Trades & Services

Airport Baggage Handler

Airport baggage handlers handle travellers’ baggage and freight at airports.

  • Entry-level education

    Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does an Airport Baggage Handler do?

Airport baggage handlers handle travellers’ baggage and freight at airports.

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Work activities

As an airport baggage handler, your main duties at an airport would be to:

  • collect, sort and check luggage against flight lists, making sure that items go on to the right aircraft
  • move luggage or freight to and from aircraft holds using trucks, cargo loaders and conveyor systems
  • store cargo in warehouses ready for distribution
  • load inbound luggage onto conveyors in the arrivals hall.

As an experienced handler, you might also train staff on new equipment and procedures.

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Key skills and interests

To become an airport baggage handler, you would need:

  • good levels of fitness to lift and move heavy loads
  • honesty and reliability
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • good communication skills
  • a willingness to work flexibly
  • the ability to work quickly, due to short turnaround times.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

You are likely to work on a shift system, including evenings, weekends and public holidays. Work may be seasonal, depending on the needs of the airport.

Conditions

You would work inside airport terminal buildings and warehouses, and outdoors in all weathers. You could also sometimes work in small spaces, like an aircraft hold.

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How to become an Airport Baggage Handler?

Entry Level Education

You can work as an airport baggage handler and freight handler without formal qualifications. You would receive some training on the job.

You could also undertake a traineeship in Aviation (Ground Operations and Service). Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require junior secondary school or equivalent.

The minimum age for entry is normally 18 years, and a driver’s licence is required for most jobs. You would need to undergo a hearing test and medical examination before commencing work.

All airline industry employees must also satisfy security clearance requirements.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

As technology is used increasingly in baggage handling operations in airports, the number of available roles in this occupation may decrease.

Baggage handlers will still be required to load and unload baggage and freight to and from aircraft, but may have less duties in operational areas such as arrivals and departures halls.

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