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Careers in Aviation
  Step 3: Exploring your career choice(s)
You should carefully explore each aviation career that you are considering; the best job is the one that matches you interests. Here are a few steps you can follow to explore your career choice(s):

Step 1:
Self Assessment
Step 2: Career Research
Step 3: Educational and Training Requirements
Step 4: Employment sectors and employers
Step 5: Gain Hands-on Experience
Step 6: Conduct informational interviews
Step 7: Visit a college/university offering your career program
Step 8: Contact an organization or club
Step 9: Speak to your family, friends, and teachers
Step 10: Surf the Internet to find more information

Step 1: Self Assessment
Self assessment is the process of identifying and documenting information about yourself in order to make an informed career decision. Learning about your skills, interests, personality, and values can help you figure out what career to pursue. A self assessment should be your first step in the career planning process.

A self assessment process involve documenting information about yourself such as your:
Values: the things that are important to you, such as achievements, status, and autonomy
Interests: what you enjoy doing, such as playing golf, running, etc.
Personality: what are your individual traits, motivational drives, needs, and attitudes
Skills: the activities you are good at, such as writing, computer programming, teaching

There are numerous self assessment tests on the Internet that can help match your interests with suitable careers. These tests require you to answer a variety of questions about your interests, skills, personality, and values. Based on your answers, the tests display a list of careers that you may be interested in. To find out more about these self assessment tests, search the Internet using keywords such as “self assessment tests”.

Note: Just because your self assessment indicates that a particular career(s) matches your interests, skills, personality, and values, it doesn't mean it should be your only choice(s) and that you should discount other careers, entirely. You just need to do some more research.

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Step 2: Career Research

Researching your career choice(s) can save time, money, and help you make informed decisions about your career, and ultimately, your future. After you have conducted your career research, compare it against your self assessment.

Career research involves gathering details about a specific career such as:
• Duties and Responsibilities
• Work Conditions
• Educational and Training Requirements
• Work experience and skills required
• Potential growth in the career field
• Future trends
• Salary range
• Industry standards

It is very important that you choose a career that:
Use the skills you possess and complement your values, interests, and personality.
You enjoy the tasks and responsibilities as much as, or more than, the monetary rewards or prestige attached to a career.
Avoid choosing a career that:
Would compromise your values.
You have received only limited or biased information about.
You have chosen simply because a friend or someone you admire is employed in that career.
You have pursued to satisfy family members or because other important people in your life have said you’d be good at it.

You can find additional information about careers in aviation/aerospace in the U.S. Occupational Outlook Handbook. It provides information concerning the "nature of the work," "working conditions," "employment," "training, other qualifications, and advancement," "job outlook," "earnings," "related occupations," and "sources of additional information." You can also find this book in the reference section of any library.

Step 3: Educational Requirements
One step in planning for your career is to learn more about the types of certificates, licenses, or degrees required for a particular career.

Step 4:
Employment sectors and employers

It is also important to know where the jobs are located. Learn more about the employment sectors and employers in the aviation/aerospace industry.

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Step 5:
Gain Hands-on Experience

You can learn more about a career through hands-on experience by job shadowing, summer/youth camps, and internships.

Step 6:
Conduct Informational Interviews

Informational interviews allow you to gather information about a career from someone who is already employed in the career you are interested in pursuing. This person may provide you with information you may not be able to obtain elsewhere. Contact your career guidance counselor, and ask if he/she can arrange an informational interview with someone in the career you are interested in pursuing. You or your parents should also contact a company in the career field, and ask if you could conduct an informational interview to learn more about a particular career.

Step 7:
Visit a college/university offering your career program

Professors, teachers, and faculty members at post-secondary schools (such as a technical, trade, vocational, community college, and/or college/university) that offers training for your career choice(s) can provide you with details about a particular career, educational and training requirements, current trends, and more.

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Step 8:
Contact an organization or club

There are numerous aviation/aerospace associations, organizations, and clubs that can provide insight, information, and guidance in your efforts to research a particular career in aviation/aerospace. Members of these organizations and clubs can share their personal and career experiences to help you make an informed decision about your career.

Step 9: Speak to your family, friends, and teachers
Tell your family members, friends (at school and at home), and your family’s friends that you are interested in pursuing a career within the aviation/aerospace industry. Your family and friends are excellent resources, especially if they are employed in the industry you are pursuing as a career. They may know of people working in the career field who may be able to help you. Teachers and career guidance counselors should be able to help you or at least guide you in the right direction. Your teachers and guidance counselors may be able to arrange a job shadow day or internship with a company in the field you are interested in pursuing as a career.

Step 10:
Surf the Internet to find more information

There are other resources on the Internet that can provide you with more details about a particular career. Search the Internet for more resources.

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What's Next?
Step 4: College Choice(s)



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