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Negotiating Aviation Salaries

Negotiating Salaries:

Successful salary negotiation occurs after the job applicant and the employer share a common understanding of the job and the applicants willingness and ability to do it.

Ideal Salary agreements:
  • Are based on mutual respect
  • Create gain for both parties
  • Lay a firm foundation for a good working relationship

You're ready to negotiate when:

  • You've gathered information about the aviation labor market and you know how much a job like this typically pays
  • You've determined your needs and wants
  • You've gathered sufficient information about the employer, the work, the environment and the people with whom you will be working with
  • You've done all you can to convey your willingness and ability to do the job, and the employer has all the information needed to reach a decision about you
  • Typically, salary negotiation occurs toward the end of the interview or after the applicant receives a job offer from the employer

What is the job worth? 
It is important to remember that the relationship between the employer and the employee is a business relationship. Typically, employers analyze the dollar amount they have invested in employees and forecast the financial return they are likely to receive based on the efforts of the employees.

  • Employers know that new employees usually cost them more than they can expect in productivity. In time, new employees become experienced and more productive. Then the employer eventually breaks even and finally returns a dollar for each dollar of effort
  • Savvy job hunters know how long it will take to bring them up to speed. Their salary demands are based on that knowledge. Also, they coincide salary negotiations with their break-even period.

Gain leverage: 
Postpone salary discussions until you've shown that you are the best candidate for the job.  Mentioning specific sums of money in the preliminary information-gathering stages can eliminate you from the list of potential candidates before you've ha a chance to show what you can do.

  1. Salary question on the applicant form:
    Answer, Negotiable
  2. On a resume:
    Say, Salary is negotiable
  3. At the job interview:
    Let the employer be the first to mention salary.

Wait until you know more about the job and the employer and the employer knows you before you price yourself too low or too high.

It pays to increase your negotiation power
Your negotiating power reflects how much you're in demand. You have more room to negotiate when:

  • You work in a fast-growing field in which there are many job-openings with few skilled people to fill them
  • You can demonstrate unique strengths that few applicants have
  • You have job offers from more than one company, and you let potential employers know that you are in demand
  • You have a job or you have savings reserves to fall back on, and you're not feeling financial or psychological pressure to take the job.

Know your needs
How much salary do you need to support yourself and your family?
- Determine the minimum income you need.
- If the salary offer doesn't cover your needs, you can:

  • Accept the job and moonlight or find other work to supplement the income
  • Walk away from the job offer because the salary is non-negotiable and insufficient
  • Negotiate a higher salary

Know your wants
What extras would you like to afford, beyond the needs? Perhaps you want a better car, an annual vacation abroad or to save for retirement at a faster rate. Determine what salary would let you afford the extras that you want.

If the employer begins discussing salary in the early part of the interview, postpone negotiations by saying something like, Id like to discuss that but could you tell me a little more about the job first, to continue the information-gathering phase.

It pays to gather information about the aviation labor market before you negotiate your salary.

What you need to know:

  • What the job entails. Analyze all the details you've been given by the employer
  • What typical earnings are according to aviation industry standards.
    → See department of Labor statistics at your local city or county government office.
    → Write or telephone trade associations.
    → Take a look at the current Avjobs Salary Information.
    → Ask the reference librarian at your public library.
    → Search the Avjobs job system for comparable jobs.
    → Carry out informational interviews
  • What typical earnings are within the company and how they compare to the rest of the aviation industry.
    Find out the name of the company's closest competitor and ask them what they would pay. Its likely to be similar
  • Find out if there are many other applicants.
    How do they compare with you? This is difficult to investigate but employers will sometimes tell you up-front
  • Find out how long they've been looking for someone to fill the job.
    Employers may mention it in passing.  The longer a position has be vacant, the more an employer may be willing to pay

After you receive a job offer:

  • Is when you have the most negotiating leverage
  • Step back from the situation and evaluate the offer
  • List the pros and cons of accepting the offer as it stands
  • Determine what is acceptable and what could be better
  • In most cases - YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ACCEPT THE OFFER ON THE SPOT.  Mention that you would like to think it over, and provide your answer tomorrow or in the next few days.

Applicants should avoid accepting a salary that they feel is too low, so that they don't feel cheated in the long run.

Making a counteroffer
Many companies and governmental agencies have a published salary scale or range. Salary ranges allow for differences between candidates skills, qualifications and the amount of training they will need. If the job you seek is covered by a salary range your goal is to show that you have the strengths, skills and enthusiasm to merit a salary near the top of the range.

If the salary offer is low, make a counteroffer:

  • Compare it to aviation industry norms
  • Compare it to past work you've done that is similar, for which you were paid more
  • If you have a higher offer from another company, this is the time to mention it.
    Notice that in each case you peg your counteroffer to a real-world example of higher earnings. State your case simply without being arrogant.  Employment is a "2-Way" street.  You can always say "No, Thank you"

If the employer wont raise the starting salary and you still want the job:

  • Ask them to describe the conditions under which they would be willing to pay more
  • Focus on how you can either save the company money or generate more revenue for the company
  • Negotiate a contingency that your salary will be increased in 3 to 6 months if your work meets a certain criterion that you both agree upon. Get it in writing so that you have a record of the agreement in case the person who hires you leaves the company
  • Is there another aspect of the job offer that you can negotiate, besides the salary? For instance, could you have 3 weeks of paid vacation instead of 2 weeks, or maybe more benefits?
Employers need to avoid paying too much, so that they don't feel that the applicant has exploited them and is more of a burden than and asset.

