London Heathrow Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world handling 1,400 flights and over 200,000 passengers a day.
This equation adds up to one flight taking off or landing every 45 seconds as Heathrow handles 80 per cent of all long-haul visitors to the United Kingdom.
Heathrow Airport is, in fact, a small city, equivalent in size to Guilford in Surry, employing 76,000 people to ensure that everything runs like clockwork.
Besides working for one of the 80 airlines that serve London Heathrow, we thought we would take a look at some of the less glamorous jobs that keep everything ticking over nicely.
With 340 retail outlets at Heathrow Airport, one of the easiest jobs to get it that of a sales assistant in a top end store, newsagent or chemist.
One of the main criteria employers look for in a new hire is personality and how they get along with the public. If you are looking to work for a store selling luxury items such as Louis Vuitton or Burberry, you would be well advised to familiarize yourself with the company and the products you would be selling.
Compensation with a high-end retailer can be anywhere from £8 to £12 per hour to start, along with bonuses.
Landing a job as a Kitchen Porter is often taken as a first step to getting started on a career within the food and hospitality industry. Duties include washing dishes, keeping the kitchen clean, handling deliveries and basic food preparation. Yes, you may be the dogsbody of the kitchen for a while, but many a top chef got their start as a Kitchen Porter.
Working in one of the many restaurants and lounges at Heathrow, you can expect to start at around £8 per hour.
As an aircraft cleaner, you will work as part of a team to ensure that toilets, kitchens and crew rest areas are clean. You will also replace head covers, blankets and toiletries.
Aircraft turnaround time is of utmost importance, so as an aircraft cleaner you need to work in a speedy manner while also ensuring that the plane is spotless for the next group of passengers. In order to qualify for this position, you must pass a criminal background check and be proficient in English. Pay rates start from £7.33 per hour.
Baggage handler’s duties consist of more than just putting your suitcases on a conveyer belt. Luggage must be sorted for the correct flights, delivered and loaded onto the aircraft, while the reverse applies for arriving flights. As a baggage handler, you are also responsible for placing chocks on the aircraft wheels and sealing off your work area with safety cones.
The job demands that you are physically fit and able to operate ground support vehicles, which may include de-icing machines and aircraft steps.
You are also responsible for the handling of live animals and dangerous cargo.
Proficiency in English is a must as is the ability to pass a criminal background check.
Salary starts from around £7.20 per hour.
As an aircraft De-icer, you will be responsible for ensuring that all aircraft skins and vehicles are free of ice during the winter months. You will be required to work outdoors during freezing conditions at heights up to 40ft.
You will be required to drive de-icing truck similar in size to fire engines and will be trained in chemical use for de-icing the aircraft. You must also be able to communicate with the cabin crew and pilots in English.
During the off season, you will be given a baggage handling job in order to keep you employed full time.
Salary starts from around £8 per hour.
Every job at London Heathrow Airport requires proof of work eligibility in the United Kingdom, a five-year work history and the ability to pass a criminal background check.
Photo courtesy of Brussels Airport.