Industries at a Glance

Air Transportation: NAICS 481

On This Page

About the Air Transportation subsector

The air transportation subsector is part of the transportation and warehousing sector.

Industries in the Air Transportation subsector provide air transportation of passengers and/or cargo using aircraft, such as airplanes and helicopters. The subsector distinguishes scheduled from nonscheduled air transportation. Scheduled air carriers fly regular routes on regular schedules and operate even if flights are only partially loaded. Nonscheduled carriers often operate during nonpeak time slots at busy airports. These establishments have more flexibility with respect to choice of airport, hours of operation, load factors, and similar operational characteristics. Nonscheduled carriers provide chartered air transportation of passengers, cargo, or specialty flying services. Specialty flying services establishments use general-purpose aircraft to provide a variety of specialized flying services.

North American Industry Classification System

The air transportation subsector consists of these industry groups:

Workforce Statistics

This section provides information relating to employment in air transportation. These data are obtained from employer or establishment surveys. The following tables present an overview of the industry including the number of jobs, data for occupations common to the industry, and projections of occupational employment change.

Employment

Data series Back
data
Jan.
2015
Feb.
2015
Mar.
2015
Apr.
2015

Employment (in thousands)

Employment, all employees (seasonally adjusted)

Jump to page with historical data
444.2 444.6 (P) 443.6 (P) 445.3

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Employment by Occupation

Data series Employment,
2014

Aircraft mechanics and service technicians

31,850

Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

66,700

Cargo and freight agents

8,800

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

80,110

(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

Projections

For projected (future) employment estimates, see the National Employment Matrix, which includes employment estimates by industry and occupation for air transportation.

(Source: Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections)

Earnings

Recent hourly and annual earnings for occupations commonly found in air transportation.

Earnings by Occupation

Data series Wages, 2014
Hourly Annual
Median Mean Median Mean

Aircraft mechanics and service technicians

$30.44 $31.26 $63,310 $65,020

Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

(1) $- (1) $- $119,770 $132,500

Cargo and freight agents

$20.61 $20.31 $42,880 $42,250

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

$19.31 $18.18 $40,170 $37,810

Footnotes
(1) Wages for some occupations that do not generally work year-round, full time, are reported either as hourly wages or annual salaries depending on how they are typically paid.

(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

Work-related Fatalities, Injuries, and Illnesses

This section presents data for the industry on the number of workplace fatalities and the rates of workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers in air transportation. An injury or illness is considered to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing condition.

Data series 2010 2011 2012 2013

Fatalities

Number of fatalities

32 29 33 24

Rate of injury and illness cases per 100 full-time workers

Total recordable cases

8.1 7.3 7.4 7.5

Cases involving days away from work, job restriction, or transfer

6.3 5.5 5.5 5.5

Cases involving days away from work

4.6 4.3 4.3 4.2

Cases involving days of job transfer or restriction

1.7 1.2 1.2 1.4

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

(Source: Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities)

Prices

This section provides industry-specific pricing information. The producer price index measures the percentage change in prices that domestic producers receive for goods and services. The prices included in the producer price index are from the first commercial transaction. The import price index reflects the percentage change in prices paid to foreign producers for their goods and services within the U.S., while the export price index measures the percentage change in prices received by U.S. producers for goods and services sold outside the U.S.

Data series Back
data
Jan.
2015
Feb.
2015
Mar.
2015
Apr.
2015

Producer price index

Jump to page with historical data
(P) 227.3 (P) 221.7 (P) 225.4 (P) 225.3

Percent change from previous month

(P) -0.8% (P) -2.5% (P) 1.7% (P) 0.0%

Import index

Jump to page with historical data
201.1 196.0 191.3 185.8

Percent change from previous month

-6.8% -2.5% -2.4% -2.9%

Export index

Jump to page with historical data
189.2 164.0 (R) 165.5 159.5

Percent change from previous month

0.4% -13.3% (R) 0.9% (R) -3.6%

Footnotes
(R) Revised
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Producer Price Indexes, International Price Program)

Workplace Trends

This section presents data on the number of establishments in air transportation. Also included in this section is information on productivity, presented as the rate of change in output per hour of workers in the industry.

Establishments

Data series Back
data
4th quarter
2013
1st quarter
2014
2nd quarter
2014
3rd quarter
2014

Number of establishments

Private industry

Jump to page with historical data
5,701 (P) 5,672 (P) 5,691 (P) 5,716

Local government

Jump to page with historical data
6 (P) 6 (P) 6 (P) 6

State government

Jump to page with historical data
1 (P) 1 (P) 1 (P) 1

Federal government

Jump to page with historical data
4 (P) 4 (P) 4 (P) 4

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages)

Productivity

Data series Back
data
2010 2011 2012 2013

Labor productivity index, output per hour

Jump to page with historical data
102.122 101.667 107.756

Percent change from previous year

Jump to page with historical data
-2.6 -0.4 6.0

Labor index, total labor hours

Jump to page with historical data
93.016 95.230 90.430 86.600

Percent change from previous year

Jump to page with historical data
7.1 2.4 -5.0 -4.2

Output index

Jump to page with historical data
94.990 96.817 97.443

Percent change from previous year

Jump to page with historical data
4.3 1.9 0.6

Unit labor costs index

Jump to page with historical data
108.930 110.849 115.583

Percent change from previous year

Jump to page with historical data
-0.2 1.8 4.3

(Source: Productivity and Costs)

Other BLS Resources

Career Guide to Industries

See air transportation in the Career Guide to Industries.

Data extracted on: May 22, 2015

Recommend this page using: