Airline Baggage and Cargo Handler

Airline Baggage and Cargo Handler Job Description & Salary Information

Job Duties
It is the baggage handler’s job to make sure that all cargo is loaded and unloaded from the proper aircraft. They haul cargo or drive baggage carts to and from the plane while loading and unloading luggage, mail, and packages from the craft. This job is similar in many ways to the job of an airport ramp agent and may or may not be the same depending on the airport. A main difference is that the job is typically unionized and strikes may offer an excellent opportunity for employment.

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Job Qualifications
This job is an entry level position and only requires the applicant to hold a high school diploma. Applicants must be at least 20 years of age and have a valid driver’s license as the position occasionally requires the worker to drive baggage carts. While no specific weight limit is imposed, it is helpful to be in fair physical condition and able to lift at least 20 lbs. Safety standards, stressful deadlines, and persistent runway noise are staples of this job. The worker is also expected to be able to function in any type of weather condition so long as the airport remains open.

Salary & Compensation
The starting wage for this job is similar to other ramp agent jobs. Generally, baggage and cargo handlers start out earning between $9.00 and $10.00 an hour. Experienced cargo handlers may earn up to $18.00 per hour. Baggage handlers may also earn lucrative work benefits. An employee benefits package for a baggage handler typically includes a 401(k) retirement plan, paid time off, and medical coverage. Job benefits may vary by location, employer, and experience level.

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