Aviation Internships: Top 5 Companies and Tips

Other · 9 min read · Dec 02, 2022
aviation internships

Internships in the aerospace industry are exceptionally sought-after. They provide an invaluable opportunity to gain first-hand experience in a field of your choosing. Whether it be airport management, human resources, air traffic control or even business aviation. All sections of the desired job positions can be explored in a limited-time, paid or unpaid internship.

Any given internship program will most certainly equip a trainee with relevant skills. The chosen department allows all students to put their knowledge to good use and gain practical as well as professional abilities. Figuring out the ins and outs of a specific area of aviation from experienced mentors is an unmissable opportunity. Interns get to see first-hand what their dream job entails and make a well-informed decision about their future.

The few months spent learning in a work environment also helps students build competitive resumes. In the current job market it is not enough to have finished a prestigious educational institution. Employers expect more from their possible employees. A student’s passion and motivation need to be reflected in their CV.

Aviation internships: people discussing their tasks with internship manager.

Perks of aviation internship opportunities

There is no better way to build a stellar resume than having completed an internship. Taking on a traineeship and fulfilling the job showcases motivation and desire for improvement. The internship supervisor will also most likely write a letter of recommendation. This boosts students’ chances of getting hired in aviation. Even without a formal letter, the skills gained are precious additions in any CV.

As if all of these perks are not enough, the arguably most important reason to make use of internship opportunities is the professional growth. Getting to experience the work environment, office hours, meetings and generally participating in the life of an office provides the student with the an idea of professionalism.

Also, participating in a work environment helps foster important and possibly life-long connections with field experts. Making a good impression on your mentor and other staff members will make them remember you. This might facilitate a potential job offer or a referral to another position. Starting to form the professional network early in the career provides an important head-start.

As is evident from the many various advantages, taking up an internship position is extremely valuable for aviation students. The traineeship provides the necessary skills, a competitive resume and a career network.

A woman taking notes on paper.

Current top 5 internship opportunities in aviation

Many US airlines and aviation organizations offer valuable internship programs for aviation students. It is important to choose the position wisely. Choosing the right company out of all the possible options can get tricky. To simplify this process here is a top 5 list of the very best opportunities for aviation traineeship.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

San Francisco International Airport, also known as the largest airport in the Bay Area, has a well developed internship program and takes on approximately 100 interns a year. Only students who are enrolled in an academic institution and who have completed at least half their studies can be admitted.

At SFO interns work full time at sections assigned specifically for them. The trainees get to learn directly from a mentor. This way the interns gain valuable experience and knowledge straight from the source. The tasks for trainees vary from producing daily social media content to assisting in large-scale projects.

The internship offer is only for the summer, reserved for those who want to work full-time. This opportunity is paid, SFO offers an hourly-rate payment for all of its interns. A perfect position for students who want to take a closer look at the aviation industry.

Two pilots controlling an airplane.


Delta Air Lines is an Atlanta-based airline which offers internship opportunities for aspiring commercial pilots. The company provides a hands-on experience both through individual assignments and team-based projects. This internship includes special privileges, such as participating in job shadow and even standby travel (only with Delta airlines).

However, this is unsurprisingly a very coveted position. Only the best candidates are recruited. The requirements for admission include being enrolled in an accredited college with a major in the aviation discipline and having a competitive GPA.

The company outlines several characteristics for their potential interns, which include dependability, excellent communicative abilities and fast problem solving skills. The internship starts during the fall semester and is paid. This position should interest those who wish to become pilots.


Exelon is an American energy company situated in Chicago. Its aviation department is looking for aviation students to participate in their paid summer internship program. The company highlights that each student’s abilities and classroom knowledge will be put to practical use.

But the trainees will also expand their knowledge by getting acquainted with completely new and exciting working environments. The energy company is looking for creative and analytical minds, which are not afraid to take on responsibility and display leadership qualities. Exelon promises to provide the tools needed for a successful career. The company is a perfect starting point for aspiring aviation specialists.


Federal Aviation Administration offers an Aviation Development Program which specializes in hiring under-represented individuals. The administration offers people with disabilities an opportunity to learn valuable skills in a certain aviation field. The trainees get to acquaint themselves with the aerospace industry.

The goal of the program is to give marginalized people the tools to get hired in important job positions. The opportunity also comes with additional perks, because trainees get paid for their work. An exceptional trainee has the possibility to become an air traffic control specialist.

Republic Airways Holdings Inc.

Republic Airways Holdings Inc. prides itself for being one of the largest regional airlines in the US. The company offers great internship opportunities in Indianapolis. The selected trainee will be able to test their abilities in a department of their choosing.

The company offers a wide selection of departments. Among them are Flight Operations, HR, Aviation Management and Safety. The interns will be offered many educationally relevant work assignments that fit their goals and help with their career development. Republic Airways highlights that they aim to create a mutually beneficial arrangement.

The intern gains valuable knowledge in the field, while the company gets to promote their unique culture. The interns not only get paid, but are also offered a housing stipend.

Special addition – FAA volunteer service program

An honorable mention goes to the FAA volunteer service program. Although it is not technically an internship and is unpaid, it offers secondary education students to experience what it is like to take up an internship.

A person wearing a volunteer shirt is taking pictures.

Federal Aviation Administration has a special volunteer program that accepts students studying in an educational institution, in other words technical or vocational students. The program takes place in many different states but accepts only US citizens.

