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User currently offlineJMC757eng From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 8 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 1 month 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3511 times:

Hello all.
I am currently an electrical engineer in the manufacturing industry but have always wanted to be an aircraft engineer/avionics tech etc.
I have an HND in electrical/electronic engineering and have considerable knowledge of hydraulics, pneumatics, C++ programmming etc etc.
My question is, how easy/hard would it be to convert to become an aircraft engineer. Would my qualifications etc be of any use if appying for a position, or would i need to start from scratch and go and get my HND in aircraft engineering?
All replies much appreciated. Hope it makes sense. I am 26 by the way.
Thanks

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineOkie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2852 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (9 years 1 month 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 1803 times:

I have a similar background as you and I enjoy my job but might consider changing if NASA called.
The happiest people in the world are the one's that are doing what they enjoy doing whether it is sweeping the floor at Wal-Mart or flying an airplane or anything in between.
It never hurts to apply for any job you think you would enjoy doing even if it is out of your area of expertise, most employers like enthusiasm.

The absolute worst that can happen is to be told "NO"
Nothing ventured = Nothing gained.

Go for it.


Okie.


User currently offlineLehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 21
Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 month 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 1793 times:

If you have knowledge in hydraulics and pnematics then I'd presume you have knowledge in thermodynamics, junior level course at my school that is at the begining of the major.

My school is called Embry-Riddle Aeronatical University, they have two main campuses at Daytona, FL and Prescott AZ, in the USA and hundreds of extended mini-campuses worldwide. Here is the website:

http://www.erau.edu/er/degrees/index.html

...and this link can help you decide what major you want:

http://www.erau.edu/er/degrees/index.html#I_want



The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 month 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1745 times:

There is a big problem in the UK at the moment in that a lot of industries have stopped taking apprentices on. With the Armed Forces also reducing their manpower there is starting to be a shortage in trained engineers, particularly as those people who have been made redundant in aerospace industries are not going back.

This means that there are opportunities for people to get into the industry. However, as an unqualified engineer you are going to have to start at the bottom and that means lower salaries. If you can afford to take a pay cut then you might be able find yourself a job, especially as companies like paying as little as they can get away with.

If you can get your foot in the door then you will have a reasonable chance of progressing, but to earn the big money you will need to have the appropriate licences and experience is one of the major requirements. Still at 26 you have time but if you are married and have kids then unfortunately you will have other financial pressures that may proclude you from making a career change. The area in which you live may also limit your opportunities. Not every city has an airport for example.

I hope I don't sound too negative. You need to research it before you make you decission, but if its what you want to do the sacrifices in the early years may well pay off.


User currently offlineNORTHSEATIGER From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 432 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 month 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1734 times:

Basically you will have to sit your Basic Licence which anyone can do but can be expensive, i.e paying for courses then the exams (yes the C.A.A charges around £28 per exam !!), once you have done that you then experience on a/c type which then allows you to gain type ratings. You say you have knowledge in Hydraulics/Pneumatics ?, Sounds like you would be better off being an A+C rather than a greenie ?.

Anyway Places like Air service Training, Oxford Air Training or Brooklands College run the licence courses.

Regards NST



T's And P's look good....Rotate
User currently offlineAvionicMech From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 315 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (9 years 1 month 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1726 times:

At the age of 26 you will be too old to become an apprentice now if you can even find someone who is still doing apprenticeships. What you best bet would be is to speak to as many aircraft engineering firms as you can and see if they are willing to take you on as an adult trainee. I don't know of anywhere that does now but I know that Monarch at Luton and BA (BAMC) at Cardiff have done this before so they might be good places to contact first.

Also seen as you have an HND in electrical engineering you might find that you will get excemptions from some modules of your Part-66 licence if you are doing either the B1 or B2 because the B1 now includes electrics.  Wow!

Avionic Mech


User currently offlineJMC757eng From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 8 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 1 month 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1713 times:

Thanks for all the replies guys been very helpful.

Avionicmech:- Thanks for the advice might try contacting as many aircraft companies as i can. I tried that a few years ago, and got an interview at BMI at eastmidlands, basically the engineering manager was so impressed with my determination/enthusiasm he was willingto take me on and like you say, start at the bottom in the sheet metal shop etc. Then due to sept 11 and redundencies, the position never became available and i was gutted. If things are picking up again i might give it another shot.

Thanks again all.


User currently offlineBungle From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 1 month 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1668 times:

hello,
I know that marshall aerospace in cambridge take on adult trainees they usually take on one class a year usually feb-march time take a look at their web site [www.marshallaerospace.com]
hope this helps.
bungle


User currently offlineCheekie747girl From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 1 month 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1670 times:

Just a little reminder, before you can hold any of the engineering maintenance licences issued by the CAA, you must meet their stringent work experience requirements, all of which can be found on their website www.caa.srg.org (or similar) under 'Personnel Licencing-Engineering'. Also, with your engineering background, you may be interested in working with Airbus at Filton in Bristol, they have advertised recruitment roadshows throughout the country in this weeks Flight International magazine and are looking for experienced, qualified engineers.

