Is Air Freight/Delivery Services A Good Career Path?

Indeed, air freight/delivery services is a good career path because it is lucrative, highly satisfying and rewarding. This industry can be a great choice for individuals with an interest in logistics and transportation. There is job security, opportunities for career growth, and a chance to be in a dynamic work environment.

The air cargo industry is constantly evolving, which provides job security and opportunities for career advancement. As e-commerce booms and consumers increasingly demand faster delivery, companies are investing heavily in their logistics and supply chain operations.

It is also a lucrative career path, especially for those with experience and education. The industry offers competitive salaries, benefits, and opportunities for bonuses and promotions. Additionally, the skills gained in this field can transfer to other industries, providing even more opportunities for career growth. These are just a few reasons why the air freight/delivery services is a good career path.

What Is Air Freight/Delivery Services?

Air freight and delivery services, also known as air cargo, refer to the transportation of goods or packages by aircraft. This process can involve multiple stages, including ground transportation to and from airports, customs processing, and cargo handling. Air freight and delivery services are typically used for time-sensitive or high-value shipments, like perishable goods, medical supplies, or electronics.

According to Wikipedia, air freight and delivery services can be broken down into several categories. These include express services, cargo airlines, and integrated carriers, which combine air freight with ground transportation and other logistics services.

The industry is regulated by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). These national and international organizations ensure that safety and security standards are met.

Why Is Air Freight/Delivery Services A Good Career Path?

Working in air freight and delivery services can provide several benefits for individuals, including job security, career growth opportunities, and competitive salaries.

Five Benefits Of Working In The Air Freight/Delivery Services

  1.     Job Security

According to a 2021 IATA report, air cargo demand continued to show strength. Global cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs) went up 9.4% in April 2021 compared to pre-COVID-19 levels in April 2019.

The report also noted that cargo demand is expected to remain strong in the coming months. This is due to the ongoing growth of e-commerce and a gradual recovery in global trade.

These suggest that there will continue to be a high demand for skilled professionals in the air freight/delivery industry. It will thus provide job security for those working in the sector.

  1.     Career Growth Opportunities

According to a 2021 DHL Global Forwarding survey, in 2021, there is a growing need for talent in the industry. 75% of respondents believe that technology and innovation will be the most important driver of growth in the industry.

There will be opportunities for career growth and development in areas like automation, digitization, and supply chain management.

  1.     Competitive Salaries

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for aircraft cargo handling supervisors is $63,010. The median annual wage for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers, on the other hand, is $160,970.

These show that air freight/delivery services offer competitive salaries for a range of best-paying jobs, ground handling to flight operations. 

  1.     Connection Opportunities

Working in air freight/delivery services offer employees the chance to meet with various calibers of people. This fosters networking, and advances opportunities for them to build connections in other areas including employment.

  1.     Benefits Packages

Employees in the air freight/delivery services enjoy various benefits packages. These include health insurance, retirement saving plans, employee discounts and opportunities for professional development.

Benefits Package For Employees In The Air Freight/Delivery Services

Health Insurance

Many air freight/delivery companies offer health insurance to their employees, which can include medical, dental, and vision coverage.

Retirement Plans

Some companies in the industry offer retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans. These plans may include employer contributions and matching, which can provide an additional source of income for employees in retirement.

Paid Time Off

This includes vacation days, sick leave, and personal days. This can help employees balance their work and personal life, and provide them with time off to rest and recharge.

Employee Discounts

Some air freight and delivery companies offer employee discounts on company and/or partner company products and services.

Professional Development Opportunities

Many companies offer training programs, leadership development, and tuition reimbursement. These opportunities can help employees grow their skills and advance their careers within the industry.

Disadvantages Of Taking A Career In Air Freight/Delivery Services

While there are many benefits to working in the air freight and delivery services industry, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider.

Here are 5 disadvantages of taking a career in air freight/delivery services.

  1.     Long and irregular working hours

Many jobs in the air freight and delivery industry require working long hours. Additionally, the hours can be unpredictable, as cargo delivery schedules are affected by weather, equipment breakdowns, and customs inspections.

