Air travel occupations include aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and service technicians, airline pilots and flight engineers, flight attendants, and air traffic controllers.
In May 2006, employment in those four occupations totaled more than 350,000.
Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and service technicians held about 133,570 jobs. Aviation maintenance departments comprise several different specialists, including airframe mechanics, powerplant technicians, instrument repairmen, and avionics technicians.
Aircraft pilots and flight engineers held about 102,930 jobs. Of those, about 75,810 worked as airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers. The rest were commercial pilots, who may work as flight instructors or as corporate, charter, test, or agricultural pilots.
Flight attendants held about 96,760 jobs. Most of them were with commercial airlines. Flight attendants assist passengers and ensure their safety throughout the flight.
There were about 23,240 air traffic controllers. Nearly all of them were employed by the FAA—part of the Federal Government. Air traffic controllers work at airports, Air Route Traffic Control Centers, or Flight Service Stations.
These data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. For more information, see "Sky-high careers: Jobs related to airlines," by Tamara Dillon, Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Summer 2007.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Employment in air travel jobs at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2007/oct/wk1/art04.htm (visited December 10, 2023).