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aeromojo
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Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Sat May 02, 2009 9:32 pm

I am an Airline Employee with 9 years of experience working in the Industry with the same company. I am currently 31 years of age and one thing I have decided, if nothing else, is that I love working with Aircraft and I actually like working for my Airline.

I'm a baggage handler so my job isn't necessarily in high demand or specialized. For years I have considered a Career as an AMT.
However, I am always discouraged by other AMT's and friends against this move. Some, I work with on the Ramp who are Licensed but stick with their current jobs just throwing bags. Others are current AMT's and say the job and pay isn't worth the stress and effort. ( I imagine they are talking about work rules and FAA Regulations. )

I'm not ashamed of being a Fleet Service Worker however, I would like to do better for myself and my family if this could actually be accomplished.
All I want is to work with Aircraft ( preferably an Airline ) and I'm at a critical point in life where I may be put into a perfect position to go school and get it all paid for. I'm just not sure what I should do and would appreciate some OUTSIDE/UNBIASED advice.  

For those who wish to reply and offer advise, I WELCOME and may I even say ENCOURAGE ALL forms of responses. Please include positives and/or negatives of the Field Specialization.

Thanks, in advance!
AeroMojo~

[Edited 2009-05-02 14:33:34]
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Dalmd88
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Sun May 03, 2009 12:04 am

We all tend to discourage others from joining a career in aviation. You are all ready in. Right now there are few airlines hiring emass. Delta has a few openings, but not the huge starting groups like 10 years ago. That is OK for you. It will take you time to get your A&P. Next up is flexablity of location. I see you live in Hou. I once lived there also. After CO the jobs pretty much tend to corporate/GA. Since you already work for an airline you have leg up for internal jobs. Next up is the hours/shifts. For most airlines you might as well go in with the mind set of expecting midnights forever. At some stations you might need 20yrs to see days.

Any questions?
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Sun May 03, 2009 11:23 am



Quoting AeroMojo (Thread starter):
However, I am always discouraged by other AMT's and friends against this move.

Maybe their reasons were strong.

My observation is if you like the job,you are willing to study all your life,work in odd weather outdoors/indoors & at odd times, go for it.

regds
MEL.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
boeing767mech
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Sun May 03, 2009 12:03 pm



Quoting AeroMojo (Thread starter):
I'm a baggage handler so my job isn't necessarily in high demand or specialized. For years I have considered a Career as an AMT.
However, I am always discouraged by other AMT's and friends against this move. Some, I work with on the Ramp who are Licensed but stick with their current jobs just throwing bags. Others are current AMT's and say the job and pay isn't worth the stress and effort. ( I imagine they are talking about work rules and FAA Regulations.

If you really want to get you foot in the door as a AMT. I would put in a inner company transfer to someplace like AFW or TUL (depending on the company you work for). Those bases are overhaul bases, ther eyou can become a SRP or OSM depending on what they are calling it this contract. But an OSM/SRP (overhaul shop mechanic/ Shop repair person) works in the backshops doing everything from coffee maker repair to turbine engine overhaul. SRP/OSM's can also bit out to the floor and work the airplanes and since this is at a repair station you are working under the supervision of a licensed AMT and have QA inspecting your work.

This way you could work on the airplane getting experence and you can also work to get your license at the same time. And the joy of working at places like AFW or TUL it is days or afternoons with weekends off most of the time.
Never under-estimate the predictably of stupidty
 
aeromojo
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Sun May 03, 2009 10:21 pm



Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 1):

Hey, thanks for that. I have also heard that i will pretty much start at the bottom of the pole. When and if I transfer within CO, all I keep is my Company and flying seniority.  Sad Thanks for your thoughts. As far as working in other countries, is it possible to take an American based FAA License and apply for a AMT position across the pond?