User currently offlineVC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3695 posts, RR: 35
Reply 9, posted (9 years 1 month 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1629 times:
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Quoting NORTHSEATIGER (Reply 4):
Basically you will have to sit your Basic Licence which anyone can do but can be expensive, i.e paying for courses then the exams (yes the C.A.A charges around £28 per exam !!), once you have done that you then experience on a/c type which then allows you to gain type ratings.

No offence intended, but this illustrates the dumbing down of the licence system over the years. In my young day you had to sit a multi-choice exam with negative marking (2 points for a correct answer and -1 for wrong answer) and answer 6 essay type questions. If you got >75% you went forward for an upto 2 Hr oral examination with the CAA. Then you got your licence.

I have to say after a 4 year apprenticeship I didn't feel ready to attempt the licence exam until I had at least a couple of years more experience under my belt.

If you wanted a type licenece you had to go for a further oral exam with the CAA where as well as asking system related questions they also asked you questions about some of the jobs you had put on your work experience sheets. Bluffing wasn't recommended.

I think the way things are done these days is a poor substitute.


User currently offlineNORTHSEATIGER From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 432 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (9 years 1 month 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 1561 times:

Re "Dumming down" of the licence sytem.This makes it sound as you pay your money and "Ting" you get a licence, not at all. You probably have to sit more modules on more comlicated subjects than you did under the old system, the pass mark is still 75% and there still is 2 written exams and as far as i am aware there is still the oral exam prior to gaining your basic licence.

Personally I sat my licence under the old BCAR system and had a 3hr Oral with the Local surveyor and now have done the conversion modules to Easa which were anything but a "poor substitute".



T's And P's look good....Rotate
User currently offlineAvionicMech From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 315 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 month 1 day ago) and read 1495 times:

Quoting NORTHSEATIGER (Reply 10):
probably have to sit more modules on more comlicated subjects than you did under the old system, the pass mark is still 75% and there still is 2 written exams and as far as i am aware there is still the oral exam prior to gaining your basic licence.

You are not quite right there, yes the pass mark is still 75% but you have 4 essay papers all sat at the same time, which are 1 on air legislation, one on human factors and two on maintenance practices. Also you no longer sit an oral exam with the old guy at the CAA to get your licence but the approval board oral is now said to be more difficult to sort of take the place of it.

Avionic Mech


User currently offlineCheekie747girl From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 1 month 20 hours ago) and read 1479 times:

Quoting VC-10 (Reply 9):
No offence intended, but this illustrates the dumbing down of the licence system over the years. In my young day you had to sit a multi-choice exam with negative marking (2 points for a correct answer and -1 for wrong answer) and answer 6 essay type questions. If you got >75% you went forward for an upto 2 Hr oral examination with the CAA. Then you got your licence.

Ahhh I remember those days.....scary old CAA Surveyor; blank sheet of paper in front of you....I agree with VC10, as these days all you need do is log onto JAR66.com and all is revealed....if you have a good memory retention!!!


User currently offlineOzLAME From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 338 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1385 times:

JMC757eng,

I didn't start until just before my 21st birthday (I'm 36 now); originally I wanted to be eng-a/f but the guy that hired me wanted me to do Avionics, a decision I thank him for every time I see him. I very much enjoy the way a curly Avionics defect exercises my brain and I get a high sense of satisfaction when I fix a difficult or subtle problem, or when I complete an avionics upgrade and turn it on for the first time and it all works, or when I repair an aircraft after an electrical fire and the owner rings me up and asks me what I did because he can't tell where I've been... I could go on for hours about how rewarding I have found my chosen profession.

My advice is, if you really want to do it, go for it, there is no substitute for enthusiasm; I have seen guys start in aircraft maintenance at ages older than I am now. I love going to work, I look forward to it every morning on my drive in and I even work as a volunteer on vintage/classic/warbird aircraft on my days off, so you could say I get paid to do something I'd happily do for nothing. As many people before me have stated, don't do it for the money, you'd be better off being an accountant or Real Estate agent (at least here in Sydney anyway, and no offence to any accountants reading this). If you reckon you will enjoy it, you most likely will.

Quoting NORTHSEATIGER (Reply 4):
yes the C.A.A charges around £28 per exam !!

Oh, to pay only 28 pounds for an exam! At today's exchange rate an exam costs about 48 pounds here ($120, or more than ten hours wages when I started sitting exams) and I have sat about thirty, including about six that I failed (75% pass here as well) or was unable to sit (no refund if you can't get there); I had to pass 24 exams to get where I am now (and I haven't done Inertial Nav or Helicopter Autopilots), then there is the thousands spent on licence fees which CASA saw fit to quadruple last year.

Quoting VC-10 (Reply 9):
I have to say after a 4 year apprenticeship I didn't feel ready to attempt the licence exam until I had at least a couple of years more experience under my belt.

I felt the same way, I didn't feel ready until I'd been working for about eight years. IMO many younger guys get their licence because it pays more and don't yet know enough to properly exercise the privileges and responsibilities that go with the higher pay.

On a different subject, could any of you guys advise me on how hard/easy it is to convert my Aussie Licences to CAA Licences?



Monty Python's Flying Circus has nothing to do with aviation, except perhaps for Management personnel.
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