In the Army, aviation operations specialists are classified as 15P in the military occupational specialty (MOS) codes. These soldiers gains valuable experience scheduling and dispatching aircraft. This could lead to a number of career options in the civilian workforce. Below are careers suitable to 15P veterans.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*||Applicable Military Skills/Traits|
|Airfield Operations Specialists (civilian)||$48,910||9%||On-the-job Army experience|
|Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers||$127,820||3%||Airfield operations and procedures experience|
|Air Traffic Controllers||$122,410||3%||Experience managing aircraft schedules and dispatch|
|Cargo and Freight Agents||$41,920||10%||Experience with flight logs and flight clearances|
|Aerospace Engineers||$109,650||6%||Airfield and aircraft procedures experience|
|Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians||$60,270||5%||Army experience, including air safety procedures|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Civilian Careers for Aviation Operations Specialists
Army aviation operations specialists can apply their skills and talents in the civilian workforce in a number of different careers. Their experience scheduling, logging, and monitoring flights can be applied to a number of positions in which they may have the edge over non-military applicants.
Airfield Operations Specialist
This position is the civilian equivalent of 15P veterans' role in active duty. The civilian airfield operations specialist is responsible for scheduling and managing flight clearances and landings. They also monitor and post weather reports. The operations specialist maintains flight logs for both incoming and outgoing flights. They check and confirm flight plans to avoid conflict. An associate's degree and certification is required for this position.
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers
While Army 15P veterans may find all of these careers interesting, they may be particularly well-positioned to become flight engineers. Prior experience working in airfields and understanding of safety procedures may give Army 15P veterans an advantage in this career. Flight engineers check the systems of the aircraft before flight. In flight they monitor and log those systems. They monitor engines, mechanical systems, and fuel levels throughout the flight. To enter this career, candidates need to possess a bachelor's degree and certification.
Air Traffic Controllers
This position is not identical to an aviation operations specialist, but it is focused on many of the same safety concerns. Air traffic controllers monitor the movement of aircraft in real time. They constantly monitor and evaluate positioning and vectors of aircraft in their vicinity. Special concerns are the avoidance of collisions, and take-off or landings which are too close together. They are also aware of weather and airport issues which may require response and changes in flight plans. This position requires an associate's degree as well as formal certification.
Cargo and Freight Agents
15P veterans may find that becoming a cargo and freight agent is a good fit for their skill set. This career has much in common with their former military experience. Cargo and freight agents in the airline industry schedule flights and deliveries. They maintain shipping logs and documentation. In addition they insure paperwork is complete on all shipments. A high school diploma is adequate for this position.
For those 15P veterans who find planes and all things air-related exciting, a career as an aerospace engineer might be a good fit. Aerospace engineers design and build aircraft, satellites, rockets, and missiles. They may create computer models, as well as physical models for testing at different scales. This career requires a bachelor's degree.
Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians
For Army 15P veterans with mechanical or technical aptitude, this could be a good career direction. Mechanics and technicians in the industry perform regular and routine maintenance, in addition to repairs as needed. Some will work primarily in aircraft maintenance, while those who work in avionics specifically may work on missiles. To work in this field an associate's degree and certification is necessary.