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 2):

Thanks Mel, Sometimes I think that others within the Industry are just using tactics to weed out the competition. But, I'm already working in an environment where I am working all hours and in all weather. So nothing new there. I'm sure having to study Aeronautics, new and old, will prove a challenge. But, it sounds like from your point of view, its worth it.  Smile

Quoting Boeing767mech (Reply 3):

Well going to Dallas wouldn't bother me however, I know American is moving there overhaul base to TUL. And me and TUL are not friends. Not to mention I am not welcome in CO TUL. (as being I just escaped)
I am familiar with a little car repair and the prospect of tearing apart an Aircraft and putting it back together sounds absolutely fascinating. If I stay with CO, I believe I may have to go to MCO or its pretty much minor Maintenance in IAH and Line Maintenance sounds mind numbingly boring. //

Still Thanks to all for your advice! Any one else, keep it coming....
AeroMojo~
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HAWK21M
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Mon May 04, 2009 10:36 pm



Quoting AeroMojo (Reply 4):
it sounds like from your point of view, its worth it.

Undoubtly.....I don't think I could do anything else that I'd enjoy as on date  Smile
regds
MEL.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
dl757md
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Tue May 05, 2009 8:35 am



Quoting AeroMojo (Reply 4):
Line Maintenance sounds mind numbingly boring

It's all what you make of it. If you sit around and only do the minimum required you get stuck doing layover/service checks which is boring. If you are a go-getter and exhibit good mechanical ability you'll get to work more broken airplanes and troubleshoot. Working the line has been the most rewarding time for me. I hated the shops - too much like factory work - repetitious. The hangar was more challenging but again too repetitious as you generally work only one type of work - sheetmetal, hydraulics, avionics, etc. On the line you work it all and really learn the whole airplane. Plus you get to taxi the airplanes and do engine runs a lot more than in other areas. From what you've described about your interest in airplanes I suspect you'd find the same thing true that I did. The line is place to be.

DL757Md
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HAWK21M
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Tue May 05, 2009 10:54 am



Quoting DL757Md (Reply 6):
Working the line has been the most rewarding time for me.

I look at it this way.
Line Mx helps one get good with Troubleshooting & ensuring the aircraft departs on time.Its time of doing not much to a lot of work in phases depending on the aircraft location & snag situation.
In Major mx work is mainly at a slower but fixed pace,but can get very routine after a few years.

Given the choice I prefer line Mx with visits to Major Mx during a major check 3-4 times a year.

Then Night duty is a totally different story too  Smile
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
boeing767mech
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Wed May 06, 2009 7:30 pm



Quoting AeroMojo (Reply 4):
Line Maintenance sounds mind numbingly boring. //

That's funny I think the complete opposite. Having worked both line and dock maintenance. I found dock work boring, Nothing like seeing the same airplane day in and day out, where deadlines are measured in days not minutes.

I love working the line, you get to use what you know to get the airplane flying. I feel it is a true test of an tech and his knowledge. Granted it takes a artist to bend metal and make it into an airplane, but it takes a true tech to take an airplane with a log book full of write-ups from lavs to autopilots inop and make it fly with the LEAST amount of MEL's or delay taken.

Yes we have down time, but it is what you make of it, there is alway more training that can be done. And when you done with all you training and your airplanes are flying the wildlife in the terminal is always nice to look at.

But this is just my opinion of being a AMT.

David
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DC8FriendShip
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Thu May 07, 2009 3:27 am



Quoting DL757Md (Reply 6):
It's all what you make of it. If you sit around and only do the minimum required you get stuck doing layover/service checks which is boring. If you are a go-getter and exhibit good mechanical ability you'll get to work more broken airplanes and troubleshoot. Working the line has been the most rewarding time for me. I hated the shops - too much like factory work - repetitious. The hangar was more challenging but again too repetitious as you generally work only one type of work - sheetmetal, hydraulics, avionics, etc. On the line you work it all and really learn the whole airplane. Plus you get to taxi the airplanes and do engine runs a lot more than in other areas. From what you've described about your interest in airplanes I suspect you'd find the same thing true that I did. The line is place to be.

