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Aviation Mechanics  
User currently offlineLindy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (10 years 2 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4634 times:

Hi Guys,

Friend of mine asked me the other day, what does he need to become aviation mechanic? He is car crazy (like we are about airliners), when I take pictures at the airport, he is working in his garage on the engine  Smile
He said that he would like to move to bigger stuff like airplane engines.
His main concerns was pay. How much do they make when they start, how is the job market in this profession? I couldnt give him any answers.
Can any of you guys can help ???

Thanks,
Rafal

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMiamiair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4593 times:

You either have to go to a school certified for that or have 18 months practicle experience, be able to read, write and understand english ( and that ie for either a powerplant OR airframe rating) Each license is 18 months. Pay depends on what you work on and where. Search on-line for AMT and look for salary articles.

User currently offlineKaddyuk From Wallis and Futuna, joined Nov 2001, 4126 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (10 years 2 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4557 times:

Well, this is just my knowlege of the UK industry...

To become an aeronautical engineering, you must have completed your school education to a 'C' grade or better in Maths, Science, English and two other subjects.

You must have completed a course in Aernautical Engineering. A National Certificate or National Diploma. A BTEC is also useful... A Modern Apprenticeship Certificate helps as well

This will allow you to enter as a "tech". You can fix aircraft. You can physically do the work, however you cannot sign the paperwork that says the job was completed correctly. This is the job of a "Cert" or Certifyer.

I am training to become a Certifyer. The licence is called a Part 66 Catagory B licence issued by the CAA, governed by EASA, the European agency created to replace the JAA.

In the USA its a FAR66. issued by the FAA.

Once I have finished my apprenticeship, I will have a Part 66 Cat A licence. This is a smaller licence than the 'B' Licence. I will possibly earn approx. £25k per annum pre tax. I know that some certifiers earn around £38k per annum with some great company benefits.

There is the possiblilty to earn over £60k per annum in this game as a chartered engineer.

There are alot of ways to get into the industry, you can go through university however I dont like this option because it doesnt give any practical experience.

Hope this helps...



Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
User currently offlineLineMechQX From United States of America, joined May 2004, 77 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (10 years 2 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4514 times:

Airplanes are fun to work on for plane nuts. Not for car freaks, I've seen dozens of car mechanics enter the profression thinking they'd make more money only to leave after a few years, easily finding a better paying, better hours job in the automotive world. Pay will always be poor for aircraft mechanics, for a number of reasons, number one we're mechanics, as far as aviation is concerned, theres not much below us maybe rampers, remember, in the military the pilots are the officers, the mechanics are enlisted this is where it all starts. Airlines will always have good times and bad times, but more bad then good even when pay starts to pick up, it seems bankruptcies aren't far behind. In the automotive industry labor is charged hourly to the customer (in many cases, not all), if an airline were to increase your hourly wage, they would have no way to directly bill it to the customer. (they could increase ticket prices, but we all know how this works in reality). Aircraft mechanics are aircraft mechanics often for a reason, its kind of like going to the car dealership and telling the salesman, how the car he's showing you is just what you want, and how excited you are to buy it, you're not gonna get a good deal, "real"(that is the real plane nuts out there) aircraft mechanics are probably not going to leave the industry unless completely forced out. So what incentive do the airlines have to pay you more to keep you around, if their only competition is a rival airline who's probably not hiring and will start you at senority zero, not much. Another major downer to the industry, is mechanics can only work on the airplanes when they're not flying, that means almost all of the work is done at night and on weekends, when the planes aren't in the air. I've worked almost 4 years now, weekends and graveyard shift, and have no prospect in my seniority list(400+) of achieving weekends off in the next 3 years. It may sound like I'm whining, but I have my job, and I plan on keeping it, but I've wanted to work on airplanes since I was 5, this is my dream. No job may be perfect, but I'd just like to save your friend, some grief and heartache. If he's not willing to sacrifice and put his all into an aviation job then tell him not to bother, honestly the industry doesn't need to pay for training of another auto mechanic who can do better.
Hope my response helps him make a decision, sorry if its slightly incoherent, I've just gotten off of work this morning. I'm sure theres plenty more other a&P's can add to my list. Maybe a GA mechanic on here could give some insight into that side of the field, but from the people I know working in it, its not much better.

Late
PC


User currently offlineORDflyer From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 511 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 years 2 months 6 days ago) and read 4394 times:

I'm not a mechanic, but I was seriously conisdering attending A&P school recently, however decided against it for many of the same reasons that LineMech mentioned. I had the chance to work as a ramper last summer, so I was able to talk with alot of mechanics and get several different opinions on their jobs. I heard pretty much the same thing from everybody...long/inflexible hours, relatively low pay compared to the training involved, and an always volatile job market.
As for how to become an A&P, most go to school full time for approximately 2 years or so depending on the program, then you must pass the appropriate tests.
If your friend likes cars so much, he'd may be better off sticking with that profession if he's concerned about money and scheduling, but other than that I'm sure aviation maintenance would provide a new and exciting challenge.


