leader, optimist, conscientious

Managements professions are essentials to run a company or an economic structure such as an industrial group, airports and flight centers, professional associations, etc.

There 2 main sub-categories in the aircraft sector:

CEO: The company director guarantees the economic profitability of the company, for which he also has social responsibility. The CEO ensures the smooth running of the company for which he is responsible, its sustainability and growth. It ensures the strategic steering of the structure and gives the major commercial and industrial directives. Finally, he represents the company.

VICE PRESIDENT: He is part of the top executive management and assists the CEO. They make big decision for the future of the companies during executive committee and board of directors. Usually, he holds a management position in charge of an area of responsibility (such as airworthiness, avionics, software.) in order to set precise objectives to be achieved.

STUDIES:

Becoming Chairman and Chief Executive Officer does not happen overnight. CEOs make their way through a combination of hard work, perseverance, but also specific and managerial skills. Usually, the functions of decision-makers require a two-step process:

technical studies in engineering, or specializing in air transport

  • engineering school

management and business administration studies

  • business school
  • management school
  • MBA Msc in specialized school such has IFURTA, EM, IAE etc.

back

Finance

The buying and selling process

Fields of competences: Trade, selling

Qualities: negotiating skills, organized, sense of challenge and persuasion, meticulous

These professionals monitor the profitability, competition and performance of the company in order to keep its place in the industrial air trade. They try to optimize the quality, and costs related to intermediate consumption.

3 sub-categories in the aircraft sector:

Commercial manager, director: The commercial manager participates in the development of a structure or company. He also participates in the development of new markets but also in the search for new distributors and customers. He must ensure that he meets the main objectives set by the company manager, and also the demands of its clients. Thus, he develops a commercial strategy to enter or remain in the aviation and aeronautics markets.

Sales representative: He knows and masters both the technical aspects of the sales process and the characteristics of the products, aircraft, services he sells. Thus, he relies on his commercial and technical skills. He participates directly in the development of sales revenues in the aviation sector. He is also in charge of prospecting for the development of the client portfolio. In addition, he represents the company and ensure the good sales process of the product (e.g aircraft) or service (e.g. Maintenance).

Marketing: The marketing manager analyzes business markets and trends in order to implement an appropriate and effective marketing and communication strategy. This professional defines how his company's products, or services are positioned in the market against the competition. He is in charge of promoting the product or service to buyers and stakeholders. Industrial marketing is the key step to make a customer adhere to the brand.

STUDIES:

France

  • University License: AES, Law, management, LEA, economy
  • BTS DUT in marketing method
  • Business and management schools: Trade management Bachelor
  • Master’s degree in marketing, sales management, revenue management, advertising

Belgium

  • Haute Ecole and University: Economy section

back

Attorney

Fields of competences: Law

Qualities

  • organized
  • rigorous
  • patient
  • sense of detail
  • strong analysis mindset
The legal professions allow to protect the secrets of companies, industrial groups and all the entities of the aviation sector. The actors of the general aviation industry rely on professional aviation attorneys before taking a decision for a new product, a certification or even a multi-million-dollar merger. The aviation attorney professions are countless in the aeronautical sector. We can distinguish several fields of application in this sector such as:
  • European law
  • Contract law
  • Certification law
  • Air transport law
  • Air insurance law
  • Airline companies law
  • Air security law
  • Etc.

STUDIES:

France

  • University License: LAW
  • University Master degree: LAW with a specialization (for example, contracts, air transport, air mobility etc.)

Belgium

  • Hautes écoles, et Université : Bachelier in Law
  • Hautes écoles et Université : Master’s degree in Law

back

Health and Safety Specialist ( Doctors, nurses…)

Fields of competences: Medicine and medical sciences

Qualities: rigorous, attentive

Health professionals are also present in the aviation sector. They are vital as they ensure the health and validity of the integrity of the personnel and beneficiaries of the general aviation sector.

  • Infirmary Doctor (pilot health tests)
  • Specialists in air transport pathologies
  • Specialists in airport medical services, border health control
  • Specialists in airborne medical evacuation
  • Rescue workers (intervention, repatriation etc.)
  • Medical air transport (by airliner, medical aircraft etc.)
  • Occupational medicine in companies in the aeronautical sector

STUDIES:

France

  • PACES
  • Formations and DU in Air transport, medical repatriation etc.

Belgium

  • Medical studies and a mandatory specialization in the specific category listed above

back

Human Resources

Fields of competences: Medicine and medical sciences

Qualities:

  • attentive
  • polyvalent
  • languages
Human resources professionals are essential for the skills and talents management of the staff. The human resources manager ensures good human and social relations within the company. The Human Resources Director or the Human Resources Manager gives guidelines on the profiles to be recruited after analyzing the company's needs in terms of skills. For example, if the head of the design office is looking for a new engineer specializing in software, the HRD will have to launch recruitment searches to find an engineer who matches the skills required.

In addition, human resources specialists manage the careers of the workers and they ensure the transmission of knowledge between the different age groups. For example, if an avionics expert retires, human resources specialists must ensure that his knowledge is passed on to his replacement. In that way, the company maintain the same level of expertise and competence.

The human resources careers in the general aviation sector are:

  • Director of Human Resources
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Recruitment Manager
  • Career Manager

STUDIES:

France

  • LICENCE, University: AES, Sociology, Economy and management, social law, psychology
  • Professional License with a HR specialty
  • BTS – DUT: company management with a specialty in HR
  • LICENCE, School of management: Management and human resources
  • MASTER, University and school of management: Human resources, or management sciences, social law, psychology

Belgium

  • Bachelier, University and Hautes Ecole (EPHEC / HEPL) : Human resources management
  • Master, University and Hautes Ecole: Management sciences, Human resources management

back

Government Affairs Representative

Fields of competences: Public affairs, government relations, public policies

Qualities

  • systemic approach
  • interest in news
  • diplomat
  • organized
  • public speaking skills
The professionals of this sector are at the interface between the aviation structure for which they work and the political and governmental institutions. Government affairs representatives develop relationships with government actors and stakeholders to achieve common interests.

The missions of these professionals are multiple:
  • Promoting the interests of the aviation sector and/or its company.
  • Facilitating communication between its company and the government/political institutions.
  • Analyzing the impact of government directives on its company/ the aviation sector.
  • Proposing their expertise to the government institutions.
    The government affairs representative in the aviation sectors are:
  • Director/ manager in public affairs for manufacturers
  • Director/ manager in European affairs
  • Government relations manager
  • International relations manager
  • EU affairs manager

STUDIES:

France

  • LICENCE, University : AES, LEA, law, political sciences, European affairs, politics etc.
  • LICENCE: IEP
  • MASTER, University : European economy, European politics, European affairs, public affairs, European law etc.

Belgium

  • Bachelier, University and Hautes Ecole: law, administrative sciences, public management etc.
  • Master, University and Hautes Ecole: International relations, European studies, economics, European policies etc.