Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2002 2:02 pm

Looking For Career Advise In Aviation Maintinance

Tue Oct 01, 2002 2:21 pm

I am looking to possibly to go to school at Laguardia Airport for Aircraft Maintinance.....I am 32 years old, looking for a stable, good paying career...
Can anyone give me some insight on wether this is worth it at this time, and how much one can HONESTLY make, out of that school, and later on.....and the REAL job security in this field at this time and in the near future?...............HELP!!!

Posts: 1665
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 1999 3:16 am

RE: Looking For Career Advise In Aviation Maintinance

Tue Oct 01, 2002 3:27 pm

Not really sure what to tell you here: On one hand I do not wish to discourage you from fulfilling a goal...but on the other, I don't want to give you a false view that may later lead you to profound disappointment. -- Here's the deal: Ask yourself- What do YOU WANT to do as a career? Based on your post, stability and security and high pay seem to be your most important criteria; All the "9/11" free-fall aside, security/stability is not the strongest point of being an AMT at an airline- The best way to approach this thing not for stabilty, but for the fact it's "in your blood" and you don't want to do anything else but...and you take the cyclical nature of this business ( and its resulting potential for career tumolt ) in stride. -- Don't even think about getting a high-paying and stable job as an AMT right out of school: It aint gonna happen- even during "good" times, and even if things are so good you hire on with a major right out of school. Pay CAN be good ( You won't get rich- you'll make a decent living ), and often is...but only after ascending the ladder of of experience, and often at several outfits and of varying job satisfaction. Catch the waves right and hire on with a major at the right time, and you'll have fair stability of sorts to weather the downturns...but nothing is guaranteed in this business: Don't be surprised if you have to start anew at another company via lay-offs, mergers etc. -- The present conditions are putting tremendous downward pessure on wages as well, but in the long term I see this as another 'low' in a cycle. I'm sure the green eyshade crowd hope it stays like this and air travel is forever "Wal-Mart-ed", but supply and demand will work things out eventally, unfortunaetly after much bloodletting. -- In short: When its good- it's VERY good...When it's bad- Well.... -- BTW: I graduated from the same school you're probably referring to ( C.O.A. ) and IMO it was a positive experience.
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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 12:34 am

RE: Looking For Career Advise In Aviation Maintinance

Tue Oct 01, 2002 4:13 pm

Aviation is a job where experience counts and at 32 there are a lot of people in the pecking order before you. This means that the best jobs, and therefore the better paid, will be out of your reach for some time. So money is not a reason to enter the profession. Security is not the best either but if you don't mind going where the work is you can make a good living as a contractor. You can gain a variety of experience that way too. In the UK there seems to be less and less jobs available and I imagine that is reflected around the rest of the world.

If you really love aeroplanes then go for it, but beware, loving aeroplanes and working on them can be two different things.

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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2001 3:19 pm

RE: Looking For Career Advise In Aviation Maintinance

Tue Oct 01, 2002 4:39 pm

It's been covered here a a search. My 2 bits in a nutshell, it doesn't sound like the job for you. In the best of times its' a tough industry, especially in the Maintenance side. Underpaid, overworked and more than likely divorced by the time its over. You will work nights, weekends and every holiday for the next 10 years, and if you are married now, your wife ain't gonna like that much. Guys that are good at this figure it out young and couldn't imagine doing anything else. If thats not you, don't do it. It would be a big mistake. Not to mention, that with all the layoffs at the majors recently, there are a ton of better qualified guys ahead of you in line for the jobs that might be left..if anyone were hiring...which no one is. It will turn up again, but that won't last either.
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Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 3:19 am

RE: Looking For Career Advise In Aviation Maintinance

Wed Oct 02, 2002 7:18 am

This is possibly the worst time to go into any aviation field. Thousands of mechanics are on layoff with surely more to follow. There will be few if any new hires for the next few years. With a tight economy I bet the corporate jobs will dry up also.

As for a career, I've been a AMT for 12 years. I've made five cross country moves, most over a thousand miles. I've worked at two failed commuter airlines and did government contract work that could end at any moment. I now work at DL and wonder if layoffs are coming. During those 12 years 8 were on third shift, 3 of those had rotating or midweek off days. The other 4 were chained to a pager. I'm still looking at at least another year of 3rd shift at DL.

Why have I stayed in? I enjoy what I do, and I was lucky enough to find another aviation job quickly when I had too. If another layoff comes my way I will walk away from aviation.
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Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2001 1:38 pm

RE: Looking For Career Advise In Aviation Maintinance

Fri Oct 04, 2002 1:34 pm

I have to agree with Dalmd88-- I've been doing this for almost 18 years at 2 different major airlines. The first one was for 10 years (not counting the 18 month layoff after 7 years) and this one is in the "no idea, but I bet it's coming" mode. I had a manage tell me once- "Don't buy anything you can't eat". I guess I've been rather lucky too- I never had to really do the 3rd shift thing for more than 3 months at a time. I did have to work dayshift for a year and that seemed like punishment. In all reality- I really enjoy what I do. Inside, outside in the rain and snow wherever-
If I had to do it again? I honestly don't know.
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Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 11:37 am

RE: Looking For Career Advise In Aviation Maintinance

Sat Oct 05, 2002 12:54 am

Let's break down your post...

1) I am 32 years old
(You're not "old" for this field by any means. But, like someone said, with the current state of the industry, your lack of experience isn't good when there are so many experienced guys out there. Keep in mind, that many times being too experienced is not a good thing. There are some airlines that would rather have someone fresh.

2) looking for a stable
If your looking for stability, this is NOT the field for you. At least not as an Aircraft Maintenance Tech.

3) good paying career
It can be a very good paying career, as long as you work for a major or the 2 major cargo carriers. I also hear Buz jet techs get paid very well.

4) Can anyone give me some insight on wether this is worth it at this time
At the time, of course not. But let's keep in mind if you do attend the College of Aeronautics, it will take u btwn 2-4 years to get your licenses/degree. Hopeflly by the time you get out, the dust will have settled.

5) and how much one can HONESTLY make out of that school, and later on.
You start at the bottom of the payscale and work your way up with yrs of svc. Starting is generally approx 20 per hr for most majors.

6) and the REAL job security in this field at this time and in the near future?
This is what blows. Let's say u get hired tomorrow for Airline A, and you are there for 10 yrs. If no one else is hired after you, you will be the 1st person out the door in the event of any layoff. Even with 10 yrs time. And with some airlines, 10 yrs is nothing. There are cycles in this industry, and we're going through a cycle in the DOWN direction now. It will hit rockbottom b4 it gets good again. How far are we from rockbottom, it depends on who u ask. But it gets better with the economy. When that happens, airlines start expanding again. And usually the older folks start retiring or dying. So my advice to u............

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