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User currently offlineB742 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 3767 posts, RR: 19
Posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2963 times:

I am just curious on how some of you guys working for the airlines (tech and operations) got into the industry.

Which career paths did you take etc?

Do you enjoy your job etc?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Rob!  wave 

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDALMD88 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2540 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2941 times:

I'm aircraft mechanic for DL. I went to school for my A&P. I got a job working for a small turboprop regional straight out of school. I then worked for a turboprop manufacturer that had a gov't support contract for a number of years. Got hired by DL 12 years ago when they first started hiring again.

User currently offlineTyphaerion From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 619 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2931 times:
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From an airline engineering standpoint, you go to school for both your A&P and your engineering degree. Some places will hire with just the degree, but the A&P is a must anyway for your knowledge base. And practical experience will make you a better engineer.

Then you usually pick a focus (e.g Avionics, Powerplant, Structures, Interiors, Reliability, Technical Services). The engineering departments at the majors are usually split along these lines. Applications for these positions can be made through the company websites.

Some do come to engineering from the line or the floor with their A&P.

I was with TZ for three years out of college and they were a wonderful 3 years. I learned more about airlines, airline operation and airline politics during that time. Despite what happened, I wouldn't trade it back for the world.

Best of luck to you!



For some, the sky is the limit. For us, it is only the beginning... -- Jack Hunt
User currently offlineAogdesk From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 935 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2925 times:

I went to a vocational high school that offered an aviation program.....did a post-graduate program at the same school to get my A&P.....worked at an FBO while going to school......assisted airline mechanics whenever possible......and landed a job immediately out of A&P school. Worked 19 yrs in industry and left to pursue entreprenurial opportunity in same industry.

Thats it in a nutshell.....its been quite the ride, and I hope the ride never stops.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2886 times:

After school its was Technical college where in section Mechanical Maintenance where I learnt,Fitting,turning,smith workshop,carpentry,automobile engineering,welding,turning & working on shaping machines.training on using mechanical tools was a subject,this apart from the usual English,Physics,chemistry & maths.

Thereafter Engineering college where basic aircraft maintenance was taught both theoritically & practically on Light aircraft,piston engines,heavy aircraft & jet engines.
after completion of this three year training & passing the regulatory authority BAMEC [basic aircraft maintenance engineering certificate] papers [80% pass mark].

Joined a Pax airline in 1992,attended Boeing approved training,cleared the papers & interview with the regulatory authorities to get a A&C licence with a number in 1994.Joined a Freighter airline in 1996.There after its been approved training & endorsements on AME licence,gaining experience on the way.

It was a long journey.....its still seems like a dream......They pay me to enjoy myself.

From the days of doing a part time job to fund my aviation college fees & skipping meals to save money.....to better days of present....its been a long journey,but everything seems fresh like yesterday.

I enjoy every night at work,some less others more,but I enjoy them.I don't know what I'd do without aviation, as I can't do anything else  Smile

Its been 16 years now,& my family still teases me by calling it my 1st love & they are 2nd.It still is.

regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineTyphaerion From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 619 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 2874 times:
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Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 4):

That may be the most words I have ever seen you string together at one time MEL. And I have been reading your posts for over 3 years now.  yes 



For some, the sky is the limit. For us, it is only the beginning... -- Jack Hunt
User currently onlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1859 posts, RR: 42
Reply 6, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 2867 times:
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CHAT OPERATOR

I'm enrolled in a 4 year course for getting an "Aviation Operations Officer" degree. That's Weight and Balance, Flightplans, etc) I'm currently an intern at MP for a few months  Smile I haven't decided what I'll be doing after this, I will be done in one and a half year.


Nothing's worse then flying the same registration twice, except flying it 4 times..
User currently offlineTyphaerion From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 619 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2855 times:
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Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 6):
I haven't decided what I'll be doing after this

Let me gues... Aviation Operations?  Wink

Pretty much every airline has a large operations department. I am sure you will be able to find a home with one of them...



