Last updated: 03:00 AM ET, Fri March 04 2016

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  • Rich Thomaselli | March 4, 2016 3:00 AM ET

    Summer Jobs Abound At Airports

    Summer Jobs Abound At Airports

    PHOTO: Loading the plane from the ramp is a great experience for a temporary job. (Courtesy ThinkStock)

    The travel industry has always had some great job opportunities, especially in airlines and airports. And what better way to gain some much needed experience, especially from the ground up, than with a summer job or internship?

    The summertime for TravelJobs with airlines and airports is like Christmas for retailers – increased traffic and business, and a need to bring on temporary employees to handle the workload.

    Virtually every airline has summer jobs to fill in almost every area, but especially as ramp service employees where you literally learn the business from the ground up. At United Airlines, for example, the carrier has jobs available in five different cities, including in Chicago.

    Typically, here is what the job entails:

    * A starting salary of $11.48 per hour, which includes six weeks of paid full-time training.

    * The job lasts from May to September.

    * The Ramp Service Employee (RSE) is responsible for processing baggage, boxes, and/or cargo between baggage/cargo areas in the airport facilities and aircraft, as well as receiving and dispatching aircraft, in a deadline-driven environment.

    * It’s a physical job, of course, with requirements that include lifting baggage, boxes, or cargo weighing up to 70 pounds; loading/unloading more than 100 items for a single aircraft; being on your feet for up to four hours in all weather conditions to upload or unload cargo and direct traffic; walk continuously to load/unload cargo from pallets, containers, carts, or conveyor belts; operate a computer to enter and retrieve data; use signaling devices to communicate with co-workers or flight crew; and more.

    The good news, United and most every other airline will take temp workers who are as young as 18 with a high school diploma or GED, who can read, write and speak English fluently, have a valid driver’s license and can pass the background check.

    Virtually every airline also has a college internship program. For example, Delta Air Lines not only offers internships at company headquarters in Atlanta, but in the field as well, giving collegians real-world business experience. From aerospace, to civil, electrical, industrial and mechanical engineering ,to opportunities in finance, supply chain, flight operations and cargo, Delta has myriad opportunities.

    “Our students work on challenging projects that include hands-on experience in flight simulation, engine maintenance, project management, network planning, demand forecasting, research and analysis, just to name a few,” the carrier wrote on its website.

    Intern positions are available year-round at the undergraduate level and, during the summer, at the MBA/graduate level. Students enrolled in university Co–op programs earn Co–op credit by alternating between full-time study and full-time Co-op employment.

    Check out for a list of current job opportunities from some well known airlines and airports. 


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Rich Thomaselli JobPulse

Rich Thomaselli Rich Thomaselli is a longtime journalist with 27 years experience in newspapers, magazines and digital media. He is a nine-time individual award-winning writer and was also a staff writer at several publications that earned national recognition as well, including Advertising Age winning a ‘Best in Business’ designation from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 2007. He previously covered the travel sector for Ad Age, among other beats, from 2001-2013. Rich is married with two children. He will be based in New York. You can reach him at and contact him on Twitter @RichTravelPulse.
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