WASHINGTON – An aviation career is a rewarding one but many people who want to join it don’t know how to begin. With the aircraft maintenance industry growing daily, business in aircraft mechanics is booming.
In every country with airports, the number of departures per year keeps growing and by 2020 it will have doubled or tripled with the current departure number.
Is It The Right Career?
The fact that aircraft mechanics can make $80,000 in a year doesn’t mean that this career is perfect for you. The money is definitely attractive, but in the end it is up to you to take the necessary steps to make sure that you qualify, become good at your job and love it. Before you invest your time and money in this job, knowing a few things might help you make a decision.
Go To School
Just like with everything else that you want to be good at, you have to learn it. There are Aviation Maintenance Technicians schools where you can learn. But, you have to make sure that that they are certified by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).
Aviation learning programs usually take 12 to 24 months and in order to qualify you need to have a high school degree or a GED. After graduation, you automatically qualify to sit for the FAA exams which are a requirement for you to get certification.
Keep in mind that graduates earn higher pay compared to mechanics who only acquired experience through the military or apprenticeship. Therefore, your time and money studying for this career will eventually pay off when you graduate, get the job, and earn a higher pay.
Get On-the-job Experience
If you have that strong desire to pursue this career, but lack the mechanic’s license from FAA, it is still possible for you to work on the avionics equipment but in that limited capacity. It will take around 18 months of this hands-on experience for each type of certificate. You could even work for 30 months to get both certificates. If you decide to become an apprentice, you will work only under the direct supervision of an FAA mechanic’s license.
As an apprentice, you are not authorized to approve planes, appliances, engines or any parts to be put back to service. You will always require someone with the license to approve it.
Such hands-on experience will help you recognize aircraft parts when you see them. When you see brackett air filters, for example, you will know what they are and you will know when to change them and how to install them.
With the basic mechanical work that you will be doing as an apprentice, you will hone your skills and eventually become better. However, to advance to higher positions, you will need to graduate from your aviation mechanics school and be FAA-certified.
Will you make money?
Indeed you can earn serious money as an aircraft mechanic. Compared to some careers, an aircraft mechanic’s earnings are way better; but the right steps have to be taken, like earning your FAA certification. Also, remember that there is much more to an aircraft mechanic’s job than all the money that you could make.
Not for Everyone
An aircraft mechanic career is not for everyone, because many get into it and end up quitting after only a few weeks or months. Most people, despite having gone through all that trouble to study, still quit because of their own personal reasons. Usually it is because they find out the hard way how demanding the job is. It is a career that needs individuals with a real interest in aviation stuff.