By Michael W. Mallonee
North Central Texas Council of Governments
With another new year, many people set resolutions and think about the future. For junior high, high school and college students focused on a new semester of study and possible career choices, a new North Texas aviation and aerospace career website helps provide some clarity with important information and facts about an industry in need of future generations of workers.
The website, www.nctaviationcareers.com, was developed to show students a path to a successful career in aviation. An interactive career planning tool allows students to quickly explore information such as job descriptions, salary, projected job growth and educational requirements. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for students to discover which aspects of aviation interest them and options for pursuing education needed in those careers.
“There is an urgent need to grow and train the future generation of aviation professionals,” Texas State Senator Royce West said. “It is our duty to make sure our future workforce – students – know rewarding careers and opportunities await them in the aviation profession.”
The website highlights more than 25 types of aviation-related careers, and it includes information on how to fund your education, a list of potential grants and scholarships, internships, and even resources for parents and educators.
North Texas’ status as the largest metropolitan area in the nation without access to a seaport has led to the development of a wealth of aviation assets and opportunities. There are more than 300 aviation-related businesses in the region plus 500 others statewide. In Texas, the aviation industry employs an estimated 771,000 people and boasts an economic output of $59 billion. North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) staff worked with aviation professionals and stakeholders to develop a long-term general aviation and heliport system plan and concluded enhanced aviation education and career information would be needed to sustain such prominence.
Attracting students to become part of a qualified aviation workforce is important to the aviation industry and region. A study of local demand for aviation jobs reveals shortages are expected for avionics or aircraft electronics professionals as well as technicians, pilots, flight engineers and air traffic controllers as current professionals near retirement. In North Texas, aviation activities are expected to increase through 2035, according to the long-term general aviation and heliport system plan.
“Over the past several years, increasing the capacity to train and educate the future aviation workforce has been a primary concern for our region,” said Bobby Waddle, Former Mayor, City of DeSoto, Former NCTCOG Executive Board President, Col., USAF (Ret). “The work accomplished by NCTCOG and its stakeholders will prove instrumental to providing a strong and sustainable aviation industry in North Texas.”
Aviation professionals, elected officials and educators have been working to advance aviation education at all levels. The new website complements ongoing efforts by offering an engaging comprehensive resource to help students learn about aviation and aerospace education and career opportunities.