Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Air Transportation: NAICS 481

About the Air Transportation subsector

The air transportation subsector is part of the transportation and warehousing sector.

Industries in the Air Transportation subsector provide air transportation of passengers and/or cargo using aircraft, such as airplanes and helicopters. The subsector distinguishes scheduled from nonscheduled air transportation. Scheduled air carriers fly regular routes on regular schedules and operate even if flights are only partially loaded. Nonscheduled carriers often operate during nonpeak time slots at busy airports. These establishments have more flexibility with respect to choice of airport, hours of operation, load factors, and similar operational characteristics. Nonscheduled carriers provide chartered air transportation of passengers, cargo, or specialty flying services. Specialty flying services establishments use general-purpose aircraft to provide a variety of specialized flying services.

North American Industry Classification System

The air transportation subsector consists of these industry groups:

  • Scheduled Air Transportation: NAICS 4811
  • Nonscheduled Air Transportation: NAICS 4812

Workforce Statistics

This section provides information relating to employment in air transportation. These data are obtained from employer or establishment surveys. The following tables present an overview of the industry including the number of jobs, data for occupations common to the industry, and projections of occupational employment change.

Employment

Data series Back
data
Mar.
2024
Apr.
2024
May
2024
Jun.
2024

Employment (in thousands)

Employment, all employees (seasonally adjusted)

572.6 573.7 (p)575.6 (p)577.8

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Employment by Occupation

Data series Employment,
2023

Aircraft mechanics and service technicians

33,290

Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

80,650

Cargo and freight agents

10,480

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

71,150

(Source: Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics)

Projections

For projected (future) employment estimates, see the National Employment Matrix, which includes employment estimates by industry and occupation for air transportation.

(Source: Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections)

Earnings

Recent hourly and annual earnings for occupations commonly found in air transportation.

Earnings by Occupation

Data series Wages, 2023
Hourly Annual
Median Mean Median Mean

Aircraft mechanics and service technicians

$41.51 $44.46 $86,340 $92,480

Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

(1)-$ (1)-$ $230,870 $256,830

Cargo and freight agents

$21.81 $24.41 $45,360 $50,770

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

$21.98 $24.26 $45,710 $50,460

Footnotes
(1) Wages for some occupations that do not generally work year-round, full time, are reported either as hourly wages or annual salaries depending on how they are typically paid.

(Source: Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics)

Work-related Fatalities, Injuries, and Illnesses

This section presents data for the industry on the number of workplace fatalities and the rates of workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers in air transportation. An injury or illness is considered to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing condition.

Data series 2019 2020 2021 2022

Fatalities

Number of fatalities

34 23 23 22

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

Data series 2022

Rate of injury and illness cases per 100 full-time workers

Total recordable cases

6.3

Cases involving days away from work, job restriction, or transfer

5.3

Cases involving days away from work

4.1

Cases involving days of job transfer or restriction

1.3

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

(Source: Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities)

Prices

This section provides industry-specific pricing information. The producer price index measures the percentage change in prices that domestic producers receive for goods and services. The prices included in the producer price index are from the first commercial transaction. The import price index reflects the percentage change in prices paid to foreign producers for their goods and services within the U.S., while the export price index measures the percentage change in prices received by U.S. producers for goods and services sold outside the U.S.

Data series Back
data
Mar.
2024
Apr.
2024
May
2024
Jun.
2024

Producer price index

(p)276.063 (p)272.127 (p)258.637 (p)272.407

Percent change from previous month

  (p)3.7% (p)-1.4% (p)-5.0% (p)5.3%

Import index

178.6 180.8 181.5  

Percent change from previous month

  0.3% 1.2% 0.4%  

Export index

181.2 182.1 176.7  

Percent change from previous month

  4.0% 0.5% -3.0%  

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Producer Price Indexes, International Price Program)

Workplace Trends

This section presents data on the number of establishments in air transportation. Also included in this section is information on productivity, presented as the rate of change in output per hour of workers in the industry.

Establishments

Data series Back
data
1st quarter
2023
2nd quarter
2023
3rd quarter
2023
4th quarter
2023

Number of establishments

Private industry

(p)7,163 (p)7,259 (p)7,354 (p)7,481

Local government

(p)5 (p)5 (p)5 (p)5

State government

(p)1 (p)1 (p)1 (p)1

Federal government

(p)3 (p)3 (p)3 (p)3

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages)

Productivity

Data series Back
data
2020 2021 2022 2023

Labor productivity index, output per hour

46.213 75.533 86.020 83.947

Percent change from previous year

-56.1 63.4 13.9 -2.4

Labor index, total labor hours

94.195 98.359 115.149 132.668

Percent change from previous year

-9.3 4.4 17.1 15.2

Output index

43.530 74.294 99.051 111.371

Percent change from previous year

-60.2 70.7 33.3 12.4

Unit labor costs index

214.116 135.107 122.713 131.365

Percent change from previous year

106.2 -36.9 -9.2 7.1

(Source: Productivity and Costs)

 

Data extracted on: July 12, 2024