Is Air Freight/Delivery Services A Good Career Path for Graduates

Image Source: iStock Photo

Is Air Freight/Delivery Services A Good Career Path? Yes, because of the sector’s continuing expansion and demand for labor, air freight transportation services are a highly promising career path.

You might have a basic understanding of what this field is about, but you definitely want to know if it’s a good fit for you before you start making any big plans for your future. 

You’re in the right place for that. In this article, we’ll give you a quick rundown of what freight/delivery services are all about and what you can expect from a career in this crucial field.

So, let’s start with the basics!

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What are Air Freight/Delivery Services?

Air Freight/delivery services are the transportation of large items, commodities, goods, or any bulk products from one destination to another through the air.

Source: Istockphoto – Flight of the big cargo airliner in sunny daytime.

They can range from charter to commercial. Air freight is the common way of moving freight around the world quickly.

However, it can be more costly than other modes of shipping.  Air shipping commonly transports consumer durables, technology products, medical supplies, and non-durable goods like agricultural products.

Further, air cargo transports over $6 trillion worth of goods annually according to IATA. This accounts for 35% of world trade by value.

So air freight delivery is an important part of the transportation industry.

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Examples of Freight/Delivery Services

Many businesses worldwide have air freight shipping services as part of the core of their operations. 

We’re talking about both big and small construction, pharmaceuticals, and entertainment companies.  

However, the following are different types of air freight you’ll see in this industry: 

Air Parcel

Most airline companies ship cargo on passenger planes. An average passenger plane can move a freight volume of 2 semitrailer trucks, apart from passengers on board.

So passenger airlines like Delta, American Airlines, or Southwest can offer space for sale in the luggage compartment.

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All-Cargo Planes

Source: Istockphoto

Air cargo aircraft is the most popular way to ship freight across the airway. An air cargo plane is built to maximize spaces for freight. They also come in different sizes and do not transport people.

However, the largest cargo plane can move up to 26,000 cubic feet of large, heavy freight.

The following are some of the jobs you can get in air cargo;

  • Cargo operations officer
  • Cargo Handler
  • Air cargo warehouse supervisor
  • Warehouse worker
  • Mail/Cargo Agent
  • Air freight warehouse worker
  • Export operations specialist
  • Freight logistics operator

Charter Aircraft

Some companies use charter aircraft for urgent shipments. Air freight/delivery companies dedicate such airplanes to the need of the shipper.

However, an air charter is usually more expensive. So the most common industry that uses air charter is film and entertainment, mining and energy, pharmaceutical and medical, and other sectors with quick shipment needs.

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Integrated Express Carrier

Integrated express carriers help get shipments to and from the airport. Examples of integrated carriers are DHL, UPS, and FedEx. They transport shipments from pick-up locations and drop-off locations.

Is Air Freight/Delivery Services A Good Career Path

Yes, but it depends on who you ask and the career goals of that individual. Air Freight/Delivery Services is a rewarding and booming industry.

There’s an increase in international trade, so the air freight/delivery services are growing. As a result, businesses can easily reach countries that produce cheaper goods.

Also, with the increase in online trade and goods flying across regions of the world, different jobs are created in the process.   

So, there are many benefits that make air freight/delivery services a good career path and we’ll discuss them below;

What are the Benefits of Working in Freight/Delivery Services?

Learn New Cultures

The air freight delivery service is a rewarding career for people who love traveling and meeting new people. They enjoy the excitement of talking to people from different places.

Also, this helps them to learn about the unique logistics challenges in their country or region.

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What are the Benefits of Working in Freight/Delivery Services? Variety of Experience

In air freight delivery services, every day is different. So, you never know what to expect. There can be a pandemic in China that puts all shipments on hold or a strike in South America.

As a result, you can’t be bored in this industry because some days can be stressful and some days can be relaxed.  

Growing Business Environment

There’s an increase in international trade, so the transportation business is growing. As a result, businesses can easily reach countries that produce cheaper goods.

So, there are larger and larger container shipping and continuous innovations in technology. And this leads us to the next benefit of the air freight delivery services career path.

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Variety in Potential Future Jobs

Working in air freight delivery services can open the door to many different industries and positions.

You can explore importing or exporting companies, manufacturers, shipping lines, and supply-chain consulting.

What are the Benefits of Working in Freight/Delivery Services? Travel Opportunity

Some Air freight/delivery jobs like air freight pilot are jobs that require travel. If you love the idea of flying across regions and countries, then air freight/delivery services could be a good career path for you.

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What are the Job Prospects for Air Freight/Delivery Services?

Logistics is not a field that many people are regularly thinking of. But the fact of the matter is, that it’s an industry that plays a huge role in the U.S. economy.

For example, nearly 20 billion tons of goods worth almost $19 trillion were moved on U.S. transportation in 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation

It is projected that total freight will reach 27 billion tons by 2045, while the value is expected to grow to $38 trillion, showing the sheer magnitude of this important, yet often overlooked, industry.

Employment opportunities in air freight/delivery services are projected to grow by 15% between 2016 and 2026 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Further, the above rate is expected to be faster than average job growth.

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Is Air Freight/Delivery Services A Good Career Path: How Much Can You Make From  Air Freight/Delivery Services?

