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Ramp Agent

Ramp agents work at airports. They operate ramp servicing vehicles and equipment, handle baggage, and perform other duties. They work on the ramp and in cargo warehouses.

Also Known As

Ramp Service Attendant, Station Attendant, Turn Around Crew Agent

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Air Transport Ramp Attendants (7437) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Air Transport Ramp Attendants (H737) 
  • 2011 NOC: Air transport ramp attendants (7534) 
  • 2016 NOC: Air transport ramp attendants (7534) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Air Transport Ramp Attendants
2006 NOC : 7437

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

METHODICAL

Interest in comparing information to sort and route cargo and baggage, to clean and prepare aircraft interiors and to wash aircraft exteriors

OBJECTIVE

Interest in driving ramp-servicing vehicles; in operating aircraft cargo doors; in marshalling and towing aircraft to gate positions for passenger boarding and deplaning; and in loading and unloading cargo

innovative

Interest in sorting and loading cargo and baggage to achieve proper balance according to instructions forwarded by load planners

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Ramp agents may perform all or only some of the following duties depending on the airline and size of the airport:

  • operate towing tractors, food service trucks, de-icer sprayers, lavatory servicing trucks, and other service vehicles and equipment
  • position passenger loading bridges and operate aircraft doors
  • tow aircraft to gate positions for loading and unloading
  • refuel aircraft
  • connect and operate ground support equipment (such as ground power units and air conditioning units)
  • load and unload baggage and freight by hand or by operating ramp equipment (such as fork lifts, scissor lifts, conveyor belts, and ramp tractors)
  • sort and route baggage, cargo and mail, and position cargo in warehouses
  • load cargo in aircraft compactly and in compliance with weight restrictions (to achieve proper load balance)
  • clean and stock aircraft cabins
  • de-ice or wash aircraft
  • load and position meals and related supplies 
  • report loading counts and procedures (to airport ground service support and flight crews).

They must follow safety precautions at all times around aircraft.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2018
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

Airlines operate 24 hours a day so ramp agents must work shifts with rotating days off. Most of the work is performed in confined spaces or outdoors in a noisy setting. Ramp agents may work in harsh weather conditions.

Their work is physically demanding. Ramp agents routinely are required to kneel, crawl, climb, bend, push, and pull. Heavy lifting (over 20 kilograms) is required.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Ramp agents need to possess:

  • the ability to lift heavy cargo
  • speaking and listening skills
  • a safety-conscious attitude
  • the ability to work well under pressure.

They should enjoy:

  • having clear rules and organized methods
  • driving vehicles and operating equipment
  • solving problems.
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018
  • Minimum Education High school diploma

Ramp agents must qualify for a high level of security clearance. They must also have a valid driver’s licence and a clean driver’s abstract. They must be fluent in English. Employers may require applicants to have a high school diploma or equivalent, or to pass a pre-employment exam. For some positions or locations, fluency in French may be an asset.

There may be many applicants for ramp agent positions. When this happens, employers give preference to people with one or more of the following:

  • an advanced driving licence
  • an Airside Vehicle Operations Permit (AVOP) licence
  • heavy equipment training
  • a dangerous goods handling certificate or related training
  • airline experience
  • experience in physically demanding work
  • experience in warehousing, stockrooms, or shipping and receiving.

Ramp agents are trained on the job. Companies may provide a short training program (2 to 6 weeks) before assigning new employees to positions.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Ramp agents work for airlines and airline subcontractors. They may be asked to transfer to other locations in Canada. This depends on company policy. Most entry-level positions are part time.

Ramp agents with the required qualifications may move into positions with greater duties. Or they may transfer to other positions, such as passenger agent, cargo agent, baggage or load agent, or administrator.

Ramp agents are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 7534: Air transport ramp attendants. In Alberta, 93% of people employed in this classification work in the Transportation and Warehousing [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the Transportation and Warehousing industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the 7534: Air transport ramp attendants occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.1% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 20 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Ramp agents are part of the larger 2016 National Occupational Classification 7534: Air transport ramp attendants.

According to the 2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Air transport ramp attendants occupational group earned on average from $17.00 to $28.08 an hour. The overall average was $18.65 an hour. For more information, see the Air transport ramp attendants wage profile.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Driver Training
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2018

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 140 website: www.iam140.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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