As we move forward from everything that the aviation industry experienced in 2023, our gaze turns towards the 2024 aviation job market and what it may have in store. Based on our intense recruitment activities and communications with candidates and clients at AeroProfessional, we've closely studied the emerging job market trends that are likely to influence demand this year. Using our extensive industry knowledge and experience, we have compiled a list of the top 10 most in demand aviation jobs of 2024. In addition, we take a closer look into the global challenges and the positive developments that could influence the job market and the industry’s performance in the coming months.
Our forecast: The top 10 most in demand aviation jobs in 2024
1. A320 Crew
A320 recruitment is most likely to dominate aviation hiring activities in 2024. As passenger demand increases, A320 crew will be more sought after than before. With more A320 aircraft arriving in airlines’ fleets in the near future, crew recruitment will become a high priority for many airlines, and candidates may find themselves with a wide choice to select from.
2. B1 Engineers
As airlines add more aircraft to their fleet, the need for maintenance personnel will also increase throughout the year. A role that is already in high demand, with an ever-dwindling number of skilled B1 Engineers to fulfil requirements, competition could become even more intense this year.
3. B737 Crew
We expect B737 crew to be one of the most recruited roles in 2024. Ryanair is already waiting for its new 57 Boeing 737 deliveries that are due to arrive before May this year. As a result, it started its recruitment activities early in the year, to ensure that it will have enough crew to place in the new aircraft.
4. Cabin Crew
Ryanair isn't the only airline that’s working towards its expansion plans. A lot of other airlines are focusing on growth this year. As they look to invest more in their fleet, expand their routes and destinations, they will also need to increase their cabin crew members to maintain efficiency in their operations.
5. B747 Crew
Boeing announced its final 747 delivery back in February 2023. While the production of the iconic jumbo jet has come to an end, we expect demand for B747 crew to increase in 2024. Due to the niche nature of this aircraft, there are far fewer candidates that have the knowledge and the skills to operate it. We expect airlines to be on the lookout for those specialist skills.
Flight Dispatchers will also see a boost in growth and demand. With the increase in passenger
travel, and airlines expanding their operations domestically and internationally, the demand for operations and flight dispatchers is expected to reach much higher levels than seen previously.
7. Airworthiness Engineers
Filling engineering roles in aviation will remain a challenging task as the sector continues to struggle with supply shortages. Demand will continue to be on the rise, with many airlines seeking to recruit more Airworthiness Engineers as they experience increased passenger demand in 2024.
8. B2 Engineers
There will be a strong demand for B2 engineering positions, much like for Airworthiness Engineers. Demand for air travel will rise above levels observed in 2023, necessitating a growth in airline maintenance operations, and the hiring of additional B2 engineers to service the aircraft.
9. E190 Crew
Regional carriers, often seen as feeder airlines, serve as stepping stones for pilots aiming to transition to Airbus and Boeing aircraft. While opportunities exist with Embraer operators, salaries typically lag behind those of A320 and B737 pilots. With both ab-initio and experienced pilots increasingly sought after for A320 and B737 positions, there's a growing trend of bypassing the Embraer phase for direct entry into these larger carriers, highlighting a high demand for E190 crew in 2024.
10. A330 Crew
As with other type-rated crew, A330 will also experience a surge in demand in the coming months. We expect to see more airlines enhancing their candidate packages with improved compensation, in an effort to attract candidates with the right skillset.
What challenges is aviation likely to face in 2024?
Unexpected challenges and events are not unfamiliar to aviation and the people that work within it. With ongoing conflicts such as the Russia/Ukraine and Israel/Gaza wars, there will be many unknown outcomes that could change the industry’s direction at any point in the year. With the geopolitical situation likely worsening the longer it goes on, fuel prices will probably continue to face ups and downs, aggravating inflation and causing more labour shortages.
While demand will continue to outstrip supply, the industry will continue to deal with more hurdles as the year progresses. For example, the cost and availability of aviation parts, which are key to maintaining compliance and safety, are becoming more scarce than before.
The shortage of skilled aviation professionals will also continue to create a domino effect in
different sectors within aviation, starting with longer maintenance timescales. This issue leads to the grounding of many aircraft as they remain on a long waiting list, to be checked by engineers, who are not enough to cover the increasing workload. In turn, aircraft are unable to fly without undergoing proper safety checks, which then leads pilots and passengers into a somewhat paralysed state.
Furthermore, recent manufacturing issues with the Boeing 737s' fuselages may lead airlines operating these aircraft to potentially suspend affected planes in their fleet. Although Boeing doesn’t deem the issue to pose a threat to safety, the manufacturer announced that 50 737 aircraft deliveries might be delayed due to having to ‘’perform rework’’ on them. It’s worth noting that the Boeing 737 is the world’s most highly produced and bestselling aircraft in the world, with over 5,000 airlines operating it in more than 200 countries.
What positive factors are likely to impact aviation in 2024?
Contrary to popular belief, the aviation industry is evolving rapidly with advancements in technology. Seeking to enhance operations and services, the industry is embracing innovations like the Boeing 737 Max 10, the largest in the 737 family. After numerous production delays, the highly anticipated aircraft has finally received approval for its first testing. It’s now aiming for certification by the end of 2024, and a maiden flight in early 2025. Ryanair characterised the new aircraft as ‘'transformational’', positioning it as an improved version of the Max 9. This comes after the Max 9 faced scrutiny due to the Alaska Airlines incident, where a cabin door panel blew open mid-air, causing reputational damage for Boeing. Ryanair has already placed an order for 150 Boeing 737 Max 10s, with plans to order even more, once the certification process is complete.
With more planes entering the fleet, job demand will remain on the rise, especially for pilots,
engineers, and cabin crew. Despite the demand and supply issues that have strained aviation
over the past few years, the industry will continue to grow and surpass its previous revenue levels. In 2023, aviation achieved net profits of $23.3 billion, with IATA estimating a further increase to $25.7 billion in 2024. This is also a strong indication that aviation candidates will have ample job opportunities presented to them in various aviation sectors.
In addition, global aviation credit profiles improved in most regions, enhancing financial wellbeing and instilling confidence within the industry. This positive trajectory is expected to extend into 2024, promoting greater stability industry-wide. Global aircraft lessors have also experienced great profitability. This indicates that they will be in a good position to support airlines that are still recovering from the detriments of the pandemic, as well as the ones that are on a growth trajectory. However, aircraft leasing rates are likely to keep increasing in 2024 as customer demand maintains its healthy levels.
A promising future ahead for aviation careers in 2024
Although airlines’ struggles won’t subside anytime soon, we expect aviation careers to increase, with more people joining the industry. After the pandemic, airlines employed thousands of pilots who helped get flight schedules back to normal. Pilot recruitment rises steadily as passenger demand increases throughout the year. However, finding skilful aircraft engineers remains one of airlines’ biggest concerns. In the next decade, it’s estimated that the global aviation market will need around 34,500 mechanics per year, plus thousands of aerospace engineers. Although airlines will struggle to operate while they try to fill in these pipelines, it’s a great chance for engineering candidates to take advantage of the plentiful job opportunities available by reaching out to recruitment consultancies, like AeroProfessional, for expediting their job seeking process and landing suitable roles.
The AeroProfessional team are specialists in the recruitment and selection of aviation professionals across the globe. Reach out to the team today to discuss your current hiring challenges and gain the expert advice and guidance you need to ensure your hiring strategy gains maximum success in 2024.
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