Airport Jobs I Wish I Had

If you’ve been following this blog, or if you follow me on twitter, then you know my current airport job isn’t especially exciting – I spend my time shuffling invoices, trying to make sure the bills get paid.  The highlight of my day (aside from lunch) is walking to my desk, which involves traversing a long hallway with floor to ceiling windows that looks out at gates B19 and B21 as well as at the runway beyond.  The rest of my day, unfortunately, is not so fun. But what if I could have ANY airport job? Even better, what if I could zero in on a specific portion of an airport job that looks like it would be really cool? In no particular order, here’s my list:


Able to direct planes and defend the Republic.


You get to play with mini light sabers AND direct airplanes?  Count me in!  OK, I get that marshallers typically also have all kinds of other responsibilities as well – like loading and unloading baggage, cleaning and preparing the airplanes, etc.  However, if I could be JUST a marshaller, how awesome would that be? Well, awesome for ME anyway.  It’s questionable whether it would be at all awesome for the poor pilots who’d be stuck trying to follow my directions.  Captain: “What the heck is she doing?” First Officer: “It looks like she’s in the middle of a light saber battle.”

Jet Bridge Operator

I’m not sure why, but I’ve always thought it would be entertaining to operate the jet bridge.  For this reason alone it’s probably a good thing I’m not allowed anywhere near the controls.  Still, I’d like to give it a try, just once.

fuel truckFuel Truck Driver

No, I don’t want to be responsible for actually fueling airplanes – there are just too many ways that could go horribly wrong.  However, I think it would be a lot of fun to spend my day driving around on the apron. And since everyone needs the fuel truck, I’d be pretty popular.

Snowplow Driver

The snowplow offers less fire danger than the fuel truck, but more runway action!  Have you ever seen snowplows clear a runway?  It’s actually really cool to watch! They typically work in a group so they can move a lot of snow all at once.  If it has been a very snowy day, you can’t even see the plows as they’re working – they look like giant poof-balls of snow moving around on the runway.  Being part of a snowplow armada looks like it would be quite entertaining. I’m pretty sure I would totally love it.  I’m also sure the airfield people are busy putting extra locks on the snowplows right now.


A hawk hangs out on the fence near the employee lot.

Bird Cannon Technician

In my two months on the job I’ve only heard the bird cannon once.  I’m not sure how much good it really did since the birds in question merely flew on over to the other runway.  However, it was really loud and therefore also really awesome.  Of course, I’d be extremely tempted to fire off the bird cannon for non-bird-related reasons… like just to make sure it still works.  Or because it’s lunch time.

Airplane De-icer/Anti-icer

The contraption that sprays the de-ice/anti-ice solutions on the airplanes reminds me of something out of star wars.  I think it would be quite entertaining to sit in there and spend my days spraying down planes. Ooops – I think I missed a spot.  Yeah, I better spray down that portion again. Let’s get the wings just one more time.  Oh look – they’re sending someone out to stop me.  Time for me to hop into the fuel truck and make a quick get away!


That’s a lot of windows to wash!

ATC Tower INSIDE window washer

I think every avgeek has a secret (or maybe not-so-secret) desire to spend time in the tower.  Who wouldn’t want a spectacular view of the airport, the runways and all the goings-on? Hence my desire to be an inside window washer – I’d get all the awesome views with none of the awesome responsibility that the air traffic controllers have.  Please note my emphasis on INSIDE.  No way in hell I’d want to try to clean the windows on the outside.  Have you seen how high up they are?  No thank you!

Stairs Driver

To be honest, I don’t know if my airport actually has motorized stairs.  I suppose they might – after all I see airplanes parked out on the apron all the time and they must have some method of getting the crew out. However, I have yet to actually see any motorized stairs.  If they have them, though, I really want to try driving them around.  I promise I wouldn’t use them to sneak onto any airplanes.  Well, not often, anyway.


Want to see the stairs in action?  Check out this video from Top Gear BBC in which various airport vehicles race each other to determine which is the fastest.

7 thoughts on “Airport Jobs I Wish I Had

  1. You picked one my favorite subjects. For me hands down my favorite airport job (besides flying, of course) would be de-icing. That’s a position of power and besides a fueler those guys have the ability to put the fear of God into any pilot whose been lost in preflight and not paying attention to the outside goings on. I have been involved on a few occasions with various duties in the cockpit only to look up and see the de-icing boom (the ones with the closed cabs are the scariest) flying at breakneck speed to what seems like a inevitable collision with the wind screen. And they know exactly what they’re doing. As evidenced by the various comments made as they see the blood draining from my momentarily horrified “dear in the head lights” look as they zoom up at the very last possible second, lol. One smart ass even said one time “it’s ok to breath sir, I do this for a living”. Yeah I would love to have that job for a day, you know it’s got to be fun (for the guys in the closed cabs at least).


  2. I love this post. There are so many unique, vital, and interesting jobs at the airport. Everyone always thinks “pilot”, but the truth is there’s a bevy of other things to do out there, and most of them even let you be home at night. 🙂


    • They like to leave them sitting just outside the door to my office. Talk about temptation! Worse still, someone located the motorized stairs and parked them outside the door too. Doh!!!


  3. Pingback: Too Much Time At The Airport? | Tales from the Terminal

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