What Skills Do I Need to Become an Aircraft Technician?
In order to ensure that aircrafts are operating at their peak level of performance, aircraft technicians must be highly skilled individuals that are able to work under a variety of circumstances. In addition to being able to make complicated repairs on the aircrafts, they must also be able to complete inspections that are required by the FAA and perform scheduled maintenance on the units as well. So what other skills are needed in order to become an aircraft technician?
Sometimes, aircraft technicians specialize in one area of the plane. They might, for instance, choose to specialize in preventive maintenance. Aside from inspecting the aircraft in order to insure that the instruments, landing gear, and accessories are functioning properly, the technicians must also be skilled at keeping accurate records and gathering important diagnostic information.
Other times, aircraft technicians might work in repairs instead of in maintenance or inspection. These technicians are responsible for locating and fixing problems that might arise with the aircraft. Important skills for this type of job include being adept at troubleshooting as well as working quickly so that the aircraft is able to return to the air in a speedy and safe manner.
Avionic technicians repair and maintain the components used for radio communications, aircraft navigation, and weather radar systems. Having computer skills is essential to this type of job. It is also vital for these types of technicians to possess good analytical skills and to be able to come up with solutions to complicated electronic problems that might arise.
Although mechanics work in airport hangars for the most part, sometimes they might be required to work outdoors on the ramps or in the airfield. During the summertime when the heat is high or during the wintertime when it’s snowy and icy the weather conditions can present their own challenges. In addition to be able to withstand the heat and cold, the mechanics must also work quickly and be able to adhere to a deadline.
Being in good physical health is important, too. Mechanics must regularly lift objects that weigh 70 pounds or more and have to be able to kneel, lie, or stand in positions that can be painful or awkward. They might also be required to stand on unbalanced scaffolding and ladders. Coupled with the loud noises of the planes’ engines and the vibrations that the planes emit, working in these environments can be precarious.
Most employers are searching for those aircraft technicians that are hard working, self-motivated, agile, and possess a high degree of mechanical aptitude. Since technology changes at a rapid pace, being able to keep up with current trends and learning new information is important in this type of job. Mechanics are usually expected to attend regular training sessions regarding new technology as well as taking classes and furthering their education as needed.
After gaining some experience within the field, some mechanics go on to become lead mechanics or lead inspectors. Those that have their aircraft inspector’s authorization and show an aptitude for leadership and mechanical skills will find that they might also be able to advance to executive positions within the field.
In general, aircraft technicians are highly skilled individuals that have to be able to pay attention to details, perform physical tasks that require agility and strength, and are able to problem solve on their feet. When education and training, as well as mechanical skills, are added to these skills, aircraft technicians will probably find that their career choices are varied and that advancement is possible within the field.
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