Is Air Freight/Delivery Services a Good Career Path?

Navigating career choices can often feel like steering through an extensive network of possibilities. We often want to know if a sector is a good place to explore. In this article, we will focus on the air freight industry. We will answer the question: is air freight/delivery services a good career path?

The air freight sector includes diverse roles as it bridges operations, logistics, customer service, and technology. These positions cater to various skills and educational backgrounds. The industry offers a dynamic career path for those ready to take on unique challenges and demands.

So, if you’re thinking of entering or switching to the industry, you have to the right place. This comprehensive overview aims to shed light on the promising and fast-paced world of air freight/delivery services.

What Is Air Freight Delivery?

Air freight delivery, also known as air cargo delivery, refers to transporting goods and cargo via air. This means that the shipment of products and packages to various locations are done by airplanes. Air freight is an efficient mode of delivery, which is crucial for valuable goods or time-sensitive parcels. 

What Are the Best Air Freight/Delivery Services Jobs?

Air freight/delivery services provide several employment options. These jobs are diverse and rewarding, whether they include cargo management, air traffic control, or navigation. The following sections describe some of the top industrial professions.

Air Cargo Specialist

Air cargo specialists are indispensable in the air freight industry. They guarantee the effective and secure movement of goods. Their responsibilities range from accurate handling cargo to meticulously following safety regulations. A role like this requires an individual to understand the science of weight distribution and security protocols. They also need to know how various types of cargo interact with different environmental conditions.

To become an air cargo specialist, you need to have a high school diploma. However, comprehensive training in cargo handling or vocational programs related to the industry can help you land a job. These programs can help you understand different cargo types, handle equipment, and follow safety protocols. Additionally, they can also teach you more about the potential risks and hazards associated with different goods and the best ways to mitigate these risks.

Freight Forwarder

Freight forwarders ensure the efficient movement of commodities across borders. They act as crucial intermediaries between shippers and transportation providers.

Freight forwarders also take the challenge to arrange many kinds of transportation, complete essential paperwork, and negotiate intricate customs laws. As such, you need to possess the following for this position:

  • Strategic thinking
  • Strong negotiating abilities
  • A thorough logistical knowledge

To help you prepare for the role, you need to get a degree in logistics, business, or similar fields. These programs will help you with understanding supply chains, international commerce, and transport economics.

Freight forwarders can benefit from an advanced degree in international business or logistics. In terms of certification, becoming a Certified Customs Specialist (CCS) can enhance a forwarder’s knowledge of customs regulations.

Airline Pilot

Pilots are the sky’s watchdogs. They are in charge of moving cargo over great distances in a secure manner. Pilots must be familiar with the nuances of aircraft technology, climatic trends, and air traffic control procedures. Excellent judgment, dexterity, and technical know-how are prerequisites for this position.

The journey to becoming an airline pilot is rigorous and demanding. You need to obtain the following licenses:

  • Private Pilot License (PPL)
  • Instrument Rating (IR)
  • Commercial Pilot License (CPL)
  • Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL)

Each level builds upon the previous, enhancing a pilot’s knowledge and skill set.

Higher certifications like the Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) certification not only allow airline pilots to train others but also command higher salaries. Pursuing advanced studies in aviation management or aviation safety can also lead to opportunities in flight operations management or safety oversight roles.

Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers are the conductors of the aviation symphony. They manage the intricate dance of aircraft within their designated airspace. Their role requires high levels of concentration, rapid decision-making, and great communication skills.

Becoming an air traffic controller requires a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience. Specific programs like the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative offer targeted education on the complexities of air navigation, laws and regulations, and safety procedures. These can help you get this role.

Certifications such as the Certified Cargo Security Professional (CCSP) from the International Supply Chain Protection Organization can demonstrate expertise and dedication to potential employers.

Cargo Sales Representative

Cargo sales representatives promote the sale of air freight services to businesses. They serve as brand advocates for air freight firms. Sales agents must be knowledgeable about industry trends. They should also have strong communication skills. Of course, they must also be good at building lasting bonds with customers.

Some companies require a bachelor’s degree in business or sales for sales representatives. But some do not. Still, degrees help one gain knowledge in business, marketing, and customer relationship management. All of these are crucial for increasing sales and cultivating client loyalty.

Why Is Air Freight a Good Choice?


Fast and effective delivery services are increasingly in demand as the global economy continues to grow. This expansion, together with rising international e-commerce and technical improvements, provides several prospects for the air freight services sector.

You can manage cargo on the ground as an air cargo specialist. Steer the course of shipments as a freight forwarder. You can even control the dance of planes as an air traffic controller. Each of these job opportunities offers career growth and advancement. Of course, these still depend on your performance and willingness to hone your skills.

The constant evolution of this industry also brings new roles and responsibilities to the fore. For example, as technology continues to disrupt traditional practices, positions focusing on the integration of artificial intelligence, automation, and data analytics in air freight/delivery services are opening up. Such roles offer the chance to be at the forefront of industry advancements, shaping the future of air freight.

Furthermore, the widespread presence of the air freight industry across the globe offers opportunities to work in different countries. This enables professionals to gain international experience and broaden their perspectives. The global nature of the industry also ensures a degree of job security, with demand for skilled professionals unlikely to dwindle in the foreseeable future.


Compensation plays a crucial role when considering a career path. Let’s explore the earning potential in key roles within the air freight/delivery services industry.

  • Air Cargo Specialist: The average annual salary for an air cargo specialist is $46,465, with a range typically falling between $44,701 and $63,348.
  • Freight Forwarder: A freight forwarder can expect an average annual salary of $48,221. The usual salary range for this position lies between $45,337 and $52,623.
  • Airline Pilot: The role of an airline pilot is one of the most financially rewarding in the industry. An average annual salary stands at $183,701, with the range stretching from $147,785 to $223,820.
  • Air Traffic Controller: Air traffic controllers earn an annual average salary of $55,198, with a typical range from $31,257 to $97,476.
  • Cargo Sales Representative: Cargo sales representatives earn an average annual salary of $80,598. The salary range usually falls between $49,643 and $113,161.


Air freight/delivery services have strong development prospects. Globalization and e-commerce will likely increase air freight demand. The global air freight market is projected to grow to $490B by 2030. This increase ensures employment stability.

Additionally, this demand will provide jobs and opportunities for progress and lateral migration. Air cargo specialists with logistics or management skills might become supervisors or managers. Air traffic controllers may switch to aviation safety or management jobs with further training.

Pivoting transcends industries. Many sectors appreciate air freight abilities including logistics management, operational planning, and customer relations. In a turbulent employment market, adaptability provides professional security.

Air freight/delivery firms provide attractive pensions. Defined contribution plans with corporate matches vary by firm and location.

Taking Flight

Charting a career in the air freight/delivery services industry promises a journey filled with diverse roles, dynamic growth, and plenty of opportunities.

As globalization continues, the demand for swift and reliable transportation of goods grows. As such, your career in this sector stands ready for takeoff.

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