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Transferring Your Aviation Skills

  • by: Jenna Beard
  • On: 11, May 2021
6 min read

The aviation sector has been hit hard by COVID-19, along with many others. The dramatic drop in demand for passenger air transportation is threatening the feasibility of many firms with many jobs at risk. Considering the reduced job availability in the aviation sector, airline staff can transfer their skills into jobs in other sectors. This career change does not have to be either long-term or short-term; prepare yourself to try something new.

Have you been searching for a job outside of the aviation sector? VHR can help you. The key to finding employability in sectors outside of your expertise is promoting the transferable skills you already have. Transferrable skills include soft skills, hard skills, and technical skills. These are things you need to include in your CV. Make sure to research the sector you are interested in carefully and include all interchangeable skills in your CV and cover letter. VHR’s recruitment specialists have taken a closer look at which skills you could have gained from an aviation career which can be transferred into jobs in other sectors.


Transferable skills

A Career in Marine

Marine engineering officers are in charge of a ship's main propulsion machinery and auxiliary plants. These include deck machinery, air conditioning plants, refrigeration plants, and domestic and electrical services, as well as their maintenance and activity. Engineering officers can expect to keep watch in the ship's engine room, depending on the type of ship and operational circumstances. 

A Bachelor's degree in Marine engineering, like one in aerospace engineering, takes four years to complete. Even the coursework is similar, with both programs requiring studies in advanced math and science as well as general engineering concepts. A marine engineer and electro-technical officer have mathematical, problem-solving, and analytical skills, alongside a strong awareness of safety issues. Making rational decisions while keeping a calm manner is crucial. Skills required for pilots and aircraft engineers are similar to those taught in the marine industry. The ability to problem-solve is one of those necessary skills. 

Some soft skills necessary in both the Aviation and Marine sector are:
  • Responsibility
  • Practicality and adaptability
  • Accuracy
  • Quick and efficient thinking 
  • Calm during- and after emergencies


A Career in Motorsports

A career in Automotive & Motorsport is one of the most rewarding and challenging careers. Every vehicle designed and made leans on the technical expertise of the automotive engineers. Automotive engineers are responsible for the research, design, and development of vehicles. Working with sophisticated technology to create complicated mechanisms requires solid analytical skills alongside being able to work under pressure. The Formula One pit crew thrives in fast-paced environments where safety and performance must be prioritised. Similar to Aerospace, you need a completed university degree or apprenticeship to be considered for a job. As an engineer in Motorsport, you need to master the skills of repair, use, and maintenance of sector-related machines and tools, such as CAD software. 

Entry into Motorsport is possible through an apprenticeship, as well as a postgraduate qualification. Vehicle technician apprenticeships are available at an intermediate or advanced level where you choose to specialise in light or heavy vehicles. Some advanced and higher apprenticeships in automotive engineering are available at larger automotive companies. 

Some imperative soft skills in the Automotive, Formula 1, and Aviation sector are:
  • Prioritisation and adaptability
  • People skills 
  • Efficient and problem-solving thinking 
  • Excellent ability to use technology
  • Analytical thinking skills


Defence & Security 

Defence engineering has gone through dramatic periods of progress and production during confrontational times. When it comes to working in the Defence industry, large budgets often mean that appointed engineering teams get a chance of focussing on some of the most complex and progressive technologies ever known in the world. Aviation safety management, military aircraft systems, modeling, simulation, and control are all modules that are used in Defence engineering as well as Aviation engineering.

From architecture and IT to quality assurance and supply chain operations, trained Engineers have a wealth of design and manufacturing skills that can be carried over from an aviation career. The most common route into this industry is by studying for an engineering degree at university. Nearly any type of engineering degree will get you into defence engineering.  

Some of the soft skills necessary in the Defence- and Aviation sector are:
  • Data analysation
  • Decision-making ability
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Project management skills


Engineering & Manufacturing

A Manufacturing Engineer is responsible for the designs and operations of manufacturing systems for products. They select the best technologies and processes to manufacture plan and design the factory that will produce the product and manage the running, maintenance, and continuous improvement of the manufacturing process.

Manufacturing engineering is a branch of engineering that studies, analyses, and improves complex industrial, manufacturing, and infrastructure structures. It focuses on locating and employing the equipment needed to efficiently transform raw materials into finished products.

Manufacturing engineers may be responsible for inventory control, quality management, quality control, material flow, cost analysis, procurement, and supply chain management.

Some of the soft skills necessary in the Manufacturing Engineering- and Aviation sector are:
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Working well under pressure
  • Communication skills
  • Commercial awareness


Renewable Energy

Renewable energy engineers work on the production of energy from renewable or sustainable sources, including wind, solar, and hydro or marine power. They research and develop new machinery and equipment, production processes, and ways to minimise the impact on the environment. Engineers in the renewable energy sector work out technical and economic aspects of new renewable energy sites, including wind farms, solar installations, and hydro or marine power, carrying out site and ground condition inspections for new and existing sites.

As an energy engineer, your focus will be finding efficient, clean, and innovative ways to supply energy. You could work in a variety of roles, including:

  • designing and testing machinery
  • developing ways of improving existing processes
  • converting, transmitting, and supplying useful energy to meet our needs for electricity
  • researching and developing ways to generate new energy, reduce emissions from fossil fuels, and minimise environmental damage.
Some of the soft skills necessary in the Renewable Engineering- and Aviation sector are:
  • An interest in science, technology, and the environment
  • Scientific and mathematical abilities
  • Organisation and negotiation skills. 


Civils & Infrastructure

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the business world dramatically. While the pandemic has had significant effects on all industries, infrastructure companies have been able to be maintained to some extent. To avoid liquidation damages, most companies have chosen to continue executing contracts. 

As a civil and infrastructure engineer, your expertise focuses on research that targets delivering materials, structures, design, and construction technologies that meet complex requirements of civil infrastructures during their service life. Civil Engineers plan, design, construct, operate and maintain roads, bridges, dams, water supply schemes, sewerage systems, transportation, harbours, canals, dockyards, airports, railways, factories, and large buildings. A civil engineer is expected to be flexible and mathematical.  

Some of the soft skills necessary in the Civils-, Infrastructure and Aviation sector are:
  • Problem-solving thinking
  • Prioritization and adaptability
  • Project management skills
  • Communication skills
  • Creativity


Looking for a new job? 

Take a look at VHR’s job page for the latest technical jobs in the industries around the world.

Are you struggling to find work? Here are seven ways you can stand out.

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