  1.     Physical demands
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Some jobs in the industry, like cargo handlers and delivery drivers, can require heavy lifting and standing for long hours. This can be challenging for some individuals who have physical limitations or health concerns.

  1.     Work-related stress

Air cargo and delivery schedules are often time-sensitive and subject to tight deadlines. This is because the industry can be fast-paced and high-stress. It can lead to high levels of stress for some employees, especially those in managerial or supervisory roles.

  1.     Safety risks

Jobs in the industry can involve working in potentially hazardous environments, such as airports and loading docks. Employees may also be at risk of injury from equipment such as forklifts or delivery trucks.

  1.     Environmental impact

The industry is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, which can have a negative impact on the environment. Some individuals may not want to work in an industry that has such a significant impact on the planet.

However, it’s worth noting that many of these challenges can be mitigated through proper training, safety measures, and job-specific accommodations. Additionally, the benefits of working in the industry outweigh the potential disadvantages for some individuals.

How Can I Decide If Working In Air Freight/Delivery Services Is Right For Me?

Deciding if working in air freight/delivery services is right for you requires careful consideration of several factors. Here are a few things to think about when deciding which job roles might be a good fit for you:

  •       Your interests and skills.
  •       The physical demands of the job.
  •       Handling the pressure and stress that can come with these demands.
  •       The work schedule.
  •       Job security and opportunities for advancement.

By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision about working in air freight/delivery services.

Career Paths In Air Freight/Delivery Services

The air freight/delivery services industry offers a range of rewarding and highly-satisfying career paths.

Here are five major career paths you might consider in this industry.

  1.     Aircraft Maintenance Technician

Aircraft Maintenance Technician

An Aircraft Maintenance Technician inspects, repairs, and maintains aircraft to ensure they are in proper working condition.

The demand for Aircraft Maintenance Technicians in the industry is very high, with an annual median salary of $66,440.  

  1.     Dispatcher 

A Dispatcher in air freight and delivery services coordinates the movement of air cargo. They create flight schedules, arrange for ground handling and fueling services, and communicate with pilots and other team members.

The demand for Dispatchers in the industry is also high, with an annual median salary of $49,150.

  1.     Logistics Coordinator

A Logistics Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the transportation and delivery of goods, managing inventory, and tracking shipments.

The demand for Logistics Coordinators is expected to grow in the coming years, with an annual median salary of $45,000. A Logistics Coordinator can work in a variety of settings, from warehouses to corporate offices, providing opportunities for advancement and growth.

  1.     Customer Service Representative

A Customer Service Representative is responsible for answering customer questions and resolving issues related to shipments and deliveries.

The demand for Customer Service Representatives in the industry is high, with an annual median salary of $34,000. This is also a great entry-level job that provides opportunities for growth and advancement in the industry.

  1.     Cargo Handler

Cargo Handler

A Cargo Handler plays a critical role in the industry by loading and unloading cargo from planes and trucks. This is a physically demanding job that requires good communication skills, attention to detail, and working well under pressure.

The demand for cargo handlers is expected to grow in the coming years, with an annual median salary of $31,000. Cargo handling is a highly-satisfying entry-level job in the industry, with opportunities for growth and advancement.

These are just a few of the career paths in the air freight/delivery industry. You might be interested in working on the ground or in the air, in a physical or administrative role. Whichever, there is a job in the industry that could be a great fit for you.

What Does A Career In Air Freight/Delivery Services Entail?

A career in air freight and delivery services can entail a variety of roles, depending on your interests and skills. These roles may include piloting, loading and unloading cargo, transporting packages/goods, coordinating logistics and shipments, managing inventory, and tracking shipments.

Depending on the specific job, you may work in a variety of settings, including airports, warehouses, trucks, or offices. A career in air freight and delivery services typically involves working in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.

Duties Of An Air Freight/Delivery Services Professional

The duties of an air freight/delivery services professional varies depending on their specific role and the company they work for. Here are some common duties that professionals in the industry may be responsible for:

  1.     Receiving, Processing, And Tracking Shipments

Professionals in the industry receive shipments, process them for transport, and track their progress throughout the transportation process.

  1.     Loading And Unloading Cargo
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Cargo must be loaded and unloaded from aircraft, trucks, and other transportation modes. Professionals in the industry are responsible for ensuring that cargo is handled safely and efficiently.

  1.     Maintaining Accurate Records

Accurate record-keeping is essential in the air freight and delivery services industry. Professionals are responsible for maintaining detailed records of shipments, including weight, dimensions, and destination.

  1.     Communicating With Customers

Professionals in the industry communicate with customers; providing updates on the status of their shipments, and addressing questions or concerns.

  1.     Ensuring Compliance With Regulations

The air freight/delivery services industry is heavily regulated, and professionals ensure that they are in compliance with laws and regulations.

  1.     Coordinating With Other Professionals

Professionals in the industry work with a variety of other professionals, including pilots, ground crew, customs officials, and transportation brokers. They will together ensure that shipments are transported safely and efficiently.

  1.     Troubleshooting Issues

When issues arise, such as delays or damage, they may be responsible for troubleshooting the issue and finding a solution.

How To Start A Career In Air Freight/Delivery Services

Starting a career in air freight and delivery services can require a combination of education, experience, and specific skills.

Educational Requirements

Some entry-level jobs in the industry may not require a College Degree (minimum of a High School Diploma). However, having a degree in a relevant field can be beneficial for advancing in the industry. Degrees in Aviation, Logistics, Transportation, Supply Chain Management, Business, or Engineering can be particularly useful.

Certifications Needed

Depending on the job, you may need to obtain specific certifications or licenses. For example, a commercial driver’s license may be required for delivery driver positions. Also, certification from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) can be beneficial for those working in air cargo operations.

Experience Needed

Some positions may require previous experience in the industry, while others may offer on-the-job training. Relevant experience can include working in warehousing, transportation, logistics, or customer service.

Skills Required

Depending on the specific job, you may need a range of skills to have a successful career in the industry.  These skills include communication skills, problem-solving skills, attention to detail, physical fitness, and the ability to work well under pressure. Additionally, having knowledge of regulations, safety procedures, and technology used in the industry can be beneficial.

In summary, consider researching different job opportunities, obtaining relevant education or training, and building your skills and network. With the right combination of education, experience, and skills, you can build a successful career in air freight/delivery services.

How Much Can A Career In Air Freight/Delivery Services Earn You?

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for cargo and freight agents is $47,500. The range of salaries in the industry varies widely depending on the specific job and the level of experience.

Entry-level positions, such as cargo handlers or warehouse workers, typically start at an annual wage of around $20,000 to over $40,000. Senior-level positions, such as Logistics Coordinators, Operations Managers, or Freight Forwarders, earn significantly more. Their annual salaries range from $50,000 to over $100,000.

In general, those with more experience and expertise in the industry can expect to earn higher salaries. They may also be eligible for bonuses and other incentives, based on performance.

Level Of Job Satisfaction In Air Freight/Delivery Services

Several studies suggest that the industry offers high levels of job satisfaction. According to a survey by the IATA, over 80% of respondents in the air cargo sector reported being satisfied or highly satisfied with their job. Respondents also valued the sense of accomplishment that comes with delivering cargo on time and meeting customer needs.

Another study by PayScale found that employees in the logistics and supply chain industry had job salary satisfaction ratings of over 70%.

Additionally, a report by the BLS found that workers in industry had a relatively low rate of occupational injuries and illnesses compared to other industries. This can also contribute to higher job satisfaction among workers in the air cargo industry.

