Ground Services Workers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

High school courses that will help prepare you for this career include computer science, mathematics, and shop. Since many of these positions require workers to lift or move heavy loads, taking physical education classes and participating in sports will help you build your physical strength and endurance. If you are interested in the career of air freight agent or operations agent, be sure to take as many business, mathematics, accounting, and computer classes as possible. If your interests lie more in the area of food preparation, classes in family and consumer science and health will help you prepare for work in these careers.

Postsecondary Training

Although most ground services jobs are entry-level and require only a high school diploma (or the equivalent), many airlines like job applicants to have some general postsecondary education.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

In most states, airport and other professional drivers must qualify for a commercial driver's license. State motor vehicle departments can provide information on how to qualify for this license. Food service workers are required by law in most states to possess a health certificate and to be examined periodically. These examinations, usually given by the state board of health, make certain that the individual is free from communicable diseases and skin infections. Aircraft fuelers must meet rules and regulations established by the Federal Aviation Administration. They often satisfy these requirements through employer-administered certification.

Other Requirements

Age requirements for these position vary by employer, but most require applicants to be at least 18 to 21 years of age. Workers who drive vehicles and ground equipment need to have a valid driver's license.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

No experience is needed for most airport ground service jobs, but those with prior work experience will increase their chances of landing a job, getting promoted, and possibly earning higher pay.

All ground services workers should have good communication and teamwork skills and be able to work quickly. Baggage handlers and ramp agents must be able to lift heavy baggage, cargo, or equipment, as well as operate machinery. Baggage service agents must have excellent people skills in order to deal with passengers who are angry or frustrated by lost or damaged luggage. Fuelers should have a basic aptitude for machinery and equipment.