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How Do I Become an Operations Agent?

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  • Written By: D. Nelson
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 05 December 2014
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Operations agents are individuals who are responsible for overseeing all operations that occur in airports. Some common duties of operations agents include tracking passengers to make sure that they are all accounted for and on their correct flights, to track luggage to ensure that all pieces arrive at their correct locations, and to supervise factors such as the amount of fuel in planes prior to take off. Individuals who become operations agents tend to have a strong understanding of all regulations and laws regarding air travel and are able to ensure that all of an airport's operations are in compliance.

To become an operations agent, it is almost always essential to have an undergraduate degree in a field such as business administration with a concentration in airport management. Graduate degrees might be required by some employers for agent positions at larger airports. A person who wants to become an operations agent should also get a number of years of experience working in airports, have excellent communication skills, and should be able to multitask, especially in potentially stressful situations.

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An individual who would like to become an operations agent should plan on earning an undergraduate degree in a field such as business administration or management. Unlike managers in other areas of business, however, an operations agent must have a strong understanding of rules and regulations related to air travel. In the United States, for example, aspiring operations agents should be familiar with regulations dictated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). If you do not have the opportunity to learn about relevant regulations while studying for your college degree, it might be necessary to take courses in a vocational or technical program so you can earn sufficient certification.

It is also important that a person who would like to become an operations agent gets at least three years of experience working entry level positions in an airport. While a person might have an intellectual understanding of what it takes to become an operations agent, it is important to remember that the real world application of important principles is a different matter. Participating in the scheduling of flights, dealing with frustrated passengers, and orchestrating the operations of pilots and technicians can be difficult and stressful responsibilities, especially during holidays when flight volumes are high.

A person who wants to become an operations agent should also keep in mind that there is a difference between working in small airports versus large, international airports. Job descriptions might look similar on paper, though actual operations can differ considerably when it comes to levels of work and responsibility. Likewise, employers at large facilities often require that job candidates have greater levels of preparation.

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