If you are interested in applying for a job to be a gate agent or ticketing agent for an airline, you might be wondering what the requirements for the job are. This is a common question for many reasons. Most people would not want to spend the time applying for jobs only to find out they do not qualify for the job. That could be time and effort better spent on applying for other jobs.
In order to make sure you know if you meet the requirements for the job, we’ve put together this article that walks you through the requirements to be qualified for the job as well as the skills needed to actually get hired.
Here are the requirements to be a gate agent:
- Be at least 18 years old
- High School diploma or equivalent
- Valid Drivers License
- Can lift heavy objects (luggage can be heavy!)
- Pass a drug test
- Neat appearance
- Ability to work under pressure
- Willing to work non-traditional hours (Nights, weekends, and holidays)
- High level customer service skills and willingness to help
Now that we’ve listed out the requirements for you, let’s take a closer look at some of them you might have questions on.
*Related: What do Gate Agents Do?
Age Requirement to be a Gate Agent
In order to work as a gate agent you must be at least 18 years old. This is a standard across the aviation industry in the United States and there is no way around it. If you are not yet 18 years old, you should wait before applying for the job. There is no maximum age to be a gate agent as long as you can perform the job duties effectively.
Education Requirement to be a Gate Agent
Airlines require that gate agents have at least a high school diploma or equivalent (GED, etc.). Although college is not required, if you do have any additional educational experience it might give you an advantage in the hiring process so make sure you list it on the application and on your resume. Employers typically value educational achievements, so make sure you get credit for your hard work.
Do Gate Agents Need a Driver’s License
Yes, airlines will require you to have a valid driver’s license to work as a gate agent. Not only is this needed for identification purposes, but you will need to show that you have a consistent and reliable way to get to the airport you are assigned to work at. If you currently do not have your driver’s license but want to work in the aviation industry, you should consider taking the steps to earn one. Many jobs in this industry will require it.
Gate Agents Must Be Able to Lift Heavy Objects
One aspect of being a gate agent is helping passengers with their luggage. This can include getting it checked before a flight, carrying it on or off a flight, or even doing a gate check of a bag. Sometimes luggage can be heavy so you will be required to have the ability to lift luggage throughout your workday.
Pass a Pre Employment Drug Test
Like most jobs in the aviation industry, working as a gate agent will require you pass a pre-employment drug test. This is not something to take lightly since failing the test will eliminate your chances of keeping the job. Airlines are very serious about these tests since there are federal requirements regarding drug testing airline employees.
Have you ever noticed how everyone working for an airline (pilots, flight attendants, etc.) look especially neat and professional? This is not a coincidence. It is very important to airlines that the employees that represent them have a clean, neat and professional appearance.
To achieve this look, airlines will require you to adhere to their appearance standards as well as wear a uniform while on duty.
Work Non-traditional Hours
Airports are open and operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year. Although there is downtime where there are very few flights coming and going, the airline still has to have staff available to help with passengers. This means that being a gate agent is not a regular 9-5 job.
Like many other jobs, your seniority might effect which shifts you can have. If you are just starting out, you might be required to take more of the evening, weekend, and holiday shifts while employees with more seniority get the more standard shifts. This does depend on the policies of the specific airline you work for, so this is a great question to ask at the interview.
High Pressure Customer Service
One of the main responsibilities of being a gate agent is helping passengers as they travel on your airline. Often times, passengers can be having a rough experience traveling. Even though it isn’t something you caused, you are still responsible to keep a friendly and upbeat attitude while helping them.
Many times these passengers have just missed a flight, had a flight cancelled, or had some other travel problem. This leads to them being angry, tired, and frustrated. You’ll have to navigate these scenarios without losing your cool.
Airline Specific Hiring Policies
Like most positions in the aviation industry, there can be some specific requirements depending on the airline you works for. This can include new requirements you might not be expecting as well as variations to other requirements.
Here are a few examples we know of:
- Shifts: Some airlines will need you to work nights and weekends more than others depending on staffing needs
- Ability to complete training: The training program and requirements can vary from airline to airline. This is something you should ask about at the interview to be sure there are no surprises once you are hired.
- Transportation to the airport: Airlines will also determine your work location based on their staffing needs. Make sure you have reliable transportation to the airport they will be assigning you to work. This is another great question for the interview.
If you want to learn more about the process to actually get hired, read our guide on it: Complete guide to getting hired as a gate agent
If you have considered working as a gate agent, this might be a great time to get into the industry. Not only can working for an airline be an exciting and interesting field, but you might also find other occupations within the industry you love down the road.
Just make sure you take the time to read through this list and make sure you are prepared to meet all of the requirements when you start applying for jobs. This can be the difference between getting hired or having to come and restart the process after you’ve cleared some of these items.
Good luck on your journey!