Baggage Handler

Load passengers' bags onto airplanes with speed, care, and efficiency.
picture of Baggage Handler

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $35,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Baggage Handlers do?

A Baggage Handler is the one who makes sure that, when an airline passenger lands at their final destination, their luggage has made it to the same place. Baggage Handlers can work for commercial airlines, delivery services, or mail companies, loading and unloading packages, suitcases, or boxes.

As a Baggage Handler, you’re the person who takes the bags passengers leave at the ticketing desks, and gets them on the plane. Then when other planes land, you unload the bags from them, moving the ones that are done traveling into the terminal and on baggage carousels, and the others onto another plane.

You know which bags go with which planes because of the tags that Airline Desk Agents attach to them. This big, white tag goes around the bag’s handle and serves like its ticket. The letters and numbers let you know where the bag will end up and what plane they need to take to get there.

You spend your days outside on an airport tarmac. That means you should be ready to work in all sorts of conditions, from hot to cold, rain to snow. You might even work through the night, if you’re employed at one of the bigger airports.

Being around airplanes all the time means you need to be ready for loud noises as well. In addition, you always have to stay alert so you don’t get injured. Baggage Handlers wear big headphones to protect their hearing, and reflective vests so Pilots and Cart Drivers can easily see them.

Should I be a Baggage Handler?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Ramp Agent

    How to become a Baggage Handler

    Most Baggage Handlers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9haaaa&chl=no+college+%2888%25%29|certificate+%2811%25%29|associate%27s+%281%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,88,88
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