Airports are constantly bustling with people purchasing tickets, waiting to board their flights, and exiting terminals after they land. Dozens of different types of workers are needed to ensure safety and efficiency at an airport. Some airport jobs involve conducting security screenings, loading and unloading baggage, and monitoring arrivals and departures. Customer services employees work at ticket counters, restaurants, bookstores, and gift shops. Most airports also staff administrative professionals, mechanics, and technicians to handle behind-the-scenes duties.
Ramp service agents, security personnel, and air traffic controllers help to ensure that airplanes depart and arrive on schedule. A ramp service agent is responsible for loading and unloading baggage from airplanes. He or she weighs luggage, checks tags, and places bags on their appropriate flights. When an airplane lands, the ramp agent unloads luggage and determines if it is to be transferred to another plane or brought into the airport for pickup. Agents frequently drive electric or motorized vehicles to transport bags quickly to their destinations.
Airport security workers monitor cameras and perform walkthroughs of an airport to maintain order and safety. Some airport jobs in security entail screening passengers before they enter terminals to make sure that they are not carrying any prohibited items. Air traffic controllers typically work in towers and on runways to direct arriving and departing planes. They monitor radar systems and communicate with pilots to make sure that runways are clear for takeoffs and landings.
Many airport jobs involve customer service duties, such as selling tickets and confirming reservations. Ticket agents help customers make reservations over the phone, on the Internet, and in person. They help passengers check in for their flights and direct them to their appropriate terminals. Ticket agents provide boarding passes and baggage claim slips, and answer any questions that customers may have about their flights.
Bookstores, gift shops, restaurants, and parking structures are common sights at most large airports. Airport jobs in retail and food service are typically very similar to such positions in other settings. Workers are needed to sell goods, prepare and serve food, and maintain a clean, friendly environment. Parking enforcement professionals provide security in short- and long-term parking structures and collect payment from people when they leave in their vehicles.
Other airport jobs are held by airplane mechanics, equipment technicians, and administrative workers. Mechanics and technicians perform repairs and preventive maintenance to ensure that machinery is kept in safe working order. Administrative personnel, including human resources workers, accountants, and executives, perform business-related duties at an airport. They manage finances and make managerial decisions to improve profits and efficiency.