What you can make in the Air Freight/Delivery Services vary by job role and company. For instance, Operation Managers make between $44k to $92k per year.

Similarly, Operations Supervisors can make a range of $34k to $91k with an average salary of $63,799. 

In addition, the General / Operations Manager’s salary range is between $40k to $105k with an average salary of $50,868. 

Further, the average salary of an Airline Freight Forwarder is $41000 per year.

For Air Freight Coordinator, top earners make $57,500. Those in the 75th Percentile make $51,500 while those in the 25th Percentile make $36,500.

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7 Highly Paid Freight/Delivery Services Career Paths for Graduates

1. Aircraft Load Master

An aircraft loadmaster is responsible for supervising the loading and unloading of cargo, vehicles, and people on a variety of aircraft.

So, a loadmaster’s duties include

  • Mathematically preplanning the correct placement of the load on the airplane
  • Providing passenger comfort and safety
  • securing cargo and taking part in airdrop operations

If you want to become an aircraft loadmaster, then you must meet certain eligibility criteria.

For example, you must be a high school graduate or have an equivalent qualification. Secondly, you must be able to lift 70 pounds or more.

The salaries of Aircraft Loadmasters in the US range from $21,520 to $75,630, with a median salary of $45,470.

However, the middle 50% of Aircraft Loadmasters make between $45,470 and $52,790, with the top 83% making $75,630.

2. Airline Cargo Representative

An Airline cargo representative plans logistical transportation details with shipping companies and airlines.

You’ll also negotiate shipping costs with freight company vendors. In addition, you’ll communicate with vendors regarding claims and payment adjustments.

Further, your duties include managing and assisting with cargo loading processes. You might need a college degree to become an airline cargo representative.

However, it’s possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED. You can also get some post-secondary training, but you can also enter the career and gain experience and skills on the job.

The average salary for a cargo agent is $20.18 per hour in the United States and $4,875 overtime per year. This is based on 798 salaries reported, in 2022 on

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3. Airline Freight Forwarder

An air freight forwarder is an expert in moving freight by air on either passenger aircraft or specially designed cargo aircraft.

This is a position that requires a better understanding of the intricacies of air freight.

In addition, you’ll need to create a relationship with the TSA, and, in many cases, provide better air rates.

If you want to become an Airline Freight Forwarder, you’ll need to have at least a basic understanding of client relations and customer care in the air freight forwarding industry.

You should also get some training on how to use computer software systems that are used for international and domestic air logistics.

In addition to these skills, you might need to gain some type of higher education such as a bachelor’s degree.

However, you can qualify if you have a sufficient amount of previous work experience in the air freight forwarding field.

The average freight forwarder salary in the USA is $46,800 per year or $24 per hour.

Entry-level positions start at $35,100 per year while most experienced workers make up to $62,125 per year.

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4. Director of Flight Operations

A director of flight operations creates budgets and monitors costs. In addition, transportation operations directors may supervise mid-level managers and logistics specialists.

Other duties of a director of flight operations can include personnel evaluations, resolving staff issues, and leading conferences, seminars, and meetings.

To qualify for a flight director of operations, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field.

In addition, you may need a professional engineering license and voluntary certifications

The national average salary for a Freight Operations Manager is $72,266 per year in the United States according to Glassdoor

5. Supply Chain Manager

The Supply Chain Manager coordinates organize and oversee all activities involved in the identification, acquisition, production, and distribution of a  company’s goods.

The average Supply Chain Manager salary in the United States is  $118,818 as of August 29, 2022.  However, the range typically falls between $104,390 and $135,395 according to

6. Weights and Measures Inspector

Weights and measures inspector inspects the weight of packages or other consumer goods on a tractor-trailer or other hauling vehicle.

So, your job as a weights and measures inspector is to take random samples of cargo and weigh and measure the packages as they travel to a store or other location.

To measure the weights of large vehicles and their loads, you must have equipment skills.

The salary range of weights and measure inspectors is $25,000 to $65,000 per year according to Ziprecruiter

7. Freight Broker

A freight broker is a middleman who connects shippers and carriers. In addition, this broker enables contact between the shipper and the carrier rather than assuming custody of the freight.

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What is freight delivery?

Freight delivery is the transportation of large items, commodities, goods, or any bulk products from one destination to another.

What is the meaning of freight services?

Freight services are the transportation of goods, or any bulk products from one destination to another via land, sea, or air.

What is the best way to ship freight?

Ground shipping, or moving freight in a tractor-trailer, is the most common way to ship large boxes within the United States (e.g. UPS Ground or FedEx ground). Trucks transport more than half of all freight in the United States. Advantages: Ground shipping is more flexible than other modes of transportation.

What is the service name for urgent freight delivery?

Expedited freight delivery service

Expedited freight delivery is used for urgent shipments and majorly involves a combination of truck and air.

How is freight delivered?

Freight can be delivered via air, land, or sea.


Is Air Freight/Delivery Services A Good Career Path? Most certainly a career in Air Freight/ Delivery Services is really a good career path.

Air Freight/Delivery Services is a rewarding and booming industry. A career in Freight/Delivery Services can be challenging and also rewarding. Most managerial and supervisory roles pay pretty well than other careers.

However, you can get some junior-level roles even without a college degree. With these roles, you can gain some experiences that’ll get you into better roles.



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