A Guide To Aviation Jobs Abroad
If you’re looking for a job that allows you to travel the world for a living, with the added benefit of having a new, exciting country to call home, an international aviation job could be for you! Get ready to pack your bags, because employers are hiring worldwide. An obvious job choice for aerophiles is cabin crew, but that’s not the only route one can go down; other job options include engineering, logistics, management, and international aviation maintenance jobs. With international aviation jobs abroad you are sure to learn as you travel and immerse yourself in new cultures.
Whilst it’s possible to find careers in aviation all over the world, some countries and regions are goldmines. The great news is, they tend to be hot and sunny! They are also, of course, diverse cultures with lots of highlights for expats to experience and learn about.
Australia. Australia is a hugely popular destination for expats, particularly those with a love of adventure. Home to various national and (branches of) international airlines, expats working in aviation could be based in any one of Australia’s cities; popular locations include the country’s capital, Sydney, and its second largest city, Melbourne. As well as being environmentally diverse, with everything from cosmopolitan cities, to colorful ocean reefs, to vast stretches of desert, Australia is a popular spot for foreign workers.
China. As the world’s second largest economy, China has opportunities for expats in virtually all industries, including aviation. The Guangdong region has the highest population of migrants, but aviation jobs are available in major cities like Shanghai, Chengdu and, of course, the capital, Beijing. Available jobs in China include engineering, piloting, office work, and international aviation maintenance jobs. Navigating the unique culture will be an adventure for foreign workers, and affordable living (even in the most dynamic cities), competitive salaries, and insurance coverage make China one of the most favorable countries for experts to find work and internships.
Spain. Spain is home to expats from all over the world, from nearby European countries like Romania, Italy, and the UK, to further afield Latin American countries, including Argentina and Colombia. It’s easy to see why Spain is attractive to foreign workers: the variety in landscapes, climates and cultures makes it relatively easy to adapt, and the Spanish language lessons offered as part of many work placements give employees the opportunity to fully integrate within the local community. With international airlines such as Iberia, based in Madrid, and Vueling, based in Barcelona, there are opportunities for aviation work in many of Spain and Catalonia’s cities, offering employees the chance to experience some of this region’s culture.
The obvious benefit of working in the aviation industry is the built-in opportunity to travel. Whilst you may work long shifts, you will also get free time to spend in whatever countries your airline flies to. You literally get paid to see the world! You are also likely to be given discounted (or free!) flights when you want to take an actual holiday. As well as seeing the world, you will also meet a huge variety of people, not only passengers but different members of staff, too: you won’t fly with the same captains and cabin crew every time.
A surprising advantage of choosing an international airline, thus being based abroad, is the accommodation you could receive. Airlines such as Etihad and Emirates provide their cabin crew with luxury apartments in their respective cities, on top of their regular salary. Many airlines also provide transportation to and from the airport, making early morning starts much easier! A less tangible benefit of aviation jobs abroad is the multicultural work environment, which applies in all sectors of aviation work. You might have coworkers from many different countries and cultures, meaning you can learn all about different lifestyles, customs, and languages.
Speaking of languages, you do not necessarily have to speak a second language to get a job in aviation. That said, it may be an advantage (both personal and professional) to pick up the language of where you will be based.
So, what is a typical day like in an aviation career? It’s difficult to say, particularly if you work on-board an aircraft. Since flights depart at all hours of the day, you are unlikely to have a standard daily routine. You will, however, be working majoritively with customer service, ensuring your passengers are happy and safe. Hours may be more regular if you work in an area such as logistics, which would involve researching, managing projects, and administrative tasks.
An accessible way to get into aviation is via a working holiday (doesn’t that sound nice?) which could potentially lead to a more permanent position or provide workers with the experience or qualifications necessary to find more work in the industry.
Alternatively, agencies can support applicants in finding a job in aviation, matching them with a company, and in obtaining a visa. Such agencies guarantee employment in the applicant’s preferred sector, so there’s no risk in applying! Finally, there is also the option to apply directly to airlines via their websites.
If you’re ready for an exciting career change, or if one new country just isn’t enough for you, a career in aviation might be the answer. Start your journey and find your dream job!
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