User currently offlineDl757md From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1562 posts, RR: 17
Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 4276 times:

I've worked almost 4 years now, weekends and graveyard shift, and have no prospect in my seniority list(400+) of achieving weekends off in the next 3 years.

I've got 13 years with Delta. I've been on midnights most of the time. Currently I can't even hold midnights. I work a 7PM to 3AM shift with TW off. There's not much prospect of holding dayshift with any kind of days off in the next 20 years(provided Delta is still around). I could hold a better shift in ATL but since I don't want to live there this is the price I must pay.

Dl757Md



757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
User currently offlineUAL Bagsmasher From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2148 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4267 times:

I am currently working 2200-0800 with MTW off. The three days off are nice, but the first one is usually spent in bed Big grin

User currently offlineKaddyuk From Wallis and Futuna, joined Nov 2001, 4126 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (10 years 2 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4269 times:

This must be the price you pay to live in the USA, most engineers work a 4 on 4 off shift, 7am till 7pm, with a few variying shifts inbetween to cover the high and low periods.

We get paid quite low at VS compared to other airlines but other benefits make up for it like 7 free return flights per year...

Hope your friend can make a decision soon...



Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
User currently offlineLmp737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (10 years 2 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4245 times:

Lindy:

If you're freind truly loves working on cars then tell him to stick with cars. The pay is better, a mechanic working at a dealership will make 30-40% more than a A&P working for a major airline. In additon he won't be working nights, weekends(for the most part) and holidays.

LineMechQX:

Good post. In my career I have known some guys who at one time were "plane nuts" who left the industry. Each one is making more and have a better home life now. So I guess even the hardcore plane nuts have grown frustrated with this industry.


User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (10 years 2 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4221 times:

I am currently working 2200-0800 with MTW off. The three days off are nice, but the first one is usually spent in bed.

UAL Bagsmasher.... Again, congrats on your new job.....and welcome to the 'Newbie' Schedule. I worked that same schedule for my first 2 years. It's really not that bad as you can get a lot done durning your days off as most people are working while your out shopping, going to the beach, golfing or what ever. One big plus of working 3/10's is that you can work one of your days off and STILL have a regular two day weekend. Over time, and once your body gets used to the schedule you'll get that third day back, but more then once after a long week and lots of O/T, I've slept for 24hrs on that first day off.



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineIFIXCF6 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (10 years 2 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4171 times:

One more perspective: all of the previous posts are correct, but no one mentioned another disincentive...layoffs. I am a victim of this. After 12 years with GE, I now work for a storage company at VCV. I earn less than I did at 3 years of tenure with GE. 13 years ago. In actual dollars (i.e. not adjusted for inflation). Sorry to sound negative. I love what I do. But if you do not love aviation, you will regret aviation.

Mike


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (10 years 2 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4157 times:

I am training to become a Certifyer. The licence is called a Part 66 Catagory B licence issued by the CAA, governed by EASA, the European agency created to replace the JAA.

In the USA its a FAR66. issued by the FAA.


We dont have FAR Part 66 in the U.S. .....yet. This part is being written by the F.A.A. as we speak. From what I know, it will be an addition to FAR part 147. Part 66 would require anyone who wants to work on transport category aircraft (airlines...) would have to have an additional rating. The license would be calle AMTT. (Note the additional T after 'AMT'.) Current A&Ps who already work for the airlines are except from what I have been told. Im currently in A&P school now and Im extempt from the 'requirement' (If it gets passed before I get my A&P) since Im already in the program. You cant just go to the F.A.A. and take the the general, airframe and powerplant O&P tests and expect to pass it and get a the license, theres alot of studying involved in this among other strict requirements......

FAR Part 147, 91 and 65 would be a good place to start your research before you decide to become an aircraft mechanic. There are two ways to get an A&P: Via military experence for 2 years or more...by keeping EVERY single mx documentation you have done on aircraft OR go to a Part 147 AMT certified school.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineLindy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (10 years 2 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4111 times:

Thanks Guys for your input. Right now, my friend is two steps back from the idea of becoming A&P mechanic  Smile I've showed him all your replays. It opened his eyes. He will probably go for auto mechanic position in the near future  Smile

Thanks again!
Rafal


User currently offlineKaddyuk From Wallis and Futuna, joined Nov 2001, 4126 posts, RR: 25
Reply 13, posted (10 years 2 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4098 times:

Really? Thanks for in information. I heard that the FAA licence is a walk over at the moment and they know it...

I think that mechs in the US come 10 a penny so its a form of cheap labour. In the UK, they dont. Its hard to come across fully licenced engineers because the licence is very hard to get.

My CAA licence is a right royal bitch. They play word games with all the questions. They have almost stopped testing your knowlege of the course and started testing your english skills.

Gotta really read the question 4 or 5 times to understand some of them...



Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
User currently offlineA/c train From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 501 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (10 years 2 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4097 times:

Im currently working on line maintenance doing 2 days 2 nights 4off, 7-7.
they call it the graveyard shift !
The jobs great if your interested in aircraft, I get great job satisfaction from what I do, but you are severely underpaid for the responsibility you have and you hold next to no respect from people above. On the otherhand ive got to go overseas to do AOG rescues on aircraft, you do see a little of the world.
I enjoy it, but if your more interested in cars, you will become a typical moaning/sinical git in no time !! + shifts will get you down.
regds a/c


User currently offlineDl1011 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 386 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (10 years 2 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4057 times:

I would not recommend getting an A&P except as a hobby
or to maintain your own aircraft.

Wages are in freefall. US Air just took another 21% paycut and that's on top of 2 earlier rounds of cuts. UAL wants another paycut from it's people and DL's people will take a 10% cut soon. DL has already cut most if not all benefits and the retirement is now pretty bad.

Most airlines are now outsourcing heavy checks and there are a lot of former airline A&P's looking for work. As I understand it, the third party mtc providers have non A&P's working on a/c.

I have almost 15 years time in and I also have mid-week off days on midnight shift. If everything were to stay the same, I wouldn't be able to work dayshift for about 7-10 years! However, with the upcoming lay-offs I'll be lucky to have a job. I suspect that there will be a lot of outsourcing soon and many (thousands?) of A&P's will be out of work. Just my 2 cts on that.

If your buddy is still interested, check out community colleges for A&P programs.

http://www.ultimateaviationlinks.com/apschools.html

This website has some links for some schools.

Like I said earlier, I would not recommend this field anymore. 2 years for the A&P and 1-2 years for avionics.

I've enjoyed the time with the airlines but it's time for something else!

Cheers.


User currently offlineRiffedAAMech From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 52 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (10 years 2 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4032 times:

I was an A&P at McDonnel Douglas and at American Airlines. I was laid off 2 times at Douglas and 2 times at American. The last time they laid me off at American was a week before Christmas 2002. I couldnt find an A&P job for over a year. I now work at an oil refinery here in L.A. making more money and better benefits than I did with American. I will never go back to an airline if I can help it. I loved working on airplanes and being at the airport, but when it comes down to getting paid and making the mortgage payment, the airline industry is not secure enough. It really sucks starting over in pay and seniority after every layoff. I wouldnt recommend becomming an a&p to anyone.

User currently offline737doctor From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1332 posts, RR: 38
Reply 17, posted (10 years 2 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4012 times:

I'm one of the lucky ones; I work for a stable airline on evening shift with weekends off and I STILL wouldn't recommend that someone else pursue a career as an aircraft mechanic. Things are good now, but things can change. Even though almost every one of us went through hell to get here, I feel like my fellow employees and I "hit the lottery" and for each one of us, there are thousands of others who were not so lucky...


Patrick Bateman is my hero.
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (10 years 2 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3911 times:

RiffedAAmech:

So I take it you are not going to acept a recall?  Big grin Can't say that I blame you.


User currently offlineRiffedAAMech From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 52 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (10 years 2 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3849 times:

LMP737:
I will never say never. The lure of going back and working on aircraft is very strong. I miss it alot. But my friends and family have all said I'd be crazy to go back. I think I would be too. The way it sounds at American now, I really dont think there will be a recall any time soon. Have you heard about any recall happening in the near future?


User currently offlineFedex From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (10 years 2 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3836 times:

I must agree with 737doctor. I feel truely blessed to have finally made it to what I consider the best of airline jobs. I work for a incredibly stable company who is making money hand over fist even during these hard times, earning close to the top in wages for our industry, but would not consider reccomending this career to anyone I know, no matter how "plane nuts" they are. Working at night with hazardous materials and INCREDIBLE liability for your actions for no respect and low comparable wages is very dishartening. Airlines look at Maintenance as a "necessary evil". Our department will never make money for an airline. On the Gen Av side of the house. You would be amazed that a Doctor who can affoard a brand new Barron or Bonanza will bitch and moan about the cost of an oil filter. At the same time, if he has a bad day at work, he could loose a patient on the operating table, while if we have a bad day at work, we could kill hundreds.

User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (10 years 2 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3741 times:

RiffedAAmech:

Being an aircraft mechanic is sort of like having an addiction problem. You know you should'nt do it but you just can't help yourself. Listen to your family and freinds, stay where you are at. As of late I've been thinking of another career path. My only problem is that I'm having a hard time finding something else to do.

For a while this summer there were some recalls at ORD, DFW, LAX and MIA. However things have be quite as of late. Unfortanetly with the 737 being moved out of some of the California routes there are rumors of some possible layoff's early next year.


User currently offlineDc10guy From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 2685 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (10 years 2 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3696 times:

I've been working on airplanes since 1977. I love working on the planes. But if I could do it all over again, I would learn how to run a mamogragh mechine ....


Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
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