Air Transport Professionals
Air Transport Professionals fly and navigate aircraft, control and direct air traffic to ensure the safe and efficient operation of aircraft in flight and on the ground, and instruct students in flying aircraft.
preparing and submitting flight plans giving consideration to factors such as weather conditions and aircraft performance
flying aircraft in accordance with established air traffic control and aircraft operating procedures
providing flight information for flight crews and air traffic services staff
controlling aircraft movements, and directing aircraft taxiing, take-offs and landings by radio
providing pre-flight briefings and aeronautical information services
completing cockpit preparations and external inspections to determine that aircraft are acceptable for flight
monitoring aircraft performance and reporting on mechanical condition
giving in-flight instruction, supervising solo flights, accompanying students on training flights and demonstrating techniques for controlling aircraft
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow very strongly
- is likely to reach 16,500 by 2026.
Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 78% of people employed as Air Transport Professionals work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 12 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their main job. This is the same as the all jobs average.
More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Median full-time earnings are $3,360 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,789
- 1 in 4 earn more than $4,314
Median hourly earnings are $90, this is much more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Air Transport Professionals||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Air Transport Professionals||All Jobs Average|
Around 41% of Air Transport Professionals live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
Queensland has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Air Transport Professionals is 42 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 35 to 44 years.
Females make up 9% of the workforce. This is 39 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Air Transport Professionals||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||3.4||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Practical and theoretical training is usually needed to work as an Air Transport Professional. Requirements vary depending on the occupation.
Registration with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority is required.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Aviation Industry VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Air Transport Professionals||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||7.2||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||1.5||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Air Transport Professionals who work well in a team, can communicate clearly and are reliable.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
80%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
61%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Reading work related information.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
55%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Using maths to solve problems.
Talking to others.
52%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.
45%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
64%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
58%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
57%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
47%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
42%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
41%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
40%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
36%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
33%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Quickly choose the right movement of the hand, foot, or other body part when there are two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures).
See details that are far away.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Change when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.
Know where things are around you.
Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.
Communicate by speaking.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Do two or more things at the same time.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
57%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
57%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Read and understand written information.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
95%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
94%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
85%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
85%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
85%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
78%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
78%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
75%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
74%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
73%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
72%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
67%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
66%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
66%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
60%Negotiating and resolving conflicts
Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.
59%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
58%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
58%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
57%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
47%Leading and encouraging a team
Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
100%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
99%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
99%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
Work with people in a group or team.
98%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
98%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
95%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
95%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
93%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
92%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
92%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Work to strict deadlines.
Talk with people face-to-face.
89%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
88%In an enclosed vehicle or equipment
Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).
Talk on the telephone.
86%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
83%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 53-2011.00 - Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers.