KBFIspotter From United States of America, joined May 2005, 729 posts, RR: 1 Reply 1, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4697 times:
For schools, I attended Clover Park Technical College in Puyallup, Wahington (just south of Seattle). It is an excellent school with some very excellent instructors who know what tehy are talking about. As for subject matter, all A&P schools will normally break down into three major sections: General, Airframe, and Powerplant. This is because there is an FAA written, oral, and practical test in each. General deals with alot of the physics of flight and basic mechanics, such as hardware identification and so forth. Airframe is just that, where you learn about the structure of the aircraft and various methods of repair, and the different systems found in them. Powerplant is dealing with all things propulsion... Here you will most likely tear down a recip engine and rebuild it, and you might do the same with a turbine. At Clover Park, we tore down and overhauled Allison A250 turbines, and Lycoming O320's.
DALMD88 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2449 posts, RR: 15 Reply 2, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4688 times:
First thing to know; RUNAWAY FAST. The future for the AMT in the US isn't looking good. The number of new openings is very small and there are thousands of furloughed AMT's. Many will not come back to this industry. That alone should tell you something. The pay is also not keeping up with the responsability.
So are you still intrested? Many of the AMT schools have gone away, so the list is getting shorter. If you do go and get your A&P go the extra mile and get an Avionics program. The five semester/18 month A&P program isn't really enough anymore. A couple of god programs are ERAU in DAB, and PIA in PIT. I went to ERAU, but I didn't do the avionics program. Warning, it is expensive.
CptSpeaking From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 639 posts, RR: 1 Reply 3, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4686 times:
The need for AMTs really depends on what you want to do. One field where you really need an A&P is missions aviation. Those pilots need to be mechanics as well, as generally there aren't any service centers at grass strips in the middle of the jungle...I can't speak for the need in the 91/121 world for mechanics anyway...they do always seem to be available when I need one though.
On a side note, Liberty University is starting up an A&P school, first classes Jan. 09. We've built a neat partnership with Pratt & Whitney also...they're donating two PT6 engines to the maintenance school; one that works and one cut-away. Very neat!!
Here is what is required of a Part 147 AMT school...and here is what is required of you to know.
CanadianNorth From Canada, joined Aug 2002, 3377 posts, RR: 9 Reply 4, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4679 times:
Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 2): The future for the AMT in the US isn't looking good.
On the other hand, I've heard of multiple companies in Canada that can't find enough AMEs. I know the poster wanted US only, but I thought I'd throw that out there.
I just started a course for the same thing up here in Canada. All I can really say sofar is expect part one to be less than thrilling (mostly stuff like safety rules, how to draw stuff, how to take a bolt and get a part number out of it, stuff like that). I'm about 4 weeks into it and we've yet to actually touch an aircraft. But at the same time it's a pretty good course, the one I'm in feels relatively easy but I've learned a lot sofar.
Fact is there's a shortage of mechanics. My take on it is because nobody in their right mind wants to work for half what a fair auto mechanic makes. But there is a shortage. The other reason is that if you want to work you'll have to move, a lot.
As for AMT as a title. It takes 30 months of apprenticeship or 13 months of formal schoolling, minimum, to qualify to take the test for the A&P certificate. It takes very little to call yourself a technician. I'm one of the chrochety old grey hairs that takes pride in being called a mechanic. I don't need to lengthen my title to feel a sense of self esteem. Especially when the new title isn't based in correct grammar or definition. I'm a Mechanic, just like it says on my Certificate (it's not a license).
Now as to the avionics part of the education. The schools are teaching what used to be part of the electrical material and calling it avionics. If you're going to go into avionics you need to find a school that actually teaches electronics fundamentals before introducing you to box swaptronics. I've had to stop too many classes in the last five years to do a quick refresher because my supposedly experienced students didn't have a basic grasp of Ohm's Law or the Bourdon Principle.
As long as we're willing to accept mediocraty from our educators in order to buy our certificates we'll continue to experience low wages and a shortage of skilled mechanics amongst our ranks.
MECHANIC -- not AMT
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
Suisjes From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 70 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4603 times:
Ya, pretty hard to get a job with Delta no matter what anyone says. When I was going to A & P school in the late nineties they were hiring people right outta school, but that was before 911, the best way to get experience, is at the regionals like ASA Delta connect Pinnacle NWAirlink and such airlines it is kinda like working for a main line except the pay is lower. As for demand we will be in demand for the coming years with numbers like 18 years being the least seniority at places like United, I would definitely consider a different career field all of what people in the above posts is exactly how it is. And as for Delta they have laid off like 4000 mechs or amts in the last 2-3 years. But check out aviationemployment.com they have quite a selection of schools, but if your smart stick to community college were you wont get hosed on tuition.
jes suis prest
EMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9348 posts, RR: 12 Reply 9, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 4575 times:
Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 2): If you do go and get your A&P go the extra mile and get an Avionics program.
