Start your aviation career in Hertsmere at Elstree Aerodrome

Inspiring the next generation in aviation

As the last licensed airfield in Hertfordshire and a local employer, Elstree Aerodrome is an ideal place to explore a career in aviation. With a wide range of roles open to all abilities, both on the ground and in the air, we're keen to engage and retain top talent in Hertsmere. Let us inspire you to become the future of flight. 

School's Projects - The Air League

We work very closely with The Air League, the UK's leading aviation and aerospace charity on a mission to inspire young people by awarding scholarships and work opportunities in aviation.

Soaring to Success® is a careers enrichment programme that bridges the gap between education and industry. The programme aims to inspire, enable, and support the next generation to consider a career within aviation and aerospace. It also works hard to improve social mobility through the inspiration and realisation that opportunities within aviation are accessible and achievable to anyone.

Their next virtual conference runs from 21st to 24th November 2022. Download this flyer and register your school or organisation via the form at the bottom of the Soaring to Success® page.

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School's Projects - The Aviatrix Project


We have also been in close touch with Kanchana Gamage, Founder & Director of The Aviatrix Project, dedicated to ensuring women and girls have ample opportunities to achieve their aviation career dreams.


Being supported by female role models was key to her success and enjoyment whilst learning to fly, so one of the main aims of this project is to raise the aspirations of young girls and to promote aviation as an exciting and accessible career choice.

With well over 100 volunteers, The Aviatrix Project visit primary and secondary schools, colleges and youth and community groups to inspire all genders in KS3, 4 and 5 workshops and Careers sessions. Please get in touch directly.

In 2022, their Taster Flights & Experiences returned to help over 50 passionate young aviators either take a taster flight or experience a 737 simulator. 


Follow The Aviatrix Project on Instagram to be the first to hear about their future opportunities, and in the meantime, learn more about Kanchana's aviation career journey on this special Women In Aviation edition of the Plane Talking Podcast.

Real Aviation Career Stories

Frequently Asked Questions - Careers in Aviation

What are the career opportunities within the aviation sector? 

  • Aircraft Maintenance/Engineer 

  • Ground Crew, Airfield Operations and Logistics

  • Commercial Pilots

  • Flight Instructors

  • FISO (Flight Information Service Officer) & Air Traffic Control

  • Cabin Crew

  • Emergency and Rescue Services

  • Military Roles

  • Plus many more auxiliary roles allowing Elstree Aerodrome to operate 24/7, 365 days a year

What are the education pathways? 

  • On the ground 

    • From school to vocational studies leading to full licences courses like AME (Aircraft Maintenance Engineer), ATC (Air Traffic Controller), Flight Dispatcher, Aviation Meteorologist, Flight Operations Engineer, Flight Simulation Engineer etc.  

    • From school to academic studies leading to be an aerospace engineer, flight test engineer, avionics engineer (enquire with Elstree Aviation about their apprenticeship scheme in partnership with Brunel University).  

  • In the air 

    • Pilot (Aeroplane & Helicopter) – Commercial, Airline, Business, Crop spraying, Air Ambulance, Police, Coast Guard, Military, Surveying etc.  

    • Cabin Crew 

What skills/ education/ qualifications do you need? 

  • ​Do I need AAA in A-levels to be a Pilot/Engineer? 

    • A good level of Maths, Physics and English is recommended.  

  • Do you need to be an expert in Mathematics to be a Pilot/Engineer?  

    • No. However, a good fundamental understanding always helps. 

How can Elstree Aerodrome help? 

  • We're a growing aerodrome & heliport with plenty of opportunities including future flight feasibility, developing sustainable operations, plus management, FISOs, flight training, ground crew, maintenance and engineering and consultancy work.

  • We always advise schools to contact The Air League to engage students in a future aviation career. For individuals, why not come to see us at Elstree Aerodrome - our cafe is open 7 days a week where you'll find pilots, engineers and aviation enthusiasts, or pop your head into one of the aircraft maintenance hangars or flying schools on site to have a chat. Take a look at the list of resident aviation businesses at Elstree Aerodrome here.

Where could a career in aviation take me? ​

  • Common roles including Flight Instructor, Corporate/Business Pilot, Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, Air Traffic Controller, Ground Handling, Flight Navigator, Flight Dispatcher, Aviation Meteorologist  

  • With big name employers including Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, MBDA, BAE Systems, Leonardo, Safran, easyJet, Ryanair

  • Across the world with employers in the USA, EU countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand 

  • Working on exciting future growth opportunities (i.e. VTOL, green flight, aerospace etc)  


How long will it take to get an aviation qualification (Pilot, Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, ATC)? 

  • The simple answer is it depends on you on how much you put in. However, typically a CPL (Commercial Pilot License) will take around 18-24 months. A typical AME (Aircraft Maintenance License) will take around 24 months and a typical FULL ATC will take around 60 months. 


What are the costs associated with a career in aviation? 

  • How much does it cost to be Pilot/Aircraft Engineer?  

    • Private Pilot License – around £12,000 

    • Commercial Pilot License – around £60,000 to £12,0000 

    • Aircraft Maintenance Engineer - speak to Paul Murphy at Elstree Aviation to ask about his Apprentice scheme with Brunel University

  • Is there a grant for living costs while studying?  

    • Unfortunately, no. However, many employers offer an incentive to make your training less financially burdening.  

  • Is there a student loan (through student finance) for Pilot Training/Aircraft Engineering?  

  • Unfortunately, not

  • How much do you get paid while at internship/placement? How much you get paid once you become a Pilot/Engineer?  

  • Varies from employer to employer around £15,000-£22,000. 

  • What happens if I do not complete the course? Will you pay the fees back? 

  • As such these are vocational qualifications, you will not be able to transfer the credits to any academic qualification. However, please ask the relevant training/employer for more information.  

  • Do I have to buy a new laptop/PC for studying engineering/Piloting subjects? 

  • Not really, you will simply need a standard PC/laptop. 

  • Do you have on-campus accommodation? 

  • Some employers offer accommodation, and it might vary on where you are being trained in the country. 


What skills will you learn and what’s involved? 

  • Hard Skills: Mechanical, Electrical, Flying, Aviation Radio Telephony Communication. 

  • Soft Skills: Leadership, Communication, Time Management, Teamwork, working under tight deadlines and pressure. 

  • Requires flexibility to spend abroad working, training, internships & placements: 

  • Minimum of time commitment around 2 years and willing to travel within the UK and abroad. 

  • Length of a working day etc. 

  • A minimum of 2-4 hours to a maximum of 12 hours.