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Ramp Agent

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

  • Avg. Salary $42,641.00
  • Avg. Wage $21.47
  • Minimum Education High school diploma
  • Outlook N/A
Also Known As

Station Attendant, Ramp Service Attendant, Turn Around Crew Agent

NOC & Interest Codes
The Ramp Agent is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Air Transport Ramp Attendants
NOC code: 7437
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

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 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 More

Duties
Updated Mar 09, 2016

Depending on the airline and size of the airport, ramp agents may perform all or only some of the following duties:

  • operate towing tractors, food service trucks, de-icer sprayers, lavatory servicing trucks, and other ramp servicing vehicles and equipment
  • position passenger loading bridges and operate aircraft doors
  • tow aircraft to gate positions for loading or unloading
  • refuel aircraft
  • connect and operate ground support equipment such as ground power units and air conditioning units
  • load and unload baggage and freight manually 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 during station stops
  • report loading counts and procedures to airport ground service support and flight crews.

They must observe safety precautions at all times around aircraft.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 09, 2016

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 an environment that is often noisy. 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.

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 09, 2016

Ramp agents need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to lift heavy cargo 
  • good communication skills
  • a safety conscious attitude
  • the ability to work well under pressure.

They should enjoy having clear rules and organized methods, driving vehicles, operating equipment and solving problems.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 09, 2016

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

When there are a number of applicants for ramp agents positions, employers give preference to people who have one or more of the following qualifications: 

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

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

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 09, 2016

Ramp agents are employed by airlines and airline subcontractors. Depending on company policy, they may be asked to transfer to other locations in Canada. Most entry level positions are part time.

Ramp agents who have the required qualifications may move into positions of greater responsibility or transfer to other positions such as passenger agent, cargo agent, baggage agent or load agent, or to administrative positions.

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 in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Transportation and Warehousing industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 09, 2016

Ramp agents are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 7534: Air transport ramp attendants. 

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Air transport ramp attendants occupational group earned on average from $16.45 to $26.41 an hour. The overall average wage was $21.47 an hour. For more information, see the Air transport ramp attendants wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Logistics
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Driver Training
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 09, 2016

Careers in Transportation website: www.transpocity.ca

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

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Apr 11, 2014. 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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