Airfield Operations Specialists

Ensure the safe takeoff and landing of commercial and military aircraft. Duties include coordination between air-traffic control and maintenance personnel, dispatching, using airfield landing and navigational aids, implementing airfield safety procedures, monitoring and maintaining flight records, and applying knowledge of weather information.

Sample of reported job titles: Airfield Operations Specialist, Airport Operations Agent, Airport Operations Coordinator, Airport Operations Officer, Airport Operations Specialist, Flight Follower, Operations Agent, Operations Coordinator, Operations Officer, Operations Specialist

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Inspect airfield conditions to ensure compliance with federal regulatory requirements.
  • Implement airfield safety procedures to ensure a safe operating environment for personnel and aircraft operation.
  • Conduct inspections of the airport property and perimeter to maintain controlled access to airfields.
  • Assist in responding to aircraft and medical emergencies.
  • Initiate or conduct airport-wide coordination of snow removal on runways and taxiways.
  • Manage wildlife on and around airport grounds.
  • Coordinate communications between air traffic control and maintenance personnel.
  • Perform and supervise airfield management activities, including mobile airfield management functions.
  • Plan and coordinate airfield construction.
  • Monitor the arrival, parking, refueling, loading, and departure of all aircraft.
  • Train operations staff.
  • Coordinate with agencies, such as air traffic control, civil engineers, or command posts, to ensure support of airfield management activities.
  • Relay departure, arrival, delay, aircraft and airfield status, and other pertinent information to upline controlling agencies.
  • Provide aircrews with information and services needed for airfield management and flight planning.
  • Coordinate with agencies to meet aircrew requirements for billeting, messing, refueling, ground transportation, and transient aircraft maintenance.
  • Use airfield landing and navigational aids and digital data terminal communications equipment to perform duties.
  • Receive, transmit, and control message traffic.
  • Maintain air-to-ground and point-to-point radio contact with aircraft commanders.
  • Procure, produce, and provide information on the safe operation of aircraft, such as flight planning publications, operations publications, charts and maps, or weather information.
  • Anticipate aircraft equipment needs for air evacuation and cargo flights.
  • Post visual display boards and status boards.
  • Receive and post weather information and flight plan data, such as air routes or arrival and departure times.
  • Conduct departure and arrival briefings.
  • Collaborate with others to plan flight schedules and air crew assignments.
  • Maintain flight and event logs, air crew flying records, and flight operations records of incoming and outgoing flights.
  • Coordinate changes to flight itineraries with appropriate Air Traffic Control (ATC) agencies.
  • Check military flight plans with civilian agencies.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.
In demand
In Demand skills are frequently included in employer job postings for this occupation.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Staffing Organizational Units — Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Contact With Others — 93% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Telephone — 90% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 88% responded “Every day.”
  • Consequence of Error — 85% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 82% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 79% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 76% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Electronic Mail — 87% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 69% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 78% responded “Very important results.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 76% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 55% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 66% responded “Every day.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 62% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 51% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 62% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 55% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Time Pressure — 55% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 26% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 36% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Physical Proximity — 50% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 29% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 39% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 36% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 71% responded “40 hours.”
  • Letters and Memos — 36% responded “Every day.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 36% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 52% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 36% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 41% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 32% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 29% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 35% responded “Never.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, desktop publishers, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters and simultaneous captioners, and medical assistants.
SVP Range
1-2 years of preparation (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Knowledge

  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
  • Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • Bachelor’s degree required for some jobs
  • High school diploma or equivalent required for some jobsmore info
  • Some college, no degree required for some jobsmore info

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
  • Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

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Interests

Interest code: ECR
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$23.02 hourly, $47,880 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2021)
13,000 employees
Projected growth (2021-2031)
Faster than average (8% to 10%)
Projected job openings (2021-2031)
1,500
State trends
Top industries (2021)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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