Although I generally agreewith most of this, the hangar is also an excellent place to learn. The best way to do this is work in a non-union shop, and work hard and become proficient at each job, then tell your lead or sup you are ready for more, then your competency level will be higher once you go to the line.. the reason i say this is i have had several people start for me who have worked line MX on a CRJ, but when given a job, don't have a clue how it works or where it's at. Not saying this always happens, but it seems like alot of the guys i get only know how to change tires and brakes.
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Dalmd88
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Thu May 07, 2009 4:07 am



Quoting AeroMojo (Reply 4):
If I stay with CO, I believe I may have to go to MCO or its pretty much minor Maintenance in IAH and Line Maintenance sounds mind numbingly boring. //

The age old which is better, Line or Base Mtc. Boeing767mech had some good points. I've worked both also. Line is very unpredictable. Some nights you get a simple layover, others a challenge, and others you get a complete piece of crap with more work than hours in the night. During the day line is like firehouse duty.

Hanger can be very predicable, or not. For long visit bays, you know every day of the visit after a while. You can get very good at jobs, and can hate others. Some AMTs bust ass, some hide. I also worked a short visit bay for a while. We did flight control lubes, engine changes, mod work, contact work, a little bit of everything.

For you at this point, it doesn't really matter. My advice is be happy with what ever you can get at first. I think location matters. If you hate where you live, no job is good.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Fri May 08, 2009 3:20 pm

Personally I'd place engine overhaul shop work at the bottom with preference to Line & Major mx.
regds
MEL.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
aeromojo
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Sat May 09, 2009 5:57 am

Wow, I had an idea there was a lot more to MX than I realized, but you guys have really given me insight to what makes a great Mech! Also, what might be in store for me in the future. It definitely sounds like there is different benefits to working different lines, weather it be Line MX or Hanger work. I appreciate and thank all of you for your input!!!! This is why I posted  Smile
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thebatman
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Thu May 28, 2009 12:50 am

My next door neighbor (who's 17) was just asking me for the very same advice. I told him to STAY AWAY from aircraft maintenance. I'm telling you the same thing. What we do everyday as AMT's is truly amazing. I will say that the job itself is great.

So why am I telling you to stay away? Because there is no future in this profession. More and more airlines are lining up to send our jobs to an outside vendor who pays their non-licensed guys $15 an hour. Or even worse, they'll send the heavy maintenance to some communist country overseas.

Now DALMD88 and Boeing767Mech might say "well that's never happened to me" and I pray that it never does. But even the airlines that have a reputation for treating their people well outsource maintenance of some kind. It will only get worse, not better.

I've been an AMT for 15 years. I've learned many lessons over the years. All of the lost time with your family working nights, weekends, holidays is just not worth it. The airline life is very volatile, and the whole airline/union job is not what it used to be. I think you'd be better off going to school and getting an engineering degree, or accounting, or maybe a dentist. That's what I should have done.....
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aeromojo
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Thu May 28, 2009 2:36 am

Quoting Thebatman (Reply 13):

I can see your concern . But, how can an American Airline allow a un-licensed AMT to work on their aircraft. Isn't there some kind of FAA mandate? Respectfully, However, I will keep your advice in consideration. Thanks

[Edited 2009-05-27 19:46:03]
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L-188
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Thu May 28, 2009 4:01 am

Go to a full time A&P school, and get in done in 12 months.

I started to go down that road in a college program here that they set up along normal course lines as opposed to 8 hour a day classes for a year. That stretched the program out to 5 semesters and you had to carry an overload every year to do in in that time. They only offered the classes once a year so if you missed one you where hosed.

That is the big reason I don't have an A&P right now. I got enough credits to get an aviation tech minor with my BAA degree so it wasn't a waste. And I did pick up some good skills. I write a lot of repair orders for LM2500 gensets now so the turbine theory class I had helped out a lot in my current line of work.

I am tempted to go back and actually get the license if my current gig ends.
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thebatman
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Thu May 28, 2009 3:50 pm



Quoting AeroMojo (Reply 14):
But, how can an American Airline allow a un-licensed AMT to work on their aircraft. Isn't there some kind of FAA mandate?