For some, the sky is the limit. For us, it is only the beginning... -- Jack Hunt
User currently offlineFr8Mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5394 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2837 times:

Went to a vocational high school in NY, East New York Voc & Tech, for my all my powerplant training and most of the airframe. Moved on to The Academy of Aeronautics for an Associates in Avionics and picked up the necessary classes for the airframe.

Worked pax airlines for 2 years and then moved on to cargo. After 10 years of swinging wrenches, I decided to go for management. Along the way I've gotten my bachelor's degree and am now working on my master's, all paid for by my employer.

All in all, been in the business, not including training for 22 years.

It's been good and I hope it stays good, for me and those just entering the profession.

[Edited 2008-11-05 13:56:11]


When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2813 times:



Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 1):

wow... you must have just missed the lay-offs then. I know people that were there 10 yrs that got let go.



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineAcNDTTech From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 338 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2799 times:

I don't work for an airline now, but I have a worked for 2 in the past. I have however, worked in the aviation/aerospace industry my entire career - 28 years. I started when I was 16 - washing and waxing airplanes on the weekends. I made more money doing that 1 or 2 days per week than my friends working in the fast food industry. After high school, I got my first job working for an airline - I was hired on to be a fueler. I really enjoyed the work, even working outside when it was cold, hot, rainy, snowy......all of it. I got fired for doing something stupid, but was hired by another company as a fueler too. I liked the work, but not the company, so I started looking for other opportunities. I got a job at another airport working at an FBO in the line service dept. Again, a lot of fun. Continued on until a few years later, I went to a big aircraft management/charter company. After a couple years there, I asked our Director of Operations what I should do to make more money - I was married and had 2 kids by now. He told me that I needed to go to school and get a degree. He even recommended a school and degree program. That was definately the BEST career advice that I ever got in my life. I did what he said, and have continued to move up the ladder ever since. While in college, I was a fueler again, but after graduating, I got a job working for a 3rd party inspection company doing ultrasonic inspections on raw materials for several aerospace manufacturers. After about 2 years, one of those manufacturers offered me a job working for them, and I accepted. I stayed in that for about 8 years, and tried my luck back at the airlines. Flight benefits were excellent.......money was terrible. In 1 year, I made about $10,000.00 less than I was in mfg. After 2 years, it was about $25,000.00 less. I had to get out.....I was going broke. By this time I was actually beginning to become known in the industry and several companies were beginning to ask me if I'd be interested in coming to work for them. This was a first for me - employers asking for me, not me asking employers. What I did was great! I did contract work for several (3 or 6 months at a time), and I also started doing some consulting work too. I had several hundred contacts in the industry by now, and if I didn't have an answer, I knew where I could get the answer. That continued for 3-4 years, until I was finally ready to settle down. I went to work for a big MRO and did in-service inspections on planes. I was extremely happy there, but 1 thing that I lacked in all these years of experience - I didn't have any experience inspecting composites (other than the occasional tap test). I went home from work one evening and went online looking for an aerospace manufacturer with an opening for someone that did what I do. I applied online and 3 days later was offered the job that I'm still at 2 years later. I like where I'm at, and don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon, but who knows what the future will bring. I can honestly say that in the field that I'm in, there is a great demand for experienced inspectors, and they can pretty much go wherever they want, whenever they want......and make really good money too.

User currently offlineCanadianNorth From Canada, joined Aug 2002, 3389 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2778 times:

Started getting interested in aircraft maintenance in high school, and in grade 12 was lucky enough to get a chance to "sample" it a few times per week for two months each working on small piston bangers, helicopters, and airliners.

After that I got a job with a small airline in cabin services for several months and had great fun doing that, but I was accepted to the school I'm in now and assigned a start date so onwards I went.

Currently in level 6 of 8 in the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (cat M) and it's been great fun so far. Theres definately been a few days that kicked my a$$, but overall the people have been great, the projects interesting, and I've been having a good time.

And if all goes well I should be passing the course just fine (70% is minimum to pass, my average is ~90% sofar), and then it's back up north to start working on some in service airplanes, and eventually get my AME license.

Still have 6 months of school and a few years of apprentiship ahead, but at this point I've definately found the industry I want to be in.


CanadianNorth



What could possibly go wrong?
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17017 posts, RR: 67
Reply 12, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2744 times:

Great thread!

