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Airport Baggage Handler CV Writing Tip's

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Airport Baggage Handler CV Writing Service

As an airport baggage handler you would load and unload luggage and freight from aircraft between flights. If you enjoy physical work and would like to work in travel, this could be ideal for you.

To do this job you will need to have honesty and reliability. You will need to be able to work as part of a team. You’ll also have to be flexible in the hours you work.

You need to be over 18 to work as a baggage handler. You would have strict security checks before starting a job, and you may need to pass a medical check.

The work

Your main duties would be to:

  • collect, sort and check luggage against flight lists, making sure that items go on to the right aircraft
  • transfer luggage from the check-in areas to the departure areas
  • move luggage to and from aircraft holds using trucks, cargo loaders and loading conveyor systems
  • store cargo (goods) in warehouses ready for distribution
  • load inbound luggage onto conveyors in the arrivals hall
  • help clean and de-ice aircraft
  • help keep the runways clear of debris and snow in winter.

As an experienced handler, you could work as a ‘lead ramp hand’, lining up aircraft ready for the next flight. You might also train staff on new equipment and procedures.


Hours

You are likely to work on a shift system, covering a basic 39-hour week. Shifts could last up to 12 hours and include evenings, weekends and public holidays.

You would work inside airport terminal buildings and cargo warehouses, and outdoors in all weathers. You could also sometimes work in small spaces, like an aircraft hold.


Income

Starting salaries can be from £11,000 to around £15,000 a year. Handlers with supervisory duties can earn £16,000 a year or more.

Some baggage handlers are paid by the hour. Hourly rates can be between £6 and £8.

Overtime and shift allowances can increase income, and some airlines provide subsidised travel after a qualifying period.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.


Entry requirements

You need to be over 18 to work as a baggage handler. You would have strict security checks before starting a job, and you may need to pass a medical check.

You would normally need your own transport to get to the airport, as public transport may not cover all of your shift times.

Although not essential, experience of warehouse work and an LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) or forklift truck licence could be useful when applying for work.

You may be able to start this work through an Apprenticeship scheme. You will need to check which schemes are available in your area. For more information, visit the Apprenticeships website.


Training and development

Once you are working, your employer would train you on using luggage conveyor belts, barcode scanners, airport vehicles and lifting equipment. You would also receive training in health and safety, and security procedures.

You could work towards several qualifications, including:

  • NVQ in Providing Aviation Operations on the Ground at level 2
  • NVQ in Coordinating Aviation Operations on the Ground Level 3
  • City & Guilds Certificate in Aviation Ground Operations Level 2
  • BTEC National Certificate and Diploma in Aviation Operations Level 3.

The qualifications have options in baggage processing, loading, handling cargo and lining up aircraft. They also cover general skills in customer service and leadership.


Skills and knowledge

To become an airport baggage handler, you will need to have:

  • good levels of fitness to lift and move heavy loads
  • honesty and reliability
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • good communication skills
  • a willingness to work flexibly
  • the ability to work quickly, due to short turnaround times
  • some basic mechanical knowledge to work with conveyors and lifting equipment.

Opportunities

You could find work with airport authorities, airlines or ground staff service contractors. As seasonal work is common, you may find more job opportunities during the busy holiday periods.

London’s two major airports, Heathrow and Gatwick, are among the largest employers, along with major regional airports such as Birmingham and Manchester.

With experience, you could become a lead ramp hand, then supervisor or manager, with responsibility for training new staff.

Related industry information

Industry summary

The aviation industry is represented by People 1st, the Sector Skills Council for hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism. The passenger transport sector incorporates rail, aviation, bus and coach, taxi and private hire, light rail and metro, driver training, and UK waterways. The sector accounts for 735,000 jobs, most of which are within the bus and coach, taxi and private hire, rail, and aviation industries. The passenger transport sector comprises a myriad of roles, from pilots and transport planners, to essential support roles in finance, marketing and human resources.

The aviation industry is a large employer in the UK and includes 30 commercial airports, plus numerous private airports and airfields. It includes people employed in:

  • highly skilled and technical roles, such as pilots and air traffic control
  • customer service roles, including passenger check in and support, terminal and airport management and cabin crew
  • ground services undertaking tasks, such as baggage and cargo handling, aircraft preparation and flight planning

The UK aviation industry is dominated by a small number of companies. The introduction of the low-cost airlines changed the structure of the industry, but growth in this area is expected to slow.

Key facts:

  • There are 138,000 people working in the aviation industry
  • Only 4% of companies employ more than 100 people, but this 4% employ 86% of the UK aviation workforce
  • The average age of an employee is 40
  • There are female dominated roles in the industry, the main being cabin crew. Male dominated roles include baggage handling and aircraft ramp services
  • The average working hours for an aviation industry employee are 38 per week.
  • Just 10% of the workforce is employed part-time
  • In 2009, more than 218 million passengers were handled by UK airports

Jobs in the industry fall into the following areas:

  • Ground handling services – such as baggage/ramp handling, aircraft preparation, load planning officer, ramp supervisor, aircraft dispatcher
  • Airport operations – such as airport duty staff, support officer to team supervisor, airport terminal manager, customer support staff, air traffic control
  • Airline operations – such as passenger services staff, ground handling, cabin crew, first officer pilot, flight captain, cabin crew officer, aviation operation passenger services

National and regional data

[N.B. Regional data presented are for the aviation industry and the passenger transport sector as a whole. Data derived from the Labour Force Survey, 2007.]