Agreed...!! Even if you don't get into the Avionics side of the business it's a good foundation with the more technical planes today. If you do really end up enjoying it.... most good Avionics guys today can just about write there own price as a really good one is hard to come by.
I went to North American Inst. of Aviation in Conway, SC. Good school and all inclusive. They even offer on-site housing. The school is at an airport, so there is always something going on and they also offer a flight school.
As for what you 'need to know'..... just keep working on a well rounded education. I went to A&P school over 10 years after High School graduation and did just fine.
[Edited 2008-01-25 12:01:53]
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
HeavyMx1 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 305 posts, RR: 1 Reply 10, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 4562 times:
Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 2): First thing to know; RUNAWAY FAST. The future for the AMT in the US isn't looking good. The number of new openings is very small and there are thousands of furloughed AMT's. Many will not come back to this industry. That alone should tell you something. The pay is also not keeping up with the responsability.
I really get tired of people coming out every time someone ask about A&P school and painting a grave picture. First and fore most Don't just limit your self to commercial aviation. There are all kinds of companies such as Northrop Grumman and Lockheed that have great jobs working on big metal. If your true passion is commercial there are some That are hiring off the street, but being just out of school your best bet would be to A) start working for a regional and gain exp. or B) Get on with a airline (best bet is one with a apprentance program) and work your way through. There are plenty of oppurtunities out there for new A/P's and the future will only bring more. I for one can say this because of where I am now, Just about 5.5 years ago I started working for a airline on the ramp, I spoke to several people in the MX dept. and told them that I was planning on going to A/P school and kept in contact with them while in school/working on the ramp. Long story short they hired me right out of school and I know have 3 years in as a AMT with the second highest paid mechanics for commercail airlines (USA) behind WN. So dont let anyone talk you out of being an AMT, They all tried to do it to me and look were I am now.
Stratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1644 posts, RR: 3 Reply 11, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4550 times:
Quoting HeavyMx1 (Reply 10): They all tried to do it to me and look were I am now
It's not where you are now but where will you be in the future. I had almost 20 yrs with NWA and before you say anything about the strike let me say that in my case it would not have mattered either way. The company was going to eliminate most of their MX (me included) and contracting it out hence the strike. You are young and have the same eager attitude I had early in my career. Just remember that most of the posts that have been negative are from people who have been on the roller coaster ride and quite possibly several airline changes in their career through no fault of their own and have reason to be bitter. I faired quite well but I know a lot who lost their homes, wifes, and some everything they had. No job is secure anymore and an aviation job is among the most unstable. Keep an open mind, save as much as you can and have a good time. Hopefully things will be better for you than it was for me. Just remember don't think only bad things happen to the other guy. I used to think that way to until I became the "other guy".
474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9 Reply 12, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4540 times:
I don't know if you have considered this method of getting your A and P, the military. Their schools are second to none, you will get lots of hands on experience and you get paid the whole time. I know the training I got in the USAF helped me through my 40 plus year aviation career.
Been listening to the admissions people at your school pretty intently eh?
Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 6): well i have a year left in HS and i want to work for DL in TechOps (ATL) which is why i said US only. What does DL want/need? how hard would it be to get a job with them?
DL is a crapshoot. Up until very recently we were hiring AMTs (sorry Avioniker) out of school if you wanted to go to JFK, LGA, BOS, DCA, or SFO. We were also hiring non-licensed mechanic-helpers (basically a B-scale mechanic who can't sign anything off and is relegated mostly to the more menial tasks) with as little as 6 months of any kind of mechanical experience. That has stopped for the time being as well. Who knows what will happen in the event of a merger. My prediction is you'll see fewer mechanics and more helpers. So probably helper is your best avenue into DL in the forseeable future.
Quoting HeavyMx1 (Reply 10): Long story short they hired me right out of school and I know have 3 years in as a AMT with the second highest paid mechanics for commercail airlines (USA) behind WN. So dont let anyone talk you out of being an AMT
Yes, there are success stories like yours but for every one like you there are many times more A&P school grads that don't end up working on planes let alone for decent money. I hired on during the industry wide hiring spree of the late 80s early 90s and graduated from Colorado Aero Tech which was at that time one of the more well respected schools in the nation. Out of my class of 26, two hired with an airline, 5 worked in Gen Av, and the rest never touched a plane after they graduated. If it's what you love go for it. If you don't make it at least you can't say you didn't try. If you do make it, don't ever get too comfortable in what you are doing. The aviation industry is like Rocky Mountain weather. If you don't like it, wait 30 minutes. It will change.
