Careers Can Take Off at Seattle Airport Shops

It's now a job-seekers' market in Seattle. A number of employers who are anxious to fill openings.

Sea-Tac carefully limits the number of sales venues, but one soon-to-be-newcomer The Rose Box will open two floral kiosks in June.

"One of the things we're stressing in hiring is a professional approach," says Rose Box founder Mark Stuart. "My salespeople must have confidence that they can promote with sophisticated passengers."

Stuart's eventual hires will join other airport sales staff in meeting Sea-Tac's security requirements. Background checks and fingerprinting are part of hiring programs. Once cleared, employees' badges allow them to use express lanes they share with airline crew members to move beyond security checkpoints.

Hiring managers say wages are typically about the same as they would be outside the airport. Schut says many sales managers consider advancement opportunities in their choice. Not only can they move up within a single airport, he says, but airport sales professionals' skills are also transferable and promotion-worthy to other airports and to venues outside Sea-Tac.

Big numbers: $750 million the amount spent by air travelers on apparel, shoes and other merchandise at the top 50 U.S. airports in 2004.

Smaller numbers:

$7.97 the average concession spending per passenger at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in 2005. That's up from $6.96 in 2004.

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