East Midlands – There are 4,900 people working in the aviation industry in the region. In the passenger transport sector as whole, 14% of the workforce in the region is female. 14% of the workforce is from an ethnic minority background. 6% of the workforce is under 25 years, 62% is 26-49 years and 32% is 50 years or older. Skill gaps include: foreign languages; vehicle maintenance and engineering; Welsh language; job related IT; and safety/accident management.

East of England – There are 13,600 people working in the aviation industry in the region. In the passenger transport sector as whole, 25% of the workforce in the region is female. 9% of the workforce is from an ethnic minority background. 7% of the workforce is under 25 years, 52% is 26-49 years and 41% is 50 years or older. Skill gaps include: foreign languages; job related IT; Welsh language; and vehicle maintenance and engineering.

London – There are 25,300 people working in the aviation industry in the region. In the passenger transport sector as whole, 20% of the workforce in the region is female. 42% of the workforce is from an ethnic minority background. 4% of the workforce is under 25 years, 70% is 26-49 years and 26% is 50 years or older. Skill gaps include: job related IT; foreign languages; safety/accident management; booking operations; and logistics and scheduling of services.

North East – There are 2,100 people working in the aviation industry in the region. In the passenger transport sector as whole, 17% of the workforce in the region is female. 3% of the workforce is from an ethnic minority background. 8% of the workforce is under 25 years, 51% is 26-49 years and 41% is 50 years or older. Skill gaps include: job related IT; foreign languages; vehicle maintenance and engineering; Welsh language; and safety/accident management.

North West – There are 13,600 people working in the aviation industry in the region. In the passenger transport sector as whole, 16% of the workforce in the region is female. 14% of the workforce is from an ethnic minority background. 6% of the workforce is under 25 years, 61% is 26-49 years and 33% is 50 years or older. Skill gaps include: foreign languages; disability awareness; Welsh language; and vehicle maintenance and engineering.

South East – There are 49,100 people working in the aviation industry in the region. In the passenger transport sector as whole, 25% of the workforce in the region is female. 11% of the workforce is from an ethnic minority background. 6% of the workforce is under 25 years, 48% is 26-49 years and 36% is 50 years or older. Skill gaps include: foreign languages; vehicle maintenance and engineering; and job related IT.

South West – There are 6,100 people working in the aviation industry in the region. In the passenger transport sector as whole, 19% of the workforce in the region is female. 4% of the workforce is from an ethnic minority background. 4% of the workforce is under 25 years, 56% is 26-49 years and 40% is 50 years or older. Skill gaps include: foreign languages; job related IT; and vehicle maintenance and engineering.

West Midlands – There are 6,500 people working in the aviation industry in the region. In the passenger transport sector as whole, 19% of the workforce in the region is female. 27% of the workforce is from an ethnic minority background. 7% of the workforce is under 25 years, 65% is 26-49 years and 28% is 50 years or older. Skill gaps include: job related IT; safety/accident management; foreign languages; maths/working with numbers; and disability awareness.

Yorkshire and the Humber – There are 2,200 people working in the aviation industry in the region. In the passenger transport sector as whole, 13% of the workforce in the region is female. 18% of the workforce is from an ethnic minority background. 8% of the workforce is under 25 years, 62% is 26-49 years and 30% is 50 years or older. Skill gaps include: foreign languages; vehicle maintenance and engineering; job related IT; and Welsh language.

Northern Ireland – There are 2,200 people working in the aviation industry in the region. In the passenger transport sector as whole, 21% of the workforce in the region is female. Data are unavailable on the ethnicity of the workforce. 9% of the workforce is under 25 years, 74% is 26-49 years and 17% is 50 years or older. Skill gaps include: foreign languages; safety/accident management; job related IT; and disability awareness.

Scotland – There are 10,400 people working in the aviation industry in the region. In the passenger transport sector as whole, 16% of the workforce in the region is female. 2% of the workforce is from an ethnic minority background. 8% of the workforce is under 25 years, 56% is 26-49 years and 36% is 50 years or older. Skill gaps include: foreign languages; vehicle maintenance and engineering; and disability awareness.

Wales – There are 1,800 people working in the aviation industry in the region. In the passenger transport sector as whole, 18% of the workforce in the region is female. 4% of the workforce is from an ethnic minority background. 8% of the workforce is under 25 years, 54% is 26-49 years and 38% is 50 years or older. Skill gaps include: Welsh language; foreign languages; disability awareness; safety/accident management; job related IT; and vehicle maintenance and engineering.

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