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Aviation psychology is a highly specialized field of psychology that is also known as aerospace psychology. It is an area of psychology where Psychologists use their knowledge to improve the mental health of pilots, aircrew, and airport employees.
They may be involved in helping reconstruct events that occur prior to an aviation accident. Airline companies provide counseling in times of psychological distress or great stress, while others will be involved in preparing training programs for airline personnel.
This is an area of work that has excellent income potential, surpassing average income for other subfields of psychology.
According to a report, there were approximately 192,300 jobs in 2019 for psychologists and the overall employment of psychologists is projected to grow 3 percent from 2019 to 2029.
If you are a graduate psychology student looking for a job option beyond a traditional career path in clinical or consulting psychology, you may be perfect to become an aviation psychologist. First of all, let’s talk.
The number of people willing to fly is increasing rapidly and because of this, it is putting additional pressure on pilots, flight crews, and airline companies. This additional pressure, as well as the need to control human error, results in more job-related stress, and therefore more aviation psychologists are needed for working within the field.
There are several works that an aviation psychologist does:
After a time of an aviation accident or a terrorist threat, a psychologist can provide emergency counseling to pilots and airline crew as well as passengers who have experienced any type of traumatic event. Mental health support may also be provided to family members of those who may have died during the flight.
They can assist in the investigation process after an unexpected incident, which will help officers to understand the behavior of pilots, flight crew, and any danger that was onboard before the incident. They can also conduct studies related to aviation safety and report them to airline companies.
To improve the performance of airline employees, an aviation psychologist can help in the design and planning of training programs. The training programs mainly focus on promoting strategies to enhance attention, memory, perception, and communication, as well as maintaining calm in stressful situations.
Sometimes they work with engineers while designing cabins and cockpits. They will ensure that all facilities and mechanisms are user-friendly and safe for passengers and crew to use.
Sometimes, they work with government agencies or airline companies to ensure that employers are following health and safety regulations. Research work can also be done to improve laws and security within the region.
They can provide guidance and coaching to staff members to improve their mental health performance. These services help to maintain a healthy diet, a good balance between work and leisure, and strategies for managing jet lag.
(Recommendation: #1 Career Guide on Psychologists in India)
You will usually need at least a bachelor's degree in psychology to become an aviation psychologist. This program typically lasts approximately four years and requires the completion of a range of psychology-related courses as well as basic education courses including science, history, and mathematics. Although many employers prefer to hire candidates with master's degrees.
The Master's degree program typically lasts approximately one or two years and provides a chance to study a range of advanced psychology subjects. When you want to become an aviation psychologist, you can also consider doing a Ph.D.
While this title is not important for all jobs in this field, you may find that many employers will consider you more favorably with a Ph.D.Also, some employers may prefer individuals with a license to practice psychology independently.
This involves meeting education requirements and passing an exam. You may also have to submit background and drug tests.
In recent years, the airline industry has begun to recognize that to improve their daily safety record, the control of human error is necessary.
As a result, the demand for aviation psychologists has been increasing for employment in commercial airlines, aerospace companies, and government agencies. They are often responsible for maintaining a safe environment for consulting airline professionals to manage stress, overcome trauma, or avoid job-related conflicts. Some aviation psychologists also find job opportunities in military settings to provide therapy sessions to pilots who need help in maintaining the burdens of their daily operations.
The data indicates that aviation psychology is one of the most attractive fields of psychology from a salary standpoint with an average salary of $111,150 per year in May 2019. Of course, many factors will affect one's salary, including education, experience, location of employment, and the size of the airline or company providing employment.
Finally, I can say that aviation psychology is important in the lives of pilots and flight crews. Aviation psychologists use their talents to study ways to improve the performance of pilots, flight attendants, and air traffic controllers. As technology continues to advance on a daily basis and the threat of terrorism continues to increase, aviation workers are experiencing increased stress, anxiety, and frustration at work.
Their daily duties include designing the flight deck, assessing aircraft safety features, investigating aviation accidents, and studying airline safety.
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