How to Become an

Aircraft Cargo Supervisor

The complete career guide to be an Aircraft Cargo Supervisor: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $48,870
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute
  • Outdoor Work Environment
    Career Attribute
  • Problem Solving
    Career Attribute

An aircraft cargo supervisor is in charge of coordinating and monitoring the work assignments of ground crew staff with regard to loading, unloading, securing and staging aircraft baggage or cargo.

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What is an Aircraft Cargo Supervisor?


Job responsibilities as an aircraft cargo supervisor involve the duties mentioned here:

  • Manage air cargo operations smoothly and efficiently in compliance with USAF, ICAO and local national standards.
  • Monitor personnel and equipment functioning under the Air Cargo section.
  • Establish safety and security procedures for handling and storing dangerous materials, fragile cargoes and baggage.
  • Ensure that cargo documentation such as Service Level and Standard Ground Handling Agreements, packaging, labelling and marking are meeting requirements, including border clearance.
  • Be responsible for selecting, assembling and transporting aircraft cargo loads between the aircraft and storage areas.

Day In The Life

As an aircraft cargo supervisor, you will have varying responsibilities on a daily basis. For instance, you will lead all verification of piece count and sign off on air cargo documents after checking inbound/outbound freight and labels freight. You are also expected to keep track of the incoming aircrafts board to assess when cargo will have to be recovered from airlines.

Data entry and data processing is also part of your role, specifically using computer inputs entries for tracking freight movement. Performing audits to assess performance of third party handling companies and recording any discrepancies is an important aspect of the work. To excel, you must identify and constantly look for improvement opportunities with regard to internal and external service provision.

Good communication skills are essential as you will be interacting with internal customers and suppliers, for providing solutions in line with Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and other company policies. In relation to this, you will need to develop a strategic working relationship with local airport authorities as required and other agencies that will speed up air cargo procedures. An aircraft cargo supervisor also directs diverse employees in unloading or loading containers using forklifts, pallet jacks and other warehouse equipment.

Work Schedule And Typical Hours

In is job sector, you have to maintain a flexible work schedule and work under pressure, as per operational needs. You may have to work on holidays and weekends in all weather conditions. Work in this career path will involve directing ground crew with lifting and moving cargo, up to 50 lbs and occasionally 100 lbs, handling office and warehouse equipment/tools and working near moving mechanical parts.

Growth Of The Job

The outlook is great – you can expect an average annual growth of 1.67% working as an aircraft cargo supervisor. You can expect to advance towards higher managerial, supervisory and specialist roles with more experience.

Typical Employers

Aircraft Cargo Handling Supervisors work directly with airlines, ground services providers, governments and shipping companies. Typical employers include Swissport International Ltd., Menzies Aviation, DHL, Virgin Atlantic, Aerotek, etc.

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How To Become an Aircraft Cargo Supervisor

Most Aircraft Cargo Handling Supervisors hold a high school diploma or GED equivalent balanced with a minimum of 1-2 years of work experience. Having superior verbal and written communication skills and a working familiarity with MS Office products is a distinct advantage. Strong knowledge of import and export documentation and regulations for US governmental agencies such as TSA, CBP and FAA is extremely valuable. An important qualification is the ability to pass Security Threat Assessment under TSA regulations, as required by some companies.

You can complete an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in case you want to work in advanced positions and get promoted quicker. With sufficient experience in the field, you can expect to advance to an aircraft cargo supervisor position, in which you will work on planes as part of the flight crew team to handle cargo en route. There is also the option of completing an apprenticeship program at a vocation school, where you can fine-tune your understanding of air cargo handling and how to move up in the industry.

Exposure to a similar work environment such as supply chain management (contract) work will give you an idea of intensive workloads and managing multiple deadlines. The ability to work collaboratively with all levels of the organisation is a must, as well as maintaining a strong relationship with both internal and external customers. This career is perfect for someone who is a team player and self-motivated to work independently with clarity on work priorities.


Aircraft Cargo Supervisor Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Aircraft Cargo Supervisor salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Aircraft Cargo Supervisor's can make an average annual salary of $48,870, or $24 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $35,110 or $17 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #406 Nationally for All Careers

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming an Aircraft Cargo Supervisor. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Aircraft Cargo Supervisors

  • 0.3%   Doctorate
  • 2.2%   Masters
  • 15.2%   Bachelors
  • 9.7%   Associates
  • 29.8%   College
  • 34.4%   High School
  • 8.5%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Aircraft Cargo Supervisor job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of --- jobs for a total of 5,800 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a --- change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #594 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Aircraft Cargo Supervisors

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Scheduled air transportation 2,100 --- 0%
Support activities for air transportation 1,000 --- 0%
Wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers 100 --- ---

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