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.
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.