HAI Convention News

Job Outlook Brightening For Some In Helicopter Industry

 - March 4, 2013, 1:00 PM
Helicopter maintenance techs face a positive job market this year, according to JSfirm’s recent employment survey.

Just in time for Heli-Expo’13, online employment information provider JSfirm surveyed hundreds of its client companies about their hiring expectations for the remainder of this year. And the results are positive; maintenance and avionics technicians, pilots and sheet metal workers and fabricators may find this year to be one of the best in a long time.

JSfirm personnel are at Booth No. C5324 highlighting the survey results, which show that of the 356 companies responding, 85 percent plan to hire this year. Most of the new jobs should put employees in place by early September. The new hires are not simply replacing employees who were laid off last year. Sixty-five percent of the respondents said they didn’t lay off anyone last year. Nearly two thirds of companies surveyed labeled their hiring plans as either “moderate” or “significant” growth. Thirty-nine percent said they’ll hire between one and five new employees and 30 percent reported plans for hiring between six and 100 people.

There is some cause for concern in all these hiring plans, said Sam Scanlon, one of JSfirm’s managing partners. “Aviation is facing a significant challenge that’s translating into a deficit of qualified applicants,” he said. The survey found that 27 percent of responding companies reported the inability to locate adequately trained personnel as the single greatest challenge in hiring qualified aviation talent this year. According to the survey, the second biggest challenge after experience is the high salary expectations of potential employees.

Maintenance facilities are expected to hire the most people this year, followed by individual aircraft operators and finally FBOs. Twenty-five percent of pilots will be hired by operators flying Citation, Hawker and Learjet types, followed closely by helicopter operations at 23 percent.

Most importantly, JSfirm queried companies about how they typically connect with potential employees. They responded that online networks, such as JSfirm’s website and LinkedIn, account for just over 30 percent of referrals, but one of the most important job-hunting methods is still a word-of-mouth recommendation.