The volunteer program is unpaid, but it offers beneficial experience in various fields of aviation, including business aviation. This position is for driven individuals who seek a head-start on their future career.

This selective list showcases the best internship positions US aviation industry has to offer. It has something for everyone, whether the intern wants to work in the summer or fall, part-time or full-time. Only thing left to do is to star applying.

Tips for aspiring interns

To maximize the chances of admission to an aviation traineeship, it is important to prepare beforehand. Every intern to-be needs to be aware of the four most important aspects of the application for an internship.

A person taking notes on a paper notebook.

1. Carefully look through the job description

It is vital to be completely certain that the position aligns with your needs. To extract the most out of a given internship it is important that the offered position is a good fit specifically for you. Make sure that the proposed tasks are manageable and evoke a passion in you.

The outlined skills that you will learn need to be something you strive for and wish to have in your resume. Another important point is to check whether the job’s hours seem reasonable. Apply only for the internships that tick all the boxes.

2. Ensure that your resume is up-to-date

A CV on a table.

After finding the position that perfectly aligns with your needs, re-examine your own CV. There are a few useful options on the internet that help make your CV stand out. Be absolutely certain that your life description is neatly and coherently presented. The most important information has to immediately catch the eye.

Evaluate your resume as if you were the company hiring. Check whether you have listed the skills and characteristics that the internship requires. Make yourself stand out by sending a motivational letter together with your CV. Outline why you should be chosen for this specific position and why you desire to work for the particular company. Make it impossible for them not to hire you.

3. Prepare for the interview

Doing your homework is essential to a successful interview. Do research on the company that you are applying for. Know exactly what they do, what new developments occurred and what new projects have been taken up by the organization. Be present in the interview, prepare some questions that you have for the firm.

This will make you look engaged and motivated. Do not forget to go over the questions that might be presented to you. Be prepared to answer why you decided to take up an internship, why the specific job position interests you. Making a good first impression can never be underestimated.

A woman is listening to her internship manager for feedback.

4. Show initiative

To make a lasting impression go the extra mile and learn about the specific area you want to be working in. Being knowledgeable about the subject will definitely improve your chances of getting the position you want.

There are a few options on the internet that offer free-of-charge courses on specific areas of aviation. Aeroclass has an extensive selection of free webinars and Expert Talks. These are available simply by registering to the site. If you want to impress the recruiters take a look at expert talks ranging from aviation sales to air cargo.

A person studying on a laptop.

An Expert Talk with Rui Castro e Quadros

If you are planning on exploring the sales department, get acquainted with the subject with the help of an expert in the field. Rui Castro e Quadros, a specialist in the field of airline business and commerce, has a class on airlines sales strategies.

Having 25 years of experience, he offers indispensable insights on the topic of sales in aviation. Rui shares his thoughts on what changes need to be made in airline strategy to obtain better results. For those striving to get an internship in the field, having some innovative sales strategies in your arsenal wouldn’t hurt.

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A chat with Aleks Popovich

If you wish to be part of the aerospace industry’s IT department, Aeroclass has just the right course. Listen to Aleks Popovich, an expert with 30 years of experience in the IT department of British Airlines. In the course, the instructor presents his impressive career and the challenges he’s had along the way.

The instructor also speaks on the important role that digital transformation plays in aviation. Learning from an instructor with such a long-lasting career will surely be beneficial for aviation geeks interested in computer science.

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An Expert Talk with a crisis control and prevention specialist: Hector Sandoval

For those seeking a career in aviation safety, the talk of a crisis manager Hector Sandoval would be helpful. He shares his hand-on experience of dealing with the aftermath of a fatal accident.

The instructor emphasizes the importance of preparing for a crisis meticulously and in advance. Quoting Hector’s ideas in an interview for the aviation safety department will make a lasting impression on the recruiters.

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Listen to an air cargo expert: James Wyatt

Even the most niche aspects of aviation are covered in the educational courses. For instance, if you want to know more about air cargo look no further. James Wyatt, the creator of his own air cargo company, shares his expertise.

Having established an air cargo support, consulting and training company, James is an excellent source of information in this specific area. In the speech, the instructor explains the importance that air cargo bears on people’s lives today. Learn about this subject and show just how in-depth your knowledge is about aviation.

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A Free webinar on the aviation oil crisis

Being up-to-date with the latest developments in aviation is an essential element in getting hired. In order to understand how global crises affect the industry take a look at a course focusing on the oil price impact on aviation. The talk consists of a discussion between four leading experts Aleks Popovich, Chris Tarry, Anders Ludvigsson and Gytis Gumuliauskas.

They consider the effects that the Russian aggression has had on aircraft fuel, utilization and flying frequencies. Knowing what influence the current geopolitical and economical changes have on aviation is an excellent way of showing your passion for and understanding of the subject.

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Closing thoughts

Completing an aviation internship is a crucial step in launching your career in aviation. The effort that a student puts into their application and their dedicated work will never go unnoticed. Being motivated, driven and taking advantage of the opportunities presented to you will most definitely lead to a successful career.

The skills gained in a traineeship, the embellishment of the resume and the professional connections will open many doors. Assess the practical application of your knowledge and make sure that your dream profession is the right fit for you.

The earlier you make a decision on what career path to take, the more successful you will become. Applying for an aviation internship means taking control of your future career. So start thinking about your career now and look for the internships offered near you.

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Jet pilot @NASA

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