Quoting Typhaerion (Reply 5):
That may be the most words I have ever seen you string together at one time MEL. And I have been reading your posts for over 3 years now. yes

And not a question mark in sight.  Wink

Jokes aside MEL, very interesting.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 13, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2731 times:



Quoting Typhaerion (Reply 5):
That may be the most words I have ever seen you string together at one time MEL. And I have been reading your posts for over 3 years now.

Guess I wanted to put in maximum,but just could not  Smile

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 12):
And not a question mark in sight.
Jokes aside MEL, very interesting.

Yeah....Old habits die hard.....Also guess I was talking so not need for the ?
 wink 

Trust me folks....When you do what you always wanted to do....you think about the tough past & just want to talk about it all the time.  Smile

regds
MEL.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineAcNDTTech From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 338 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2719 times:



Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 4):
I don't know what I'd do without aviation, as I can't do anything else

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. We are really an odd group of people (from the ticket counter, to the ramp; from the hangar to the cockpit; and everything in between) to the outside world. They will never understand the passion that we have for this business. Good times, or bad......we do it because we love it. I have to agree, I don't know what I'd be doing if it wasn't for this industry.....probably something that I wouldn't enjoy as much - unless it was fishing.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 15, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2686 times:



Quoting AcNDTTech (Reply 14):
I have to agree, I don't know what I'd be doing if it wasn't for this industry.....probably something that I wouldn't enjoy as much - unless it was fishing.

True,
Considering the experience gained in Mx it would be no big deal to work on Electricals,air conditioners,refrigators,automobiles....as basic aviation Mx training covers it all...But rightly said we would not enjoy it.

Out here presently Airlines are facing tough times due to the world economic crisis & previous high crude prices.Most airlines are offering pink slips & 20% pay cuts.....Luckily cargo airlines are still doing well.....Hopefully things improve.

regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineDALMD88 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2540 posts, RR: 14
Reply 16, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2680 times:



Quoting EMBQA (Reply 9):
wow... you must have just missed the lay-offs then. I know people that were there 10 yrs that got let go.

Nope, I was hit by the boom. I had the choice of move, (BOS,NYC,DCA,SFO)or go out the door. I missed the last ATL amt slot by 2 months and the last shop job by about a month. I could have demoted to a helper and taken a huge pay cut. I may go back to ATL if the right opportunity arises.

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 15):
Considering the experience gained in Mx it would be no big deal to work on Electricals,air conditioners,refrigators,automobiles....as basic aviation Mx training covers it all...But rightly said we would not enjoy it.

Very true. Some of the mechanics I've know have had a tough time finding work. One guy was flatly refuse a job for a large forklift service operation in ATL. They told him they didn't hire ex airline AMT's anymore. Most tend to run right back to the airline jobs when the chance arrives or just quit after one tech call to a North Ga chicken proccessing plant. We are the prima donnas of the fixit wotld.


User currently offlineOzTech From Australia, joined Feb 2007, 161 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2672 times:



Quoting AcNDTTech (Reply 14):
We are really an odd group of people (from the ticket counter, to the ramp; from the hangar to the cockpit; and everything in between) to the outside world. They will never understand the passion that we have for this business. Good times, or bad......we do it because we love it. I have to agree, I don't know what I'd be doing if it wasn't for this industry.....

Have to agree 100%.. It gets in your blood.. I got out for about 2 years but it called me back..
There is no other industry like it.. Totally unique...
Some join/joined for the cheap travel... (More hassle than it is worth sometimes)
Some join/joined for the money... (Not the same as it used to be.. Less $$$ now)
Some joined to see the world... (World = Standby Counter)
Most joined because of the lure of the industry itself... The wide ranging career opportunities, the eclectic grumpy   hyper   sarcastic   weeping   confused   crazy   hissyfit   hyper   laughing   mischievous  group of people who call "aviation" home... Oh, and don't forget the wonderful hours we work...  yawn   tired 



No defect too big, no defect too small, nothing in the log --- No defect at all !!
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2665 times:



Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 16):

The only one of those I'd give serious thought too is where you are...BOS. I did TDY there back in 1998 with BEX and liked it. You can go north to NH and find decent living.

