What Do Aircraft Cargo Handling Supervisors Do?
Aircraft cargo handling supervisors are the people who are responsible for all of the logistics affecting your luggage when you travel. They ensure proper handling of luggage during loading, unloading and transport and make sure that luggage weight is distributed safely throughout the plane. At times, they even accompany flights to oversee the baggage in-flight. This field is not projected to experience significant growth, with only 190 jobs estimated to open up per year. This translates to just 1 percent growth by the year 2022, so breaking in to this field can be a challenge.
Aircraft Cargo Handling Supervisor Skills and Abilities
As an aircraft cargo handling supervisor, strong management and communication skills are vital. You will be coordinating the efforts of multiple employees and need to be able to do so in an effective and efficient manner. You must also have finely honed problem-solving and deductive reasoning skills, along with knowledge of transportation industry principles. This job requires certain physical abilities, as well, including good vision at both close and long range and good depth perception. A typical day’s work in the cargo hold may require you to move multiple limbs while sitting, standing or lying down, so agility and coordination are important. As you will be working in a high-pressure environment, you need to be able to focus on the task at hand, in spite of tight schedules and multiple distractions.
Aircraft Cargo Handling Supervisor Duties
Your workday will include many different tasks, most of them related to logistical decisions and calculations. The cargo hold is your domain, and effective use of space is your game. For example, you will be responsible for calculating cargo weight and distribution throughout an aircraft, with an eye to both safety and efficiency. You may at times serve as a member of the flight crew to accompany cargo in-flight, and you will certainly be involved in the supervision of baggage loading and offloading from aircraft. You may sometimes have the opportunity to operate machinery such as forklifts, aircraft, vehicles and even boats. Some other duties you may find on your plate are:
- Initiating communications via email, telephone, in writing and in person
- Calculating baggage weights and volumes
- Working with charts and computers
- Physically loading and unloading cargo
- Managing the efforts of others
Aircraft Cargo Handling Supervisor Tools and Technology
Your job as an aircraft cargo handling supervisor will place you in contact with a great deal of industrial equipment, which you will need to operate safely. This includes forklift scales, aircraft cargo handling systems and various types of large vehicles. While you don’t need to be a computer expert, you will need to work with basic computer programs like Microsoft Outlook and Excel and utilize data entry software. You will also need to be comfortable using logistical and warehouse management software in order to perform your duties.
Education and Training for Aircraft Cargo Handling Supervisors
Most people in this position do not have a college degree. You do, however, generally need to have a high school diploma or equivalent and some work experience. Once you have landed this position, you will not be required to perform any continuing education.
Aircraft Cargo Handling Supervisor Salary
As an aircraft cargo handling supervisor, you can expect to make between $30,200 and $76,400 annually. The median income for this position is $47,800 per year, which translates to $22.96 per hour.
Aircraft Cargo Handling Supervisor Jobs by Geography
Tennessee has the highest median annual wage for this position at $66,800. The greatest concentration of positions, however, is in Texas, Florida, Michigan and New York, respectively. Colorado is expected to have the greatest percentage of growth in this field, at 27.7 percent by 2022. Courier and delivery services are the companies most likely to offer this position.