Preventative Aircraft Mechanics
A career in preventative aircraft mechanics is a great choice for people who enjoy working with their hands and are interested in the flight industry. Aircraft mechanics are the workers in charge of repairing and performing regular upkeep and inspections on all types of aircrafts. Also called airframe mechanics, powerplant (engine) mechanics, or avionic technicians, they are the people responsible for making sure planes and other aircraft both fly and land smoothly.
Preventative aircraft mechanics usually have a certificate from a college that has been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). These schools prepare prospective mechanics for their certification test. While it is not necessary to receive this certification, most top employers prefer it. High paying airline jobs are competitive, and this certification can help get the foot in the door. The average salary for an aircraft mechanic is $22.00 an hour, but it can be considerably more or less at some job sites.
Using special precision instruments, preventative aircraft mechanics test engine parts in airplanes, jets, or helicopters for wear and replace any necessary parts. They are in charge of routine maintenance and inspections on landing gear, pressurized sections, brakes, instruments, valves, and anything else essential to flying an airplane. If there is a tear or crack in the plane's tail or wing, they are responsible for building and attaching a replacement piece.
Routine inspections and maintenance take place on a schedule devised by the FAA. Aircraft are brought in for inspections after a set number of hours flown, number of days, or number of cycles of operation. Aircraft mechanics need to be able to figure out any problems with a plane based on what a pilot might describe, or the noise the engine is making.
Technological advances have changed the work of preventative aircraft mechanics. Due to newer equipment, mechanics are now also responsible for the electronic system repair. This includes the aircraft's navigational and radar systems. Electronic systems can also help pinpoint hard to find problems in the aircraft's engine. The mechanics that specialize in the electronic components of a plane or helicopter are called avionic technicians.
Other areas of specialization are also available in preventative aircraft mechanic jobs. Some mechanics only work with smaller planes. Some specialize in jets. Others specialize in particular parts of an aircraft. Mechanics working in a larger shop are more likely to be specialized, as there are more mechanics available for each area. In a smaller shop, a mechanic may be expected to work on all parts of an aircraft. There is less diversification available.
There is a steady demand for preventative aircraft mechanics. Attending a specialized program in aviation repair, or other related field, is a great first step towards starting a career in this field. Specializing in avionics or other highly technical areas may result in a better job. Being proficient in computer systems and having a good understanding of the flight industry in general will also improve your chances. Aircraft mechanics should be able to perform in high stress situations. Due to the severity of the possible consequences, failure is not an option.
A career in preventative aircraft mechanics can be both very challenging and very rewarding. This is a career that will always be in demand. Highly skilled mechanics are needed.
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