Yea, the whole airline business is in the dumper.. I know guys that were at DAL, NW and UAL.. all with 10yrs or so.... out the door after Sept '01. Airlines cut back so far it will be years until they hire again and 10 years until you have enough seniority to see daylight.



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2659 times:



Quoting B742 (Thread starter):
Which career paths did you take etc?

For me, I am doing the only job I ever wanted to do. I was bitten by the aviation bug when I was about 4 years old. I spent the entire flight in the cockpit of an AA DC-6 from Dallas to Chicago. To this day I can still remember bits and pieces of it.

From that point on, I couldn't get enough of aviation. Got my Private Pilot License when I was 16, I went to University on a AFROTC scholarship and then went to UPT (Undergraduate Pilot Training) in Williams AFB. Spent almost 11 years active duty and then off to the airlines. I still flew in the ANG and spent another 10 years doing that.

Quoting B742 (Thread starter):
Do you enjoy your job etc?

That's probably a much tougher question. Yes I enjoy my job. However, it is getting more and more difficult to put up with the job related issues. Things like dealing with security, the constent erosion of benefits. I have 2 sons, 23 and 17. I have tried to stay neutral on what they should do as a career. I think in today's world there are professions that are much better in terms of pay and quality of life than an airline pilot. But that's just my opinion.


User currently offlineCelticMech From Ireland, joined Oct 2008, 216 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2638 times:

After school, i was accepted to do an apprenticeship in Aircraft Maintenance. That was great..seeing as though i was getting paid to attend college and also about half of the 4 years is spent doing On the Job training. Met some great people along the way. During this time, i spent time also studying for my Aircraft Engineers licence. It was a lot of tough work and study. The exams are all 75% pass mark....there is no niceness shown by the aviation authorities....if you get 74% you fail. Its black and white!
At the end of the 4 years i had my trade served as an Aircraft Mechanic, but also had completed all the required exams for my Aircraft Engineers Licence. I then applied to the I.A.A. and received my PART 66 category B1 licence (i.e. Airframe, powerplant and electronics).
I then proceeded to do a 737NG type course. Having completed this i also did the Airbus A330 course with an extension course to add the A340. At the same time i was working in Line Maintenance from day to day.
Last year i moved companies and now work for an Airline in Line Maintenance. As others have said before, its a great job,, it can get to you at times but all in all i wouldnt change things.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 21, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2519 times:



Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 16):
One guy was flatly refuse a job for a large forklift service operation in ATL. They told him they didn't hire ex airline AMT's anymore. Most tend to run right back to the airline jobs when the chance arrives or just quit after one tech call

Airline employees would def go back to an airline given a chance,so I guess the company recruiting them wanted to be sure.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineFADECFAULT From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2322 times:

Went to Aviation High School in NYC. Got my A&P there and also interned at DAL. Worked at DAL for about 5yrs and then left. I regret not going to a proper college and getting an Engineering Degree. Oh well..

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 23, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2280 times:

I personally am considering doing an Engineering degree course,unfortunately all such courses are full time & after doing 5 nights/week, its tough making time out to study full time in the day.

regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineBoeing767mech From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1025 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2219 times:



Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 21):
Airline employees would def go back to an airline given a chance

You have any data to back up this statement, I know of lots of laid off maintenance personal that where called up to return to our airline, and in not so many words told the person calling to take the job and stuff it in someplace not so comfortable.

David



Never under-estimate the predictably of stupidty
25 Flynavy : Spent five years in the U.S. Navy maintaining F/A-18 avionics initially. Worked on all models A thru F. When my contract was up I hired on at Delta, t
26 HAWK21M : Out here at BOM itself I can personally introduce you around 100-120 folks. Remember Aviation out here pays more than automobiles & its not easy in a
27 Boeing767mech : That's the difference between the US Labor Board and the rest of the world. Here an Auto Mechanic can make more than an AMT. AMT's are considered uns
28 HAWK21M : True david.I guess thats where the difference lies.Here licenced AMEs are considered to be high paying jobs,there are other fields that pay more,but
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