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Aircraft Cargo Handling Supervisor  What They Do

Just the Facts


Supervises and coordinates the activities of ground crew in the loading, unloading, securing, and staging of aircraft cargo or baggage. May determine the quantity and orientation of cargo and compute aircraft center of gravity. May accompany aircraft as member of flight crew and monitor and handle cargo in flight, and assist and brief passengers on safety and emergency procedures. Includes loadmasters.

This career is part of the Transportation, Distribution and Logistics cluster Planning, Management and Regulation pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Determines the quantity and orientation of cargo and computes an aircraft's center of gravity.
  • Directs ground crews in the loading, unloading, securing, or staging of aircraft cargo or baggage.
  • Trains new employees in areas such as safety procedures or equipment operation.
  • Distributes cargo in such a manner that space use is maximized.
  • Calculates load weights for different aircraft compartments, using charts and computers.
  • Accompanies aircraft as a member of the flight crew to monitor and handle cargo in flight.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Cargo Supervisor --
  • Equipment Service Lead --
  • Ground Operations Supervisor --
  • Line Service Supervisor (LSS) --
  • Loadmaster --
  • Operations Manager --
  • Operations Supervisor --
  • Ramp and Cargo Supervisor --
  • Ramp Lead --
  • Ramp Supervisor --