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.

A look at jobs related to air transportation for National Aviation Week

August 23, 2023

The week of August 19 is National Aviation Week, which celebrates the history of aviation. From modest beginnings, air transportation has grown into a large industry, transporting 852 million passengers on 8.2 million scheduled flights in 2022, as well as moving over 51 billion ton-miles of cargo. In honor of National Aviation Week, let’s look at some types of jobs related to air transportation and what they pay.

The air transportation industry, which includes transporting both passengers and freight on scheduled and nonscheduled flights, had employment of over 492,000 in May 2022. There were an additional 225,880 jobs in support activities for air transportation, such as air traffic control, airport operations, baggage and cargo handling services, and aircraft maintenance and repair services.

Three occupations combined made up over half of employment in air transportation: flight attendants (106,000); airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers (77,280); and reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks (75,270). The largest occupations in support activities for air transportation were aircraft mechanics and service technicians (39,660); laborers and hand freight, stock, and material movers (17,590); and aircraft service attendants (13,410).

Employment for the largest occupations in the air transportation and support activities for air transportation industries, May 2022

Employment for the largest occupations in the air transportation industry, May 2022
Occupation Employment

Flight attendants

106,000

Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

77,280

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

75,270

Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

50,930

Aircraft mechanics and service technicians

31,790

Commercial pilots

23,110

Industrial truck and tractor operators

18,720

Customer service representatives

14,990

First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

9,920

Cargo and freight agents

8,630

Airfield operations specialists

4,360

General and operations managers

4,080

Stockers and order fillers

4,030

First-line supervisors of transportation and material moving workers, except aircraft cargo handling supervisors

3,230

Aircraft service attendants

3,140

Employment for the largest occupations in the support activities for air transportation industry, May 2022
Occupation Employment

Aircraft mechanics and service technicians

39,660

Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

17,590

Aircraft service attendants

13,410

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

8,830

Passenger attendants

7,730

Customer service representatives

7,690

Avionics technicians

7,020

General and operations managers

6,200

Cleaners of vehicles and equipment

6,000

Cargo and freight agents

5,780

First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers

5,140

First-line supervisors of transportation and material moving workers, except aircraft cargo handling supervisors

5,010

Commercial pilots

4,820

Airfield operations specialists

4,350

Baggage porters and bellhops

3,930

The air transportation industry had an annual mean wage of $92,940, more than $30,000 above the U.S. average of $61,900 for all industries combined. The high overall average wage in air transportation was due partly to high wages for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers, which had an annual mean wage of $229,230 in this industry. The largest occupation in air transportation, flight attendants, had an annual mean wage of $67,180; reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks had an annual mean of $48,910.

Annual mean wages for the largest occupations in the air transportation and support activities for air transportation industries, May 2022

Annual mean wages for the largest occupations in the air transportation industry, May 2022
OccupationAnnual mean wage

All occupations

92,940

Flight attendants

67,180

Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

229,230

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

48,910

Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

43,650

Aircraft mechanics and service technicians

88,540

Commercial pilots

135,870

Industrial truck and tractor operators

58,080

Customer service representatives

51,220

First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

69,720

Cargo and freight agents

48,180

Airfield operations specialists

53,720

General and operations managers

147,210

Stockers and order fillers

53,670

First-line supervisors of transportation and material moving workers, except aircraft cargo handling supervisors

78,250

Aircraft service attendants

40,550


Annual mean wages for the largest occupations in the support activities for air transportation industry, May 2022
Occupation Annual mean wage

All occupations

58,020

Aircraft mechanics and service technicians

62,510

Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

37,980

Aircraft service attendants

37,780

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

33,820

Passenger attendants

32,880

Customer service representatives

37,200

Avionics technicians

59,720

General and operations managers

121,090

Cleaners of vehicles and equipment

35,220

Cargo and freight agents

36,930

First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers

79,660

First-line supervisors of transportation and material moving workers, except aircraft cargo handling supervisors

57,240

Commercial pilots

127,910

Airfield operations specialists

49,090

Baggage porters and bellhops

33,180

In support activities for air transportation, aircraft mechanics and service technicians had an annual mean wage of $62,510, similar to the U.S. average wage of $61,900. Laborers and hand freight, stock, and material movers ($37,980) and aircraft service attendants ($37,780) had below-average wages.

These data are from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program. For more information, see the OEWS data for air transportation and support activities for air transportation. Data on passengers, number of flights, and cargo are from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics at the U.S. Department of Transportation and include U.S. air carriers only. Cargo revenue ton-miles represent one ton of freight or mail for which a charge is paid, carried for one mile. To learn more about BLS data on aviation, visit "Come Fly with BLS" on our Commissioner's Corner blog.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, A look at jobs related to air transportation for National Aviation Week at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2023/a-look-at-jobs-related-to-air-transportation-for-national-aviation-week.htm (visited July 14, 2024).

OF INTEREST
spotlight
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics


triangle