Aviation Careers – GradPlan


Aviation Careers

Explore the licenses you need for a career in the sky or on the ground

Ready to Take Off?

Do you like airplanes and want to be a part of the industry? There are a lot of ways to launch an aviation-related career. Whether through a pilot-training school, a flight attendant program, or an airplane mechanics degree, you can find the education and training you need to get started.

Check out the information we have provided here and explore the options.

Aviation Education and Career Options

Aviation jobs vary widely in requirements and salary. Often this is dependent on the size of the plane one is working on.








Salary (yearly)


A & P License

1.5-2.5 years





4-6 weeks


~ $60,000


Pilot’s License
+ Flight Hours

4+ years


~ $130,000

For Piloting

The path to become a pilot depends on what kind of aircraft you want to fly, and what you want to transport. You can learn more about the different types of licensure from the Federal Aviation Association.

United Aviate AcademyThis is a private program run by United Airlines, so it does charge tuition. UA does have a partnership with Chase bank to provide financial aid to students from low income backgrounds, which includes scholarships and loans.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website provides great resources for future pilots, including training manuals, study guides and several FAA recommended pilot training programs.

For Flight Attendants

Flight attendant training programs usually take place after a successful interview process. Interview processes vary by airline, so you’ll need to do some research to know what to expect and how to prepare.

Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant program – View the link for information about the work of Southwest Airlines flight attendants and how their highly-regarded training program works. You will also find info on how to apply.

Looking for more?

Check out more career opportunities at Southwest

American Airlines Flight Attendant training – Click the link and scroll down to find info about the application and interview process and how the training program works. One bonus about being a flight attendant with American is free travel!

For Airplane Mechanics

There is so much to learn about what makes a plane fly, what keeps it in the air, and how it lands. The industry needs intelligent, highly capable students like you to learn the mechanics of flight and to engineer solutions to problems as they arise.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website has a useful portal which can provide for you a list of FAA recommended airplane mechanics training programs in your area. Click on the link and enter in your location and click search to see what’s available.

Aviation Programs in Illinois

For Piloting

Lewis University in Romeoville, IL., has a highly regarded pilot training program, as well as other opportunities to get involved in the aviation industry. Click the link to request more information.

For Airplane Mechanics

Check out the 10-week Aviation Mechanics certification program at Olive-Harvey College to learn the basics and to get started. Upon completion of the basic certificate, students will be eligible to take the FAA General portion of the FAA Aviation Maintenance Technician certification exam.

Also, if you are a Junior in high school, check out Olive-Harvey’s basic certificate in Aviation Maintenance pre-college program. This is a great way to get college credits while in high school and to set yourself up to work at one of the major Chicagoland airports after HS graduation!

Recommended Resources


Job Training Programs

"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Malcolm X, human rights activist