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Job Vacancies at Heathrow Airport: How to Find Current Vacancies at Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport, the busiest airport in the world, is one of the UK's biggest employers, with over 80,000 people currently working within the perimeter fences.

Employment opportunities are still growing with Terminal 5 adding about 16,000 new airport jobs, and the planned third runway is expected to yield another 65,000 jobs.

Over half the staff working at Heathrow live in the locality of five London boroughs. As transport connections to the airport are excellent, it is easy for people from far further afield to work there as well.

In this article we look at the various types of job vacancies at Heathrow Airport, another article focuses on the Current Vacancies at Heathrow Airport.

You'll need to put together a great CV to win an employer's attention. If you would like to improve your CV, then a professional CV from Bradley CVs can make a massive difference to your chances of winning interviews and landing a job at Heathrow Airport.

Who are the Employers at Heathrow Airport?

Over three hundred companies employ people within the airport perimeter fence. The range of jobs is enormous, as in some ways an airport resembles a city in its own right, with every aspect of life catered for.

The most obvious jobs are those connected with airline services, but there are many others that are less obvious, such as civil engineers, project managers, accountants, lawyers, IT technicians, etc. On the whole, jobs fall into the following categories.

  • British Airports Authority. BAA handles all aspects of the airport management and construction, engineering and maintenance, technical systems, operational planning, health and safety, facilities, etc, as well as the usual departments needed by a large employer, such as human resources, finance, accounts, communications, etc.
  • Airlines and their subsidiary agents. Ground services, including customer service and check in desks, flight and cabin crew, administration and engineering.
  • Construction and maintenance. Besides BAA, many jobs relating to the construction of new facilities and maintenance of existing facilities, including the terminals, taxiways and runways, is handled by specialist subcontractors.
  • Logistics (including cargo and freight). The operation of baggage vehicles, conveyors, fork lifts and other freight handling equipment, is usually undertaken by subcontracting companies. Some service passenger airlines, while others focus on specialist freight.
  • Retail and catering. These landside jobs are visible within the terminals, where millions of passengers both shop and consume refreshments at outlets run by independent retail and catering chains. Other specialist companies provide the airline meals served to passengers.
  • Hotels. The airport hotels are run separately and each requires a full complement of service staff.
  • Ground transport companies. From BAA's company the Heathrow Express, running from Paddington station, to the car rental, bus and coach companies, and car parks, there are many jobs involving transportation of passengers and visitors.
  • Other jobs. It is impossible to cover every aspect of the Heathrow operation, but there are other contractors constantly covering tasks such as pest control.

Personal qualities required for jobs at Heathrow Airport

How likely are you to find job vacancies at Heathrow Airport? With so many jobs available, all levels of training and education, as well as most career stages, is represented in the job requirements. The experience, skills and qualities you need reflect the type of work you wish to do. For skilled professional work, such as engineering, requirements for jobs will be very much on a level with similar positions in the employment marketplace outside the airport.

It is possible to make some general comments, however, on certain areas. If you are aiming to work in a customer-facing role on the 'landside' (i.e. not as cabin crew), then you need to have the qualities that go with such work in a hectic, busy environment with customers who are frequently under pressure. You will need to be calm, patient, pleasant and helpful. The better able you are to get on with people from different backgrounds, the higher your chances of gaining a good job.

In many jobs, you can expect to work shifts, as airport facilities and services are frequently open around the clock or for much longer hours.

Sample job vacancies at Heathrow Airport

Here, we look at some sample jobs from both the airport's flight side and landside operations.

Flight Crew

  • Airline Pilot. Most aircraft have between two and four pilots, depending on flight length and size of aircraft. Pilots are employed by the airlines and have to undergo extremely rigorous training.
  • Cabin Crew. Flight attendants ensure the safety, security and comfort of passengers throughout the flight. This requires a very high level of involvement with the public and extremely variable hours.

Flight Logistics

  • Baggage Handler. Priorities in this area of work are safety, security and speed. Luggage needs to be loaded and unloaded efficiently around the clock. You can be employed by the airports, airlines or specialist contractors.
  • Load Planning Officer. This supervisory role involves overseeing the loading of the plane efficiently, including balancing out the load of passengers and cargo. Training takes place in the working environment and involves NVQs.
  • Check In Staff. This team checks in passengers and their luggage, examining documentation, passports and tickets, assigning seats and dealing with queries. Airlines usually provide their own training.
  • Air Traffic Controller. This team ensures the safe movement of airborne and taxiing aircraft. A high level of training and personal aptitude is required.
  • Flight Operators Officer. These managers and officers are responsible for bringing together all information and data affecting the airport's operation, including flight data and weather information.

Security jobs at Heathrow and safety jobs

  • Security Officer. This team oversees the security of the airport, passengers and flights, particularly against the threat of terrorism. Special training is needed in the form of a security guard licence.
  • Fire Officer. This role involves a high level of training, being similar to the same job elsewhere, but involving the fire risk to aircraft as well.

Catering jobs

  • Fast Food Service Assistant. As in any fast food outlet, this role involves customer service and an amount of food preparation. There are many such outlets at Heathrow.

Building and Construction

  • Civil Engineer. There is always a need for engineers due to the ongoing expansion of the airport. This is usually a project role on a contract basis.
  • Aerospace Engineers. Working on aircraft maintenance and repair, engineers are usually employed by the airline companies. This work requires a high level of training.
  • Dry Liner. As buildings are constructed, expanded or remodelled, dry liners install suspended ceilings and partitions using plasterboard.

Other jobs at Heathrow Airport

  • Cleaner. This role is fairly self-explanatory, although exact duties will depend on the subcontractor you work for. Heavy floor cleaning equipment may be needed for terminal work, while aircraft cleaners must work quickly between landings and departures.
  • Drivers. Chauffeurs are required for VIP and high-profile clients, driving, maintaining and cleaning cars. Local companies usually employ these staff. Good knowledge of the city is needed, plus willingness to work shifts.

Training Opportunities

At Heathrow, BAA supports the local communities by providing training opportunities for local jobseekers and young people in its specialist training centre. Workers are trained with nationally recognised qualifications, gaining skills and improving their career prospects. Trainees are recruited at annual apprenticeship fairs.

One example is the Retail Academy, which runs the retail apprenticeship for staff under the age of 25, leading to a City and Guilds accredited qualification in retail operations and people management. Those who have completed the training are mostly recruited by the many retail outlets at the airport.

A Great CV for Job Vacancies at Heathrow Airport

To win a job at Heathrow Airport, you'll need to put together a great CV, so that you can beat all the other applicants. If you need help improving your CV, then you might want to use professional CV writers like Bradley CVs who can transform your CV and maximise your chances of landing the interviews you need at Heathrow Airport.

Current vacancies at Heathrow Airport

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