Yeah, that mandate is having one FAA-licensed "inspector" that signs off work for about 10-12 guys. The FAA may do an inspection every once in a while, but not as often as they should, IMHO. The same goes for outside vendor repair stations here in the U.S. A bunch of un-licensed guys are working on the airplane that your wife/kid/mother/sister are going to fly 6 miles high at 3/4 the speed of sound.

I'm really NOT trying to rain on your parade. I just feel (not just feel- but have experienced) that airlines look at AMT's as a "necessary evil". We have just as much training, experience, and skills as many other professions but this outsourcing is getting out of control. How would the public feel if the PILOT was an un-licensed guy from S.Korea or Ecuador or El Salvador? No one would ever set foot on a U.S. carrier again.

My dad has been an AMT since the late 60's, and it was something I wanted to do since I was a little kid. Again, I will say that the job itself is great. It's challenging, rewarding, and if you work in Line Maintenance, you'll get to learn the whole airplane which is great. Now, finding en employer who appreciates your skills and training, and isn't looking to give your job away to save a few $$$, that's a different story. Good luck, I mean that sincerely.
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Dalmd88
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Fri May 29, 2009 1:53 am



Quoting Thebatman (Reply 13):
Now DALMD88 and Boeing767Mech might say "well that's never happened to me" and I pray that it never does. But even the airlines that have a reputation for treating their people well outsource maintenance of some kind. It will only get worse, not better.

It has happened to me. I was very content to stay working HMV in ATL. I had weekends off and was ready to bid for a lead spot when one opened. They then outsourced our HMV's to Avborne in MIA and Air Canada in YVR. When those places didn't work out some went to Mexico, some to Hong Kong, some to PEMCO, some to AAR, and some to TIMCO. I was given a choice of either Line at an expensive outstation (BOS,LGA,JFK,DCA, or SFO), or out the door. We were sweating the NW merger. Would they outsource us? For now, we are safe. We actually hired a bunch of the contractors NW had been using. Next year that could all change.
 
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thebatman
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Fri May 29, 2009 1:34 pm

I feel your pain my friend, I really do. I'm curious to see if the DL-NW merger plays out like the AA-TWA merger did. If that's the case, then you guys at DL will be just fine. Like I told AeroMojo, and you know first-hand, this is a volatile industry. Good luck to you, and I hope things work out for the best for EVERYONE at DL and NW.
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stratosphere
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Fri May 29, 2009 10:09 pm



Quoting Thebatman (Reply 16):
I'm really NOT trying to rain on your parade. I just feel (not just feel- but have experienced) that airlines look at AMT's as a "necessary evil". We have just as much training, experience, and skills as many other professions but this outsourcing is getting out of control.

Totally agree 100 percent with this statement. I have always felt this way. No matter how hard you work to get an aircraft out you will almost never make anyone happy. Even when I found a problem right away and got an a/c out with minimal delay I was hard pressed to get even a thank you from anyone. While I always got my own personal satisfaction for a job well done I always felt we were like you said a 'nessessary evil' also it is easy to outsource because the FAA will let anyone work on an aircraft as long as they get an [email protected] to sign it off or in the case of foreign maintenance being an "approved" FAA repair center that the FAA might visit once in a blue moon. Not that way in the pilot world. All pilots have to be licenced it should be that way in the maintenance world also.
 
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thebatman
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Sat May 30, 2009 5:43 am

AMEN. Very well said.
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aeromojo
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:09 pm



Quoting Thebatman (Reply 16):

Wow, I didn't realize all that. So your saying that anyone who thinks they can work on an aircraft can and will as long as they have someone who is LICENSED to inspect the work done? Dude, WTF?

Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 17):
Would they outsource us? For now, we are safe.

That sucks! Good luck guy! These days I think just about everyone is in fear of being Out Sourced! Unsettling to say the least.

Quoting Stratosphere (Reply 19):
Even when I found a problem right away and got an a/c out with minimal delay I was hard pressed to get even a thank you from anyone.