CanadianNorth From Canada, joined Aug 2002, 3377 posts, RR: 9 Reply 17, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4428 times:
Quoting Dl757md (Reply 14): Been listening to the admissions people at your school pretty intently eh?
Well one has to wonder if the airline I was working at before I started my course asked me about three times if I was going to come back after, and Jazz was showing interest in western-Canada level 1 students...
DALMD88 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2449 posts, RR: 15 Reply 19, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4330 times:
Quoting Skyweasy82 (Reply 15): Even if you went into the military you would have to go through FAA training or pay for your O&P. There were several people from the military at my A&P school. At least they had a free ride
True, the military does teach well, but many of the aviation jobs are very narrow. Very few MOS get you enough varied training and experience to get a sign off to do all your O&P's. My personnel experience with ex military mechanics is the guys from the Marines and the Navy are usually have more varied experience than the Air Force or Army guys. My take is on a ship you can't be as specialized.
Ex52tech From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 559 posts, RR: 1 Reply 20, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4259 times:
Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 19): he guys from the Marines and the Navy are usually have more varied experience than the Air Force or Army guys.
I could see the Army guys only having helicopter experience, but remember the Air Force uses a large number of multi engined aircraft, some converted airliners. So most guys wanting to get into aviation maintenance are shooting for an airline job. You won't see many KC-10s on an aircraft carrier.
True the guys that have the least specialized experience usually get the most waivers when it comes to the F.A.A.
I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from going into aviation maintenance, but you do need to understand that there are quite a few very experienced A&Ps out there that are NOT working in aviation right now.
"Saddest thing I ever witnessed....an airplane being scrapped"
Avioniker From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1109 posts, RR: 11 Reply 21, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4238 times:
Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 19): Very few MOS get you enough varied training and experience to get a sign off to do all your O&P's. My personnel experience with ex military mechanics is the guys from the Marines and the Navy are usually have more varied experience than the Air Force or Army guys. My take is on a ship you can't be as specialized.
I'm afraid I have to agree. (And I spent 22 years in the AF finishing with 5 years on KC-10's.)
When I got out I figured I was going to show those civillians how to fix planes right! (OOPS! I got my butt handed to me fairly often in the first couple of years on the outside.) Now after 18 years relearning my craft I also have learned to hold my tongue a little better (but not much).
Another side of the problem is that the military, AF in particular, has consolidated and shortened, what used to be spectacular, schools to a level of bare essentials. ("This box goes in this rack and pushes the rudder. . ." ) I must add that the enforced application of "Simplified Technical English" seems to have had a similar effect on the civilian tech manuals to what shortening the schools in the military has done.
If you want to see a true tragedy you should see the KC-10 fleet now. The paint's peeling, skydrol dripping and page upon page of open discrepancies (many the kind you don't MEL in the commercial world). I heard the excuse that they're flying them too much to do any maintenance but when you consider they have less than 50,000 hours and there were 22 sitting on the ramp at WRI all week when I was there in November I have to put that excuse aside.
The schools are too narrow in scope and if a guy only spends 4 years he gets very little varied experience on the associated systems. That's why the airlines don't want to interview a guy until he's had at least 2 years in a repair station and another 2 at a regional.
If you want to learn specific theory about a system I heartily recommend AF schools. If you want to get a more general education and level of experience I've found the Navy, Marines, and even Army guys to be more diversified and less likely to pull the "not my job" line on their supervisors on the outside.
In all events there are many good schools out here. If you want to learn fast go to the military. If you have a couple of years and some money with no better use find a good school.
Okay I'm back off my soapbox now. Have at me. . .
Oh yeah; Would someone please find the appropriate colonel's butt to kick. I'm still pi&*(ed off about what I saw at WRI. There's no excuse!
Now flame away~~~~~~~~~
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
Quoting Stratosphere (Reply 11): Just remember don't think only bad things happen to the other guy. I used to think that way to until I became the "other guy".
That is so very true. In my career so far I have come across guys who have worked for airlines like Pan Am, Eastern, Braniff etc, etc. They all have a similiar story. At one time these airlines were the 800lbs gorilla and the thought of anything bad happening was practically unthinkable. Well the unthinkable did happen and lot of people were left with a whole lot of nothing to show for their hard work.