Career Pathways

Airport Operations Specialist


Airport Operations Specialists are the people who manage all aspects of Canada’s airports; from the smaller rural airport to large facilities such as Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Once someone is trained in the fundamentals of airport operations management, there are all kinds of career options open to them. According to Transport Canada, Airport Operations Specialists have a broad training in aviation operations, business management and human resources. They tend to pursue careers in airspace management, wildlife control, runway operations, airport management, firefighting and emergency response, and security, among many others.

How to Learn

Many community colleges across Canada offer airport operations specialist courses, at varying fee rates and program time lengths. A high school diploma is a must for all applicants.

Some universities offer airport operations training courses. For a list of programs in this field, see Canadian University Studies.

Advancement into airport operations management positions may require the applicant to gain further qualifications.

Employment Prospects

With Baby Boomers retiring and the industry booming, good prospects in the airport operations sector appear promising, and likely to stay this way for the foreseeable future.

Salary Prospects

According to, the average salary for Airport Operations-related jobs is $53,976 per year or $28 per hour. Entry level positions start at $38,000 while most experienced workers make up to $76,000.

Students considering this career would be wise to check with their local colleges as to the range of salaries in the communities they wish to work in.


The cost to become an entry-level Airport Operation Specialist will depend on the tuition and related expenses at the community college/university a student wishes to attend, plus their living costs. Students are advised to ask for specific costing information at the college/university of their choice.

As with most community college/university programs in Canada, students may be able to obtain loans and grants from their respective provincial and territorial governments.

Need More Information?

For more information have a look at Transport Canada’s job site as well as the Colleges and Institutes Canada. Canada Student Loans and Grants also provides links to student loan/grant programs across Canada.

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