I know how you feel. Even in my field, Thank you's are very few. Even when we bust our a$$ to get a flight turned within our limited given times when it came in late from the start, and most of us that are good enough and care enough to do, in the end we usually have to pat OURSELVES on the back! After a while I guess I have just taken it as "part of the job".
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Dalmd88
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:29 am



Quoting AeroMojo (Reply 21):
Wow, I didn't realize all that. So your saying that anyone who thinks they can work on an aircraft can and will as long as they have someone who is LICENSED to inspect the work done? Dude, WTF?

Those are the regs as set by the FAA. Anyone can work on the airplane as long as they are supervised by an AMT. Under an FAA repair station they can even sign off most of the work under the repair station cert.
 
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thebatman
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:12 pm



Quoting AeroMojo (Reply 21):
Wow, I didn't realize all that. So your saying that anyone who thinks they can work on an aircraft can and will as long as they have someone who is LICENSED to inspect the work done? Dude, WTF?

Yeah, nice...huh? I think they should put a disclaimer on airlines' websites, so that when you go to buy your ticket, there's a box that comes up and says "THIS AIRCRAFT HAD ITS LAST OVERHAUL DONE IN SOUTH KOREA BY UNLICENSED MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL - PRESS HERE TO CONTINUE"

I wonder how many tickets they would sell.....
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planefreakaa
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:34 pm

the only bad thing about the airline business is seniority, get in and start getting your seniority. ive been with aa for 13 years and i cant get off midnight shift. yea if i go to one of the mx bases i could work weekends off and have to rotate shifts, how they do at afw., not sure about tul.
ive worked at both line(ord, dfw) and overhaul(afw) and the line work is more rewarding, but the key is to get in and start building seniority.
 
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thebatman
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:52 am



Quoting Planefreakaa (Reply 24):
ive been with aa for 13 years and i cant get off midnight shift

The junior guy at ORD for UA has 19 years seniority, everyone else is on the street. So, midnight shift - yeah, it sucks but at least you're still employed.
Aircraft mechanics - because pilots need heroes too!
 
Boeing12345
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:15 am



Quoting Thebatman (Reply 23):
"THIS AIRCRAFT HAD ITS LAST OVERHAUL DONE IN SOUTH KOREA BY UNLICENSED MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL - PRESS HERE TO CONTINUE"

That would be a great idea!!! It really burns my a$$ too that we all earned our license to work on these A/C and then the work gets "farmed out" to non-licensed workers. Read just recently that WN is sending heavies to ElSalvador soon too.

AeroMojo, I returned to school at the same age you are right now for the exact same thing. Although 9-11-01 happened within my first semester, I was able to start at a regional carrier after graduation. Well that regional is no longer operating (flying farmed out), but I gained enough skills from being a Mechanic, Lead Mechanic, and QC Inspector that I was able to move to a much bigger and better company. I also worked heavy checks, overnight, and line maintenance on nights, weekends, and holidays.

My advice is if you really are that passionate about airplanes....then go for it. Otherwise before you know it, you will be 5 years older and wondering "what if".

Best of luck with your decision and continue to work hard and fly right my friend.
 
LMP737
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:38 am



Quoting AeroMojo (Reply 14):
But, how can an American Airline allow a un-licensed AMT to work on their aircraft.

The Overhaul Shop Mechanics as they are called in AA speak do not actually touch the aircraft. They work in the backshops like tires/brakes, interiors etc.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:47 am



Quoting Stratosphere (Reply 19):
No matter how hard you work to get an aircraft out you will almost never make anyone happy. Even when I found a problem right away and got an a/c out with minimal delay I was hard pressed to get even a thank you from anyone.

True to a large extent.but personal Job satisfaction helps be keep staying motivated.And thats Important.

regds
MEL.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
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thebatman
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RE: Need Advice About Becoming An AMT

Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:07 pm



Quoting Boeing12345 (Reply 26):
My advice is if you really are that passionate about airplanes....then go for it. Otherwise before you know it, you will be 5 years older and wondering "what if".



Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 28):
personal Job satisfaction helps be keep staying motivated.And thats Important.

All very true. Aeromojo, you are getting some very good advice from a lot of experienced people here. I hope this has helped you somewhat in your decision-making...
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