Aviation is a broad job category that includes several very different occupations. People employed in aviation may work as Field Service Technicians, helping to service planes and other flying equipment, or as Product Engineers, helping to design the planes and other flying equipment. In addition, there are also people who work in the manufacturing of planes, plane engines and related apparatus, as well as those who actually pilot the planes. Obviously, the training necessary for these positions and the qualifications one must have are very different.
Aviation is often linked with aeronautics, as the two disciplines may have some overlap, and people working on behalf of aviation may work in other related subsets. They could work with aircraft avionics components, troubleshoot electronic components, oversee airborne communication systems, develop navigation systems, create autopilot programs, develop weather radar, improve compass systems or work for governing bodies like the FAA to make sure that passengers and pilots are safe.
In general, people looking to work in aviation will need a degree specific to their areas of practice (e.g. an engineer needs an engineering degree, a pilot needs a pilot's license). The amount of education will depend on the position, but, in general, it takes two years of education, be it college, a technical school, the military or pilot school, to work in aviation.
Florida Aviation Job Market
The job market for aviation jobs in Florida is holding steady. The market for aviation technicians and mechanics is expected to increase by 2 percent through 2022, according to the Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS), while the job outlook for airline and commercial pilots is expected to decrease, shrinking by less than 1 percent, or some 800 jobs, by 2022.
Aviation Salaries in Florida
Just as the jobs within aviation vary considerably, so do the salaries. According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics, airline pilots and flight engineers in Florida earn an average of $158,220 per year, while commercial pilots earn $80,860 per year on average. Air traffic controllers earn around $119,200 per year on average, while avionics technicians earn an average of $53,670 per year.