When you accept an offer, do it graciously and get everything in writing.

Successful salary negotiation:

  • Is neither adversarial nor antagonistic. The employer and the applicant are not enemies
  • Gives both the employer and the applicant the feeling that they've won

Happy Holidays from the West High School Aviation Program

Happy Holidays from the West High School Aviation ProgramOne and All,
Each one of you have been part of our Aviation Program, and I have probably forgot as many as I have remembered. Everyone has been so great to the students in the program. Thank you so much to all for making 2011 a very successful year for our students and the  program, and hopes are that we can continue these friendships into the future.
Thanks again, and please check out our attached Holiday card,
J. David Yuskewich M.A. , A&P
Director / Instructor WHS Aircraft Training Center / A&P Mechanic

20 Things That Aviation Employers Consider in applicant interviews

20 Things That Aviation Employers Consider in applicant interviews

If your job search is to be successful then you need an understanding your own goals and needs, to understand those of employers. Below are twenty items that employers consider when interview and hiring:

  1. Communication Skills
  2. Enthusiasm
  3. Motivation
  4. Experience
  5. Education / Training
  6. Career Maturity
  7. Initiative
  8. Marks in School
  9. Listening Skills
  10. Punctuality
  11. Overall Appearance
  12. Assertiveness
  13. Manners
  14. References
  15. Knowledge about the Employer
  16. Sense of Humor
  17. Report Writing Skills
  18. Personality
  19. Ability to resolve conflicts
  20. Leisure Activities

Career Opportunity Structural Engineer

Flightstar Aircraft Services IncFlightstar Aircraft Services, INC is more than a place to work.

Flightstar is an environment and culture that continuously promotes quality workmanship and attention to customer satisfaction in all aspects of the customer experience.

We seek associates who want to make a difference and take pride in their careers. If you or someone you know is interested in pursuing career opportunities in Jacksonville, FL please send your resume to

Flightstar offers a comprehensive suite of maintenance and modification services to support operators of heavy, narrow body aircraft. Currently, we have full tooling capabilities for Bombardier CRJ, B727, DC9, MD80, B737 and B757 aircraft and are working towards including additional airframe capabilities in the near future Maintenance Services . A, B, C, and D checks . Drop-in / Line maintenance . Engine changes / Q.E.C. swaps / C-1 & C-2 fan changes / stage III Modifications Services . Avionics modifications (GPS, TCAS, Windshear, Cockpit standardizations, FDR upgrades) . Fire-Smoke Detection Systems . Structural Modifications and Upgrades . Passenger to Freighter Conversions . Wash, strip and full paint jobs . Fuel tank repairs Operational Specifications . FAA Approved 145 Repair Station . EASA Certified . Limited Airframe- CRJ, B727, DC9, MD80, 737, 757 . Limited Engine JT80, CFM56 . Federal Express Stage III installations . Limited Radio (ATC transponder per FAR 43 appendix F) . Ni-cad batteries . NDT

Flightstar Aircraft Services Inc
6025 Flightline Rd
Jacksonville, FL 32221
United States

Employers are waiting for you!

Employers are waiting for you!

Participating aviation employers want you to apply for jobs.

Top 3 reasons to APPLY, APPLY, APPLY.

#3 - Practice Interviewing.
It is incredibly important to continue to practice your interview skills. And there is NO better way to practice than with an actual job from an actual aviation related employer. Take the opportunity to polish your skills and become comfortable with your ability to answer questions as well as ask them professionally. You should schedule and go on at least 20 interviews to be ready for the job you want.

#2 - Networking.
What better way to network, than with the actual people you are trying to get to? Through the interview, you may find other job opportunities within that company or even with another company. Remember you must go thru one door to get to the next.

#1 - Jackpot.
You never know, it could turn out to be the dream job you never knew about. We have even seen companies use a "Dummy Job" or a "Front Job" to filter out unqualified candidates, when they are actually hiring for other positions that they are not advertising. No matter what, you will gain experience for your next job or career move.

We cannot stress this enough...

We strongly recommend that you APPLY for any job that looks interesting to you. 

Remember, getting a job is a two way street. Many job seekers assume that the employers have the upper hand, and that they have many applicants to choose from. Give yourself the "upper-hand"; apply for as many positions as you possibly can, in the end, you are the one who decides whether you want to take the job.

In a perfect world the three (3) most important things this system should do are...
Your answers to this question are very important; in order to continue to better the system for you and to make sure you are aware of all of the benefits currently available.

These are actual questions and comments provided by active members. In the event you need additional answers please visit the FAQ's page for additional information.Where Employers & Employees Come to Meet!