WHAT DO AIRCRAFT MECHANICS DO?
One day soon, we'll all be riding jetpacks to work, because it's the 21st century and WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS, DANG IT! Until that day, we have to content ourselves with last century's boring flying machines: planes and helicopters. To keep those aircraft working correctly, the world needs aircraft mechanics.
Aircraft mechanics maintain and repair the avionic and mechanical equipment needed to make planes and helicopters operate safely. This includes repairing, inspecting and maintaining the structural, mechanical and electronic elements of the aircraft, replacing parts, measuring wear and assessing whether parts need repair or replacement. Aircraft mechanics use a wide variety of diagnostic devices, computers, hand and mechanical tools to assess and fix aircraft, and maintain aircraft standards as required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Mechanics can specialize in a specific form of aircraft or be a generalist, and most will have an FAA Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certificate.
Man, I want a jetpack.
HOW MUCH DO AIRCRAFT MECHANICS MAKE?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the median income for aircraft mechanics in 2010 was $25.95 an hour, or $53,220 annually.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
You must learn your skills in a FAA certified aviation maintenance tech school. The course last around 2 years. Additionally, some of these schools offer 2 or 4 year degrees in avionics, aviation maintenance management or aviation tech. Bachelor degrees are becoming more and more important to employers, and you may be well served to get your Bachelor's degree.
Certification is required by the FAA.
Agility: Aircraft mechanics need to climb on and under airplanes, using balance and without a fear of heights.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Attention to Detail: Airplanes need to be maintained to very specific standards. Being precise and making sure things are repaired exactly right is key.
- Dexterity: Aircraft mechanics need to use their hands to manipulate and work with a number of components.
- Technical Skills: Aircraft mechanics need to be able to read gauges, understand instrumentation and diagnostic tools when assessing and repairing aircraft.
- Troubleshooting: Mechanics need to be able to understand the root causes of aircraft problems and how to correct those problems.
CAREER PATHS FOR AIRCRAFT MECHANICS
THE FUTURE OF AIRCRAFT MECHANICS
Job growth will be slow between 2010 and 2020, according to the BLS.