Careers advice

19 airport jobs available in Aotearoa New Zealand

Airports offer employment opportunities for people from all walks of life.

Last updated: 29 January 2024

Aotearoa New Zealand punches well above its weight when it comes to our ratio of people to airports. And, unsurprisingly, this means there are often lots of airport jobs available around the motu.

In fact, modern airports are major employers. Gone are the days when they simply provided somewhere for you to wait to catch your flight. Even many of the smaller regional airports have shops and bars or eateries, and when you’re talking about major international flight hubs like Auckland or Christchurch, the number of people employed increases exponentially.

So, what airport jobs could you work? Here is a brief overview of some of the opportunities available.

Airport customer service roles

Serving as the frontline ambassadors of the airport, customer service representatives play a pivotal role in ensuring a positive traveller experience. These professionals assist passengers with inquiries, provide information, and address concerns, contributing to the overall satisfaction of airport visitors. Such roles include:

1. Information desk attendant

Information desk attendants offer a welcoming presence in the airport, providing travellers with directions, information about services, and assistance in navigating the terminal. Their friendly and informative demeanour enhances the overall passenger experience and can help take some of the stress out of flying.

2. Lost and found baggage handlers

In the hustle and bustle of catching a flight, it’s common to misplace items. This can range from the inconvenient (think sunglasses) to the downright devastating (think passport). Responsible for reuniting passengers with their lost possessions, working in an airport lost and found involves meticulously logging and organising recovered items. This role requires excellent organisational skills and a commitment to customer service.

Lost and found staff can be the saviours of peoples' holidays.

3. Wheelchair assistance attendant

Ensuring that passengers with reduced mobility can navigate the airport comfortably, wheelchair assistance attendants provide vital support from check-in through boarding and disembarkation. This role emphasises compassion and attentiveness to the different needs of travellers.

Airport safety and security personnel

1. Airport security officer

In the realm of airport security, officers are instrumental in maintaining a safe environment. Conducting screenings, monitoring surveillance systems, and responding to security incidents, these professionals uphold the highest standards of safety for passengers and airport personnel.

2. Customs and border protection officer

Operating at international airports, customs and border protection officers play a critical role in enforcing immigration and customs regulations. They conduct inspections, verify travel documents, and contribute to national security by preventing illegal activities at border crossings.

3. Detection dog handlers and trainers

A specialised wing of an airport security team, detection dog handlers deploy highly trained dogs to detect explosives and contraband. This specialised role enhances security measures and ensures the safety of passengers and airport facilities.

Of course, our furry friends aren’t necessarily born with a nose for contraband, so trainers are also required to prepare them for effective frontline service.

Want to work with dogs? You can do this in airports!

4. Air Traffic Controller

At the heart of airport operations, air traffic controllers manage the safe and efficient movement of aircraft on the ground and in the airspace. They coordinate takeoffs, landings, and in-flight routes, ensuring that planes maintain safe distances from each other. Precision, communication skills, and the ability to handle high-pressure situations are crucial for success in this role.

Airport administrative and management roles

1. Airport operations manager

At the helm of airport operations, managers oversee the day-to-day functioning of the facility. From compliance with regulations to budget management and policy implementation, operations managers play a vital role in maintaining a smooth and efficient airport environment.

2. Human resources specialists

Human resources specialists within airports manage personnel matters, including recruitment, employee relations, and training. Fostering a positive workplace culture and ensuring a skilled and motivated workforce are key responsibilities in this role.

3. Administrative assistants

Supporting various departments, administrative assistants handle clerical tasks, coordinate schedules, and facilitate communication within the airport. Their organisational skills and attention to detail contribute to the efficient functioning of airport offices.

Airport retail and hospitality staff

1. Airport retail sales associate

Airports host a diverse array of retail outlets, ranging from duty-free shops to specialty boutiques. Retail sales associates assist customers, handle transactions, and contribute to the vibrant shopping experience within the terminal.

2. Airport restaurant and catering staff

From fast-food chains to upscale dining establishments, many airports now offer a variety of culinary options. Restaurant staff and catering teams play a crucial role in providing travellers with a diverse range of dining choices.

Most major airports now have a variety of bars and eateries, all of which require hospo staff.

3. Concession stand operators

Operating concession stands and kiosks, these professionals contribute to the convenience and satisfaction of passengers by offering snacks, beverages, and essential travel items.

Airport ground services and maintenance

1. Airport ground crew

Charged with maintaining the cleanliness and functionality of airport facilities, the ground crew plays a crucial role in creating a safe and visually appealing environment. Tasks include general maintenance, landscaping and clearing debris (and sometimes snow!) from runways.

2. Airport baggage handlers

Ensuring the efficient transfer of luggage between flights, baggage handlers work on the tarmac and in airport warehouses. Baggage handlers load and unload suitcases, contributing to the overall efficiency of the airport's ground operations. This is a physically demanding role, and one that requires important attention to detail, as well all know that misplaced baggage can ruin someone’s holiday.

3. Airport janitorial staff

Keeping airport facilities clean and well-maintained is the responsibility of janitorial staff. From restrooms to waiting areas, these professionals contribute to the overall cleanliness and hygiene of the airport environment.

Airport transportation and logistics

1. Airport shuttle driver

Providing transportation within the airport grounds, shuttle drivers ensure the seamless movement of passengers between terminals, parking lots, and other airport facilities. This role demands excellent driving skills and a commitment to passenger safety.

Airport technology and information systems

1. IT support specialist

Today’s airports rely heavily on information technology. IT support specialists within airports ensure that computer systems, networks, and other technology infrastructure are functioning seamlessly, minimising disruptions to operations.

2. Airport systems analyst

Focused on optimising airport processes, systems analysts assess and enhance the efficiency of various technological systems, from baggage handling to passenger check-in. Their work contributes to the overall effectiveness of airport operations.


Al Hall
Al Hall

Al Hall is a regular contributor at Trade Me Jobs and Trade Me Property. He’s dedicated to helping people succeed in their aspirations to find their dream job and place to live.