Professional Advice For People Considering A Career In Air Freight/Delivery Services

If you are considering a career in air freight and delivery services, here is some professional advice to know:

  •       Read industry publications, attend career fairs, and network with professionals in the field. These will help you gain a better understanding of what a career in air freight and delivery services entails.
  •       Consider pursuing education or training programs that will help you develop relevant skills and make you a more competitive candidate.
  •       Entry-level positions may not be glamorous, but they can provide valuable opportunity to work your way up in the industry.
  •       Be open to new ideas and approaches, and be willing to learn new skills as needed.
  •       Building relationships with other professionals in the industry can be invaluable in terms of finding job opportunities.
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6 Tips For A Successful Career In Air Freight/Delivery Services

Here are some tips for you if you’re interested in succeeding in the air freight/delivery services industry.

  •       Build a strong foundation and training in relevant fields, such as logistics, transportation, supply chain management, or business.
  •       Obtain relevant certifications, e.g., the International Air Transport Association (IATA) offers several certification programs related to air cargo operations.
  •       Seek out internships or entry-level positions to gain experience in the industry.
  •       Develop strong communication skills in dealing with customers, vendors, or other team members.
  •       Stay up-to-date with technology.
  •       Build a strong network of industry professionals.

Career Trends In Air Freight/Delivery Services

The air freight/delivery services industry is constantly evolving, driven by several factors. Here are some current career trends in the industry:

  1.     Increased focus on sustainability

With concerns about climate change and environmental impact growing, there is an increasing focus on making the industry more sustainable. This includes reducing emissions and finding more eco-friendly packaging solutions.

  1.     Emphasis on technology

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the air freight and delivery services industry. Advancements in automation, data analytics, and other areas are improving efficiency and reducing costs.

  1.     Growth in e-commerce

This has led to increased demand, as consumers increasingly expect fast and reliable delivery of their online purchases.

  1.     Focus on supply chain management

The industry is a critical component of global supply chains. There is a growing emphasis on effective supply chain management to ensure that goods are delivered at a reasonable cost.

  1.     Shift towards remote work

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend towards remote work. Many companies in the air freight and delivery services industry are now offering more flexible work arrangements to employees.

Overall, the air freight and delivery services industry is a dynamic and evolving field with a range of career opportunities. Professionals who are willing to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends in the market will be well-positioned for success.

Alternatives Career Paths to Air Freight/Delivery Services

You may be considering a career in the air freight and delivery services industry but are also exploring other options.

Here are 5 alternative career paths to air freight/delivery services you may want to consider:

  1.     Supply Chain Management

A career in supply chain management involves overseeing the flow of goods and services from suppliers to customers. It can be a rewarding career path for those who enjoy logistics and operations management.

  1.     Logistics and Transportation

A career in logistics and transportation involves the planning and coordination of transportation and delivery of goods. This can be through other means, such as ships, by road or rail.

  1.     Project Management

A career in project management can involve managing projects related to logistics, transportation, or supply chain management. It can be a good fit for those who enjoy leading teams and overseeing complex projects.

  1.     Operations Management

A career in operations management involves overseeing the day-to-day operations of a business. This includes managing employees and ensuring that operations run smoothly. It can be a good fit for those who enjoy managing teams and developing processes to improve efficiency.

  1.     Business Analytics

A career in business analytics involves using data to analyze and optimize business processes. It can be a good fit for those who enjoy working with data and developing insights to drive business decisions.


Do you need a degree to be a freight forwarder?

You do not need a formal degree to become a Freight Forwarder. However, many companies prefer candidates who have completed a degree in Business, Logistics, Supply Chain Management, or a related field.

Many employers in the Air Freight and Logistics industry also provide on-the-job training and opportunities for professional development. Therefore, while a degree may be beneficial, it’s not always necessary to become a Freight Forwarder.

Do I need an air cargo transportation certificate to work in air freight delivery services?

Although it is not strictly required, having an air cargo transportation certificate can be beneficial for you. The certificate can provide a solid foundation of knowledge and skills related to air transportation regulations and other related aspects. It can also demonstrate to potential employers that you have a certain level of expertise in the field.

Conclusion: Air Freight/Delivery Services Is A Good Career Path

Yes, air freight/delivery services is a good career path. With opportunities for career advancement, competitive salaries, and job stability, this industry is a promising career path. By doing research, gaining experience, and building relevant skills, workers in this industry can set themselves up for success.