Ramp agents load, unload and move baggage and cargo around an airport, both landside and airside (before and after the security boundary). They also carry out inspections, hazard checks and operate equipment such as stairs and bridges.
You could be:
using lifting equipment, operating a conveyor belt or driving a truck to move baggage and cargo around the airport
checking baggage labels against passenger lists to make sure that the right luggage goes on to the right plane
correctly loading and storing cargo or luggage in the aircraft's hold so that it can fly safely and fuel efficiently
unloading baggage onto a conveyer belt or carousel for passengers to collect at baggage reclaim when they land
clearing runways after a storm or heavy snowfall, de-icing aircraft and making sure airside pavements and surfaces are free of debris
directing traffic, attaching stairs and bridges to aircraft and operating a variety of ground machinery
carrying out aircraft and equipment inspections and checking for hazards
using a radio to report any item that looks suspicious
ensuring that duties are carried out efficiently to allow aircraft to arrive and depart on time.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting pay is often based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or the National Living Wage (NLW).
As of 1 April 2023 the National Minimum Wage is £7.49 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20 and £10.18 an hour for workers aged 21 to 22. The National Living Wage for those aged 23 and over. is £10.42 an hour. With experience, this can rise to around £10.00 an hour.
Overtime and shift allowance payments can greatly increase salaries.
You would work both indoors and outdoors, in all weathers.
You might work in cold, cramped and noisy conditions.
You would have to lift, carry and load heavy weights, and objects which may be fragile or awkwardly shaped.
You are likely to work shifts, including nights, weekends and public holidays.
You would wear a uniform, and sometimes safety clothing such as a high visibility vest, hard hat or ear defenders.
Jobs can be seasonal, with extra temporary jobs during the holiday season and lay-offs in the winter.