Aircraft mechanics play a very significant role in ensuring the safety of passengers using the aircraft they service. They are directly responsible for the routine maintenance and repairing of airplanes. Before they can gain employment to work on aircraft they must be adequately trained and certified. These professionals are also known as Avionics Technicians.
As an aircraft mechanic, you will be called on to complete emergency repairs on aircraft that require such services. You will also be required to have a good working knowledge of how to service different types of aircraft. Your may be required to work on various parts of the aircraft such as the engine, airframe, landing gear, propellers, radar, electrical and hydraulic systems and avionics. This requires that you be versatile, flexible and ready to take on various challenges with very short notice.
Other Personal Attributes
As an aircraft mechanic, you need to have certain personal attributes such as:
- Have an inclination for the technological and engineering field.
- Have good vision and hearing.
- Have excellent problem solving skills.
- Have the ability to think on your feet.
- Have a keen focus on attention to detail as one tiny mistake can take down an aircraft.
Educational Requirements and Licenses
Now that you have an idea of the personal attributes needed to make it as an aircraft technician, we can focus on your educational and licenses requirements.
- First of all you must be 18 years of age and a US citizen to be considered for training.
- If you meet the age requirement, you can attend an FAA certified school where you can gain a two year or four year degree training in avionics, aviation maintenance management, or aviation technology.
- You can also gain a certificate if you have sufficient work experience. You will not be qualified to take the FAA prescribed tests until you have done an apprenticeship of 18 months gaining some experience working on power plants or airframes. There is an alternative of 30 months experience working on both power plants and airframes at the same time.
- You must sit and pass the tests and examinations prescribed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before you can receive your aircraft mechanic’s certificate. The tests will not be given until you either complete your education or satisfy the work experience requirements (whichever route you choose).
The test consists of three parts. The first part is a written examination based on theory, the second is an oral test, and the third and final part is a practical test.
Duties Performed by Aircraft Mechanics
Aircraft mechanics work for approximately 40 hours each week. Due to the opening hours of an airport, it is likely that you will work on rotating shifts and do some overtime. You will be required to strictly adhere to safety standards, and to the rulings of the FAA. A failure to do so may result in the loss of your certificate. Some of the duties you will carry out include:
- Inspecting and servicing aircraft on a regular basis.
- Cleaning aircraft.
- Cleaning hangers.
- Performing preventative maintenance.
- Staying alert for safety problems.
- Participating in test flights.
Salary and Career Advancement
This is a very rewarding though sometimes challenging career, with the potential to advance to other supervisory levels or even become a flight engineer. Growth prospects are positive up to the year 2016 with salaries presently varying from $57,000 per year to $76,000 and $100,000 or more per year, depending on level and qualification.
Chris Griffith has been helping people in jobs placements for years. He enjoys sharing information about his extensive experience on travel sites. For more information on how to get a career in travel visit Progressive-Personnel.com.
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