The aircraft maintenance technology and repair of aircraft is a huge, huge industry. There are roughly 100,000 flights every single day, and that means there’s a lot of aircraft, equipment and tools to look after.
So, if you want to join this growing sector, what can you do? You’re in the right place for that question. Below, you’ll find the four steps all aspiring aircraft mechanics need to take in order to excel in their career. Get to it!
Step 1: Do you have the correct skillset?
Like any job, the aircraft maintenance sector brings with it a number of required abilities. Above all, you must be detail-oriented; the safety of public flights could rest on your shoulders. It’s important not to get lazy, or overlook any tiny detail. You must be focused, and 100 percent committed to the repair. Nothing less than perfect will do.
You must possess a lot of technical skills, too. You need a know-how of many basic tools, as well as more complex instruments and diagnostic equipment. You have to know how each tool is used, and in what situations it would be applicable to use it.
And finally, you must have excellent troubleshooting skills. This means you can identify a problem, and work back through that problem to find the cause. You don’t buckle under pressure, or struggle to fix minor issues. You remain calm, and can specify an issue as fast as it appears.
Some of this, like the tools skills, you can learn in college and on the job. However, you must have certain skills from the start, otherwise this career isn’t for you.
Step 2: Do you want to specialize or generalize?
The term ‘aircraft’ has a lot under it, and you’ll have to decide where you fit. Whether you decide on becoming an airplane mechanic or a helicopter mechanic, each vehicle is different. If you choose to me more of a general mechanic, you’ll focus more on basic skills that can apply to a wide range of situations. In this sense, choosing a focus – aviation or jets, for instance – may be easier. You’ll get to specialize in one particular area instead of possibly spreading yourself too thinly.
Step 3: School, college or a training course
It goes without saying, but you’ll need to be educated. It is possible to get where you want to be without a degree, but graduating will give you that leg up on the competition. Because it’s such a skilled job, employers want to see that you have a proven ability to work in this industry.
This in mind, a training course or apprenticeship will be your best bet, allowing you to get some basic hands-on experience. At a base level, you’ll require a high school education, so get that done first. Alternatively, you can apply for a course at a special aircraft mechanic school, to help you get noticed quicker.
Step 4: Become certified by the FAA
The FAA stands for the Federal Aviation Administration, and you’ll need a certificate from them before you start working. You must pass a written, spoken and practical exam to demonstrate your abilities. When you start working, you can expect a salary upwards of $50,000, and those that are certified by the FAA will get even higher.
Are you considering a career in aircraft maintenance? Let us know in the comments below!
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