Aviation Maintenance is a career path that could very well maintain an upward trajectory over the next decade. Experts say that soon there will not be enough mechanics to fill all of the aviation maintenance technician jobs. If you have been dreaming of or are already working in this industry you may be in a very good position for rapid advancement and growth sooner than you think.
Aviation Maintenance Technician Jobs can be broken into several categories of highly technical occupations like airframe and powerplant, general maintenance, avionics and instrument repair. Avionics is a highly specialized division of aircraft maintenance and includes inspecting, repairing and/or replacing navigation, communication, and other electronic based systems. People working as an Aviation Maintenance Technicians (AMT) have the responsibility of keeping their aircraft operating safely and efficiently.
Aviation Maintenance Technicians diagnose malfunctions, disassemble, repair, replace, re-assemble and make adjustments to various aircraft systems and their components in compliance with the manufacturers technical specifications, engineering instructions, and FAA regulations. They also maintain the appropriate records required by the FAA.
To get started, you’ll need a current FAA-issued Airframe and Powerplant certificate and a desire to learn, a willing attitude and a mechanical aptitude.
Entering the job market as a maintenance technician you will find a wide variety of jobs. You may work at a flight school repairing small training aircraft with 2-4 seats or you could work at a corporate flight department maintaining the company’s aircraft. Working at a local shop or flight school may be a great place to enter the job market as they may hire AMT’s at the entry level.
After getting a few years of practical experience under your belt you may be ready to move up to a corporate position or even the airlines. Positions responsible for maintain highly complex aircraft will normally require 3-7 years of experience and specialized training.
Corporate aircraft typically have 4-16 seats and could be piston powered, turboprops or jets. Airline equipment may vary widely from turboprop aircraft to jumbo jets. There is a definite trend in newer aircraft to install “glass cockpits” requiring an increased need for avionics technicians.
Aviation maintenance technician jobs require people with well-developed communication skills. A person in this position will be required to communicate well with company personnel at all levels including schedulers, pilots, accounting and even upper management. The ability to function within a team-oriented environment will be crucial to your success as a maintenance technician.
Most companies require applicants to possess a high school diploma or equivalent. If you work for an airline or at one of the larger airports you will be required to go through extensive criminal background checks in order to obtain a federal airport security badge. Almost all employers will also require you to have a valid, state issued driver’s license.
Aviation jobs are rarely 9-5 jobs so the willingness and ability to work flexible hours is a must. People that fly, travel on the week end and holidays and airplanes always break at the most inopportune times. It just goes with the territory.