Top Airline Jobs


Captains & Other Flight Crewmembers

A handful of pilot positions are filled by former military pilots. Having gained valuable experience flying for their country, they are well prepared to fly passenger planes. Aviation training schools are available to offer civilians a route into the pilot’s seat, with coursework and mandatory flight hours adding to the rigorous training needed to take the controls in a jet. With a highly competitive job environment, as well as a great deal of training and experience required, many aspiring airline employees aim their sights at positions other than flight crewmembers.


Aircraft Dispatchers

Various schools offer FAA approved education leading to the aircraft dispatcher certificate that authorizes people to share responsibility with the pilot for the flight planning and safe completion. Generally, the aircraft dispatcher works from the airline’s main operations center, and remotely interacts with pilots and flight operations in progress. The training to be certified to work as an aircraft dispatcher includes a thorough classroom component that lasts several weeks, or a few months. The standardized knowledge test that a dispatcher must pass as one prerequisite for FAA Aircraft Dispatcher certification is similar to the Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) knowledge examination. In fact, the questions on the dispatcher test are drawn from the ATP test.


Flight Followers

There are other similar positions related to aircraft dispatchers that benefit from the same training. Flight followers generally work with the aircraft dispatcher as an assistant would, helping to take care of some of the duties for supervision of the aircraft while it is in flight. While the aircraft dispatcher is legally responsible, along with the captain of the aircraft for the safe arrival of the flight, some of the tracking and monitoring duties can be done by a flight follower working with the dispatcher. The flight follower is the general term for personnel assisting FAR Part 121 supplemental pilots. Supplemental air carriers currently do not require official (certified) aircraft dispatchers, but they do hire these individuals as more knowledgeable flight followers, who can work well with pilots.


Load Planners

Another related job, often based in the airline’s operations center and working closely with the aircraft dispatcher, is the load planner. The load planner generally specializes in assessing and planning for the aircraft’s carrying capacity, as the title indicates. Usually working closely with the aircraft dispatcher, the load planner helps with technical details related to the plane and its cargo, while the dispatcher is responsible for flight planning, airport details, and more.



Meteorologists, usually available within an area of an Operational Control Center at larger airlines, are an important part of the airline safety and planning process. Knowing the weather conditions ahead and risks of thunderstorms, icing, turbulence, or other inclement weather to be anticipated along the way are crucial to planning and carrying out safe air travel. While dispatchers receive some crucial training in reading weather charts and predictions, many airlines also employ specialists who assist the dispatchers with weather planning.


For those who want to work in the exciting field of aviation, there are positions available at many different levels to help keep the aircraft in the air and arriving safely and on time. From ground support to aircraft dispatch, many jobs are crucial to the effort of getting passengers from point A to point B.


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  • Testimonials

    “Their reputation of excellence amongst the industry is second to none. Sheffield School of Aeronautics should be seen as the standard of how it can be done and how it should be done. I was hired at a major airline with no dispatch experience.” A.Z. Sidebar AZ
    “Eric Morris is one of the most if not the most knowledgeable and experienced authorities on Aircraft Dispatching in the United States. He strives constantly to make the industry better.” DH sidebar DH
    “I wanted to tell you I got the job offer from Expressjet, and start next month! I think a couple others from class were hired as well. It just shows the Sheffield reputation when I see graduates from other schools complaining that they can’t get an interview – I wasn’t even back home to Minneapolis […] Dan Gustafson
    “As a graduate of Sheffield School of Aeronautics I am a firm believer that I received the most thorough and well thought out aircraft dispatcher training available. I owe my position in the industry to Sheffield School of Aeronautics.” BF Sidebar BF
    “As a graduate of the aircraft dispatcher program at the Sheffield School of Aeronautics…My training was intense and thorough and furnished me with the requisite skills for performing my current job as a Flight Dispatch Supervisor.” N.S. Sidebar NS
    “I am a graduate of the Sheffield’s Dispatcher Program. I have been a Captain-Part 121 Airline, Certified Flight/Grnd Instructor, and FAA Designated Check Airman and Sim Instructor (Part 121). From my experience I would rate Sheffield School as outstanding in their field.” PT PT
    “Being that half my new hire class dropped out over the course of training, I can confidently say that Sheffield helped to prepare me for the real world.” GT – abridged testimonial – school selection matters
    “I am a month into my new job at a airline coming out of reorganization, and am helping the training department by referencing the excellent and up to date course book provided to all Sheffield grads.” RW RW
    “Going to Sheffield prepared me for the real world challenges of Aircraft Dispatching. I certainly believe that the method Sheffield used is one not only for success in a real world career, but also one that prepares students to correctly dispatch aircraft.” T.Z. Sidebar TZ
    “While touring my company’s dispatch department before I had my license our OCC manager pointed out that 7 of the 10 dispatchers on shift had come from Sheffield. The overall consensus was that Sheffield grads were able to hit the ground running as they were better prepared.” K.O. Sidebar K.O.
    “Sheffield School of Aeronautics is a highly recognized and respected organization throughout the airline industry. They only produce the highest quality of graduate…” P.W. Sidebar PW
    “Sheffield School of Aeronautics is known worldwide for its quality training and has been recommended to me by our national airline Swiss International Airlines. Whenever I mention the name ‘Sheffield’ it rings a bell in people’s ears.” IW IW
    “If you want to be the best, first you need to be trained by the best!” P. Hill P.Hill – DHL
    “These men represented the highest caliber of professionalism and integrity. The education I received from these gentleman has afforded me to be gainfully employed while having the opportunity to use the education received, all over this country, and more than a few others.” WG sidebar wg
    “I entered my profession, with more knowledge and information than dispatchers who have been practicing their craft for more than ten years. Not only has Sheffield provided a top notch education, but they have also instilled in me the confidence to succeed.” A.Z. Sidebar AZ – Student Testimonial
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