Wait a sec. Did I go just a little bit too far by using the word “crash” in the title for an article about how to find the best part time airline jobs? Perhaps. But I like the way it sounds so I’m going to chalk it up as a clever (and perhaps inappropriate) pun and continue on.
So yeah. Today I’m going to take an in-depth look at how to find the best airline-related jobs that don’t require ANY experience OR a full time commitment. This might seem a bit off-topic for me, but the reality is that it hits closer to home for the SANspotter brand than you might think.
I’ve been a full time airline / travel blogger for just over a year now, and I’m not going to lie when I say that I’m still in “poverty” stage. I’m seeing strong growth though, and I expect to be earning a decent annual income from this within 2-3 years. But for now, I’m doing whatever it takes to put food on the table – well, nearly anything. I still have my dignity, so I’m not doing anything yet.
Thankfully I have other income-producing websites and online brands to keep me afloat for now, so I haven’t had to think too seriously about reentering the corporate workforce. But…it is something I need to be prepared for if things go horribly wrong in my business all of a sudden, and I have been keeping a close eye on part time airline jobs “just in case”.
And believe it or not, not only have I’ve learned some really interesting things about the best ways to find these types of jobs, I’ve also learned that some of these positions actually sound fun.
Let’s start out with some tips for finding a part time role in the airline industry, followed up with some discussion about the specific jobs themselves.
As far as I’m concerned, these are the two best methods for finding really good part time airline jobs:
Just as it is with finding any type of job, you’ll have far better luck if you make an effort to be proactive and expand your search beyond just the usual online job boards. Here are two of my best recommendations for nabbing a really good position in an airport or with an airline:
1. Networking with airline and airport staff
As a self-diagnosed introvert who hates social events and being in large groups, it pains me to list “networking” as the number one way to find the best part time airline jobs. However, years of experience has taught me that knowing the right people is the key to getting ahead in life (as shallow as that sounds).
I’m definitely not saying you should only use people for their connections (because you’ll come off as being fake and the’ll see right through you), but…make an effort to make honest friendships that will last a lifetime whether they can help you to advance in your career or not.
Thankfully (for me anyway) networking with airline and airport staff doesn’t usually involve big and scary social events. If you fly a lot like I do, make an effort to get to know those who work at the airport. Start conversations on social media. Be active in the aviation community.
Over time, the friendships you build will be strong enough to place you at the top of the list for any airline-related job openings they have (just as I look to hire my closest acquaintances first for any help I need with my business).
2. Just ask
Two of the most fun and interesting jobs I’ve ever had in my life came from picking up the phone and asking to see if they needed any help. There were no job listings for the positions I was able to fill, and all it took was for me to sell myself as a solution to a problem they were having. The most ironic thing about this is that I’m a terrible salesman. Heck, I doubt I’d even be able to sell a glass of ice water to a man dying of thirst in the Sahara desert.
The most interesting part time airline jobs out there are very likely not even listed anywhere. As a matter of fact, at the job I left last year (a senior position at a Fortune 100 company here in the US), we always looked to hire from within before placing a public ad for our opening. And yes, I have personally hired people who initially contacted me out of the blue wondering if we had any openings. If the person is well-qualified, it makes the employers job so much easier!
Obviously, the key is asking the right people. I’d advise against asking flight attendants and gate agents for a part time airline job (especially if you aren’t keen on getting told to go **** yourself in the most sincerest way possible). You need to go at least one level up for the best results. Stressed-out managers who look like they are one oversold flight short of a meltdown are your target.
Don’t be pushy obviously. Just a simple question phrased in a compassionate / understanding way is all it takes to get a conversation started.
Where to find the best part time airline jobs
As far as I’ve been able to tell, there doesn’t seem to be one specific website where all the airlines post their current job openings. The best place to find the part time airline jobs for your particular location…doesn’t really exist yet. Do I smell a profitable new business opportunity perhaps?
That being said, here is where I’ve been seeing the largest number (and most frequently updated) postings for part time jobs in the airline industry:
It’s also worth checking out the websites of the specific airlines and airports you would like to work for. Many have sections with active job boards which are often updated more frequently than the major online job listing websites.
Speaking of individual airline websites, some (such as Southwest Airlines) even have public community/message boards where you can interact directly with people who work for the airline. I’m not sure how far you’d get trying to get a job this way, but it’s a decent way to network. Especially if you can provide value to other forum members by being helpful and answering questions!
And finally, if rooting around for secret job openings (or hobnobbing with airline staff) on a public forum isn’t your style, most major airlines are very active on social media these days as well.
Ok,yeah, but…what exactly is a “part time airline job”?
The idea of “part time airline jobs” has always been really interesting to me. Especially over the past year or so as I’ve started to think of them as a temporary safety net from the dangers of a failed airline blogging career. I have absolutely zero plans (or desire) to go back to the high-stress 9-5 corporate world, so if I *had* to get a job to help pay the bills, why not get one in a field that I have a lot of passion for? And since it’s part time, it would still allow me the time I need to continue growing the SANspotter empire.
However, is there really such a thing as a *good* part time airline job? At least good enough to not send me into a downward spiral of crippling depression and gut-wrenching anxiety? After a year of keeping a close eye on the job listings, I’ve come to the conclusion that…YES! There are definitely some very interesting part time airport and airline-related jobs out there that I would be happy to take. Maybe not full time, but for a few hours a day at least.
Here are a handful that I’m seeing right now:
Ramp agent (bag thrower)
Of all the part time airline jobs I see listed on a regular basis, part time ramp agents are the most common. $17.50 to $19.50 an hour seems to be the general pay rate, with very limited benefits (no health insurance).
The good news for people like me (with no experience) is that there are very few qualifications needed to land a job as a part time ramp agent. The bad news is that I’m old and my bad back wouldn’t last a day slingin’ heavy bags onto a conveyor belt. This is definitely a job for the young and strong.
Ok. There are two really scary things about being a part time aircraft fueler IMHO. First of all…doesn’t this seem like the kind of job that would require lots of training and qualification for? The fact that they are willing to hire random people off the street to inject thousands of gallons of highly-flammable liquid (under high pressure) into $100 million dollar aircraft is…weird to me.
Second, the pay rate for this particular part time airline job is (typically) $14-15/hr. Wouldn’t it make sense to pay these people well so they’ll be less likely to consider it a **** job and not goof off and / or mess up?
Customer service agent (ticketing and gate agents)
You know those people who stand behind the desk and try not to laugh hysterically when you ask about the possibility of an upgrade? Some airlines do hire people for these positions in a part time capacity.
I always assumed that these customer service agents were full time employees working their way up the ranks in the airline industry. Who knew that it’s possible to do this sort of thing part time?
However, do you have the patience to deal with demanding passengers for a relatively low wage (typically $15-18/hr)? I’m not sure if I do, but this could be the perfect part time airline job for individuals who really enjoy working with people.
Ok. Now we’re talkin’. If there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s the fact that I’m happiest in a job which jives with my introverted ways.
Of all the part time airline jobs I’ve listed so far, this is the one that speaks to me the most. Why? Well, I’m glad you asked:
- I wouldn’t have to deal with passengers
- I would get paid to crawl around empty aircraft (I giggle hysterically thinking how this could benefit my instagram account)
- I get to work inside and out of the elements
- Best of all: it pays $17/hr. That’s higher than the aircraft fueler job!
Yeah, there’s a pretty good chance I’d be scrubbing toilets every night, but…the perks of this job far outweigh the negative in my opinion.
This is another part time airline job that’s right up my alley. Even though I’m not particularly fond of the idea of being social all day long, people in wheelchairs are generally some of the nicest and kindest people you’ll ever meet. I’d be perfectly happy getting chair-bound passengers to and from their gate and make a little money doing it.
Speaking of which, most of the job ads I’ve seen for wheelchair assistants in airports range from $18-20/hr. The bigger/busier airports generally pay more, but that’s a pretty good rate for part time work in an airport.
Passenger Security Agent
Ok, it only pays $15/hr and it’s likely as glamorous as being a mall cop, but…damn! To think that I (a skinny white dude with no security training) could be granted the power to deny people access to airplanes and specific areas of the airport for being “suspicious” is…ridiculous awesomeness on so many levels.
I can only imagine how fun it would be to wave a metal-detection wand over someone’s crotch area with a raised eyebrow and a concerned look on my face. If this travel / airline blog thing doesn’t work out, I think I’ve found my new calling in life!
A few final thoughts
Even though I may never work in the aviation industry, it’s a comforting feeling knowing that there are plenty of decent part time airline jobs out there I could fall back on if I land flat on my face while in hot pursuit of my dreams of becoming a successful airline and travel blogger. As a matter of fact, I’m far more likely to do that than I am to go back to a high paying (high stress) corporate job. Those days are long gone as far as I’m concerned.
Anyway, if there is one thing I’d like to leave you with as I wrap this up, it’s that the most rewarding things in life are the things we work the hardest for. With thousands of well-qualified people applying for the same jobs you are on those online message boards, it’s in your best interest to start making friends in the airline industry any way that you can.
Get your foot in the door any way possible, and be the most persistent go-getter you can possibly be (tip: if it feels uncomfortable, you’re doing it right). Good luck out there!
Oh – if and when you do end up with the part time airline job you fought so hard for, don’t forget your boy SANspotter. Who knows? Maybe we’ll be scrubbing 737 toilets